Blood 2: The Chosen review @ 3DGW
Publisher: GT Interactive
Developer: Monolith Productions
Demo: Download (36MB)
Release Date: Available
System Requirements: P133, 16MB, Win95/98
Recommended: Pentium 2, 64MB, Voodoo 2/Banshee/TNT, 32x CD-ROM or
500megs of HD space (CD-ROM for min. install option, HD space for max. install option)
In 1998 there was quite a few 3D shooters released. Most of them were built up on
existing game engines but were slightly modified. Monolith decided to take a different
route and build up their own engine to use in their 3D shooters. The engine is called
LithTech and it is very similar to the others but has some different things to it. The
Blood2 demo did not impress me at all. It was buggy, slow, and too hard. I'm happy to
report that most of these flaws have been improved for the full version of this game.
Blood2 takes place in the near future, the year 2028 with Cabel fighting the evil
forces of Cabal and the new corporation, Cabalco. You spend most of the game fighting
Cabalco's agents but some other interesting enemies seem to come out every once in a
while. Your objective is to chase the bad guy, Gideon through all 30 of Blood's well
Blood2 takes small steps from the traditional 3D shooters which includes being
able to choose from four different characters. Caleb would be the most popular choice
because if you do not choose him you do not get the cut scenes or the load of one-liners.
If you've played Shogo-MAD than you pretty much know how this game plays. Both games use
the same LithTech engine and have striking similarities at times. Last time in a review
that I forgot to mention this, I got flamed so here it goes. The game has long load times,
well over a minute on most levels - especially if you have the minimum install where the
levels must load off the CD. That's why I recommend the fast cd-rom if you do not have
room for the full-blown install.
The controls work well and I never seem to have problems though except watch the mouse
sensitivity! Set it half way and a tap of your mouse will send you around doing a few
360's. Luckily you can adjust the sensitivity to much lower levels. I had some problems
with getting stuck on ladders though. The way Caleb moves makes him seem like a super
human. He jumps like a grasshopper and runs real fast - to the point of being very
unrealistic at times. What kind of person can jump 6 feet?. The difficulty levels are all
very different. Easy is pretty simple and you have to suck pretty bad to die a lot in this
skill setting. Medium is for the average player and Hard is well, hard!
Sadly there is not very much variety when it comes to baddies in this game. You have
your standard army fanatics (people who work for Cabalco), living zombies who shout crazy
things at you, some weird looking but violent animals and some sub-bosses. The AI of the
enemies is about average.. well maybe a notch above but not by much. The enemies NEVER
take evasive action or plan strategies like the amazing AI of Half Life's enemies. They
just stand at their set point and shoot away doing nothing else. On occasion I would see
someone duck, but they seem to never move. The civilians throughout the game are
interactive and you can go up and talk to them. A
lot of them badmouth you which means it's time to pull out that pocket knife. In one
particular part near the beginning you enter a laundro-mat and there is a washing machine
on with some bloody legs that are sticking out. There is a girl standing beside it and she
says something like " I guess he put his head in too far." Now, what would you
say or do if you saw a man being eaten by a washing machine?! I hope that was intended
humor. There are two types of civilians - men and women. They pretty much all look the
same which makes some parts repetitive.
As I mentioned before the game is similar to Shogo in some ways like the enemy movement
and even the guns that they use. Blood2 is a lot more evil and darker than Shogo though
which takes your mind off of the similarities. Cabel has a lot of one-liners some examples
being "sun of a bitch".. not just your average "SOB" but one with a
very, very evil voice. I must admit I really enjoyed Cabel's voice acting in this game.
Multiplayer was okay to say the least. Some levels were excellent for deathmatch, while
others were terrible. It takes some time getting used to having all of the weapons at once
but eventually I ended up picking some favorites and always using them. Multiplayer was
laggy at times and I truly enjoyed the single player aspect of this game more than the
multiplayer. However, if you have a LAN set up the lag will be gone and it will be a
I didn't play Shogo that much (frankly I got bored quick) but I fired it up
because I started to notice some very similar things. First of all, some of the enemies in
Shogo and Blood2 are the exact same! All that's different is a different skin on the model
or sometimes even just a different color of shirt. What does this conclude? That Blood2 is
basically one big TC (Total Conversion) of Shogo. I find it sad that Monolith had to rush
this game so much that they actually re-used code in some parts. Aside from that the
graphics are very beautiful. Explosions are the particular highlight of this game because
they look really nice. Some textures seem repetitive at times especially when indoors.
Everything seems "grayish" but outdoors the variety of environments is there.
Blood2 uses polysynthoric lighting effects which is some technical name for some advanced
lighting which meets your eye only with certain weapons. This is one feature Shogo lacked.
The cinematic's for Blood2 are done within the game engine - a route that most game
designers seem to be taking nowadays. They are well done and Caleb's model looks really
damn cool when you see it in a cinematic. The opening cinematic is just one scene of Cabel
walking - it would be nice to see some fancy hollywood
cinematic's at the beginning. Overall, some well done cut-scenes even if they are done
within the game engine.
On the technical side of things Blood2 needs some power. I found my 400MHz K6-2 with
64MB RAM and a 12Mb Voodoo2 at 100MHz not enough to keep this game at constant fast frame
rates in the High detail setting. To say the least, don't attempt to run this game with
the minimum requirements of a P133 and 16MB. Blood2 only used Direct3D acceleration and
lacks the beloved OpenGL support that I've come to know and love.
The sound effects are great - including the weapon sounds but I have yet to see a
game that gives you sound effects so real and dynamic that they sound totally believable.
I want to hear what a grenade sounds like blowing up right in front of me and I want to
hear what it's like to have bullets pierce your body. Okay, now I'm getting a little
graphic but the realism of sound effects in games now is not real enough. I know the
technology is there but why don't we have sounds that real. This isn't hammering Blood2 in
particular, but this is a message to all game designers. Blood2 compared to other games
has great sound effects to say the least and I was really impressed with them.
The ambient music in the game really sets the sinister mood that the designers
obviously wanted you to feel. Sometimes the music isn't there and sometimes it is nothing
more than several bursts of deep bass but it really enhanced the mood of this game. Good
job to the guys at Monolith for this one. Sadly there is no 3D audio support, not even the
puny DirectSound3D. As always, 3D sound would be great in a game like this, but no luck.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about this game but I'm going to say that I
think it is an above average shooter and I enjoyed this game quite a bit. I have my
complaints but overall it's a job well done, especially in the mood-setting department. If
your looking for a different 3D shooter, go treat yourself to a few hours of Blood2.
Reviewed by: Adam "kami" Koebel
Date: February 1, 1999
AMD K6-2 clocked at 400MHz on a FIC VA-503+
64MB PC100 SDRAM
4.3gig JTS Champion
ATI 3D Charger 4MB
AOpen PA2000 Voodoo2 12MB provided by AOpen America,
Diamond MonsterSound MX300
MS SideWinder 3D Pro joystick