Vampire Rain raises a question in my mind: What where they thinking? The premise of the game is simple. You are a part of a special forces team that is tasked with destroying the prime walker (the head vampire) in a town that has been taken over by nightwalkers (vampires). Unfortunately, that is about as clear as it gets, as the plot, which is fairly straightforward, manages to become increasingly confusing as the game progresses.
The cutscenes, which are not bad visually, are very poorly written. Most of the scenes that try to evoke some emotion come across about as emotional as someone telling you what to pick up from the store. It was almost enjoyable in the way that some low-budget horror movies are, so poorly written, and the delivery so deadpan, that you wanted to laugh. Unfortunately, I don't think that was the effect intended, but at least it put a smile on my face.
The gameplay is simple enough. You start by running through the tutorial, which teaches you the basics. Most of the game is about sneaking by the nightwalkers. Each has a visual radius, but apparently they are as deaf as a board. (The game tries to explain that the walkers' senses are dulled by the rain, hence the name.) There were several spots that require you to walk within inches of a nightwalker, and as long as you didn't run by them full tilt, or brush their cone of awareness, you're home free.
One interesting feature of the game was Necrovision, which you used to sight vampires. Once the camera tags them, you are able to see their awareness range, which made it a lot easier to sneak past them. If you happen to draw the attention of a vampire, consider yourself dead. Their appearance changes into some sort of zombie-vampire hybrid, and they run toward you as fast as a cheetah, hit you twice, and then you get to watch a cutscene of them draining you. Then, game over. You can't skip this cutscene even if you want to, and you do after the first two or three times it happens. And until you get the hang of the game and what to watch for (like checking around every corner for an undead surprise), it happens a lot.
The game does not allow you to save, except between levels. It does have a few checkpoints per level, so at least you don't always have to start from scratch. This is one of the biggest complaints I have about this game. Why not allow me to save at least a couple times per level? All the game has accomplished is to frustrate me to the point of not playing it more then 15–20 minutes at a time before walking away angry.
Also, the developers decided to take away my ammo every time a new level starts. Why? One of the missions in the game is to locate weapons and ammo to take out the nightwalkers. I accomplish this, and at the start of the next level, I was back to one clip of ammo per weapon. If I am supposedly in this town with three other people on my team and have no hope of backup, where is my ammo going? Are we shooting at beer bottles between levels? Is there some sort of ammo monster (the cousin of the sock monster) that steals it when I'm not looking? Talk about making something harder then it needs to be.
The graphics were decent and give you a good impression of a dark rainy evening. Most of the character modeling looked good as well, and the environmental sound effects were passable. On the other hand, the rainy backdrop got old fast. You had some missions inside, which is a welcome change, but the vampires still seem to be totally unaware of your presence unless you walk right in front of them or walk up behind and tap them on the shoulder.
The weapons were forgettable: your standard pistol, machine gun, shotgun, sniper rifle. You do get a couple of weapons that are a little more interesting. One of them is the UV knife, which allows you to perform a stealth kill on a vampire from behind. This is a one-use weapon, though, so you have to find them around town to be able to use them. Also, there is a UV grenade/bomb, which allows multiple kills at once. Other then those two, the only effective weapons were the shotgun and the sniper rifle, both of which had very limited ammo. Each of these guns allows you to kill a nightwalker in one or two hits to the head. The pistol was a total waste of space, except to scare birds (I'm not kidding). I understand the reasoning for making the weapons ineffective against the vampires, but it's still irritating to have a silenced weapon and not to be able to use it even to defend yourself if you make a mistake.
I tried to take a look at the multiplayer element, but there was never anyone on. I also tried to find some positive aspects to this game, and I did find one. Now that I finished this review, I won't have to play it again!