Vampire Rain is a video game that was released for the home gaming console Xbox 360 in 2007. It can be played as a single or multiple player game.
In 2008, an newly formatted version was released for PlayStation 3. Based closely to the Xbox 360 Vampire Rain, the PS 3 version is titled Vampire Rain: Altered Species. The video game was developed by Artoon, a video game developing company that is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan.
Artoon was also responsible for Blue Dragon on Xbox 360; Blinx: The Time Sweeper and Blinx 2: Masters of Time and Space for the Xbox; Wii games’ FlingSmash, Club Penguin: Game Day!, and The World of Golden Eggs: Nori Nori Rhythm-kei; the PlayStation 2 games of Ghost Vibration and Swords of Destiny; Pinobee on PlayStation; and Echoshift for PlayStation Portable. In 2010, however, the key members of Artoon left the corporation to create the developing company Arzest.
The video game Vampire Rain is based on stealth action, and is often compared to Metal Gear Solid or to Splinter Cell. Vampire Rain is of the horror element as noted by the inclusion of vampires. As the main objective is on shooting and killing vampires, the game has earned the Mature rating by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) and the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) rating of 18 and older.
The plot of Vampire Rain involves vampires who are thought to be those responsible for killing people all around the world. In the US the fictional American Information Bureau (AIB) establishes a black ops unit of special force officers to go out in Los Angeles, California in search of the vampires. As the story continues, the AIB and vampires commence in a full blown war.
Soldiers of the AIB include human/vampire mixed breeds as espionage agents. Another important character is a nameless young girl whom Lloyd saved in an earlier mission that keeps coming to him and his team in their dreams; her identity is revealed at the very end.
It is the main character, Lloyd’s, duty to kill not only the vampires, but the human/vampire hybrids, as well. Once this is completed, Lloyd discovers he must also fight the leader of the vampires, after he learns that the leader intends to turn every human into a vampire.
Lloyd kills the leader, only to discover he was not the main boss of the vampires. So Lloyd must go into combat with one of the two actual leaders of the vampires. After killing one of them, the other leader submits to Lloyd allowing him to kill him easily, stating that the newest leader of the vampires will now come to pass.
Now the young girl from Lloyd’s past reemerges. She takes the ashes of the fallen leader and pours blood so that it is raining down on them, thus resurrecting the leader of the vampire.
As play commences in Vampire Rain, the gamer is given the straight forward task of sending the main character, Lloyd, walking down the streets. However, the vampire elements enter the scene in the form of seemingly innocent people.
As the incognito vampires stalk the streets, it is Lloyd’s job to avoid contact when at all possible. The player can choose alternative routes by walking through alleyways and across roofs.
The key of the game is to be as stealthful as possible; Lloyd does not want to get cornered by a vampire. In Vampire Rain the vampires are super quick and they are equally as powerful. Once encountered by a vampire, it can only take one or possibly two blows before death ensues.
Another feature that prohibits combat with vampires is the lack useful weaponry for the main character through the first one-third of the game play. In order to be able to shoot and kill, Lloyd has to spend a lot of money on crummy ammunition, which can be impossible to do at the beginning of the game.
As such, if the player decides to put Lloyd in a combat situation, it will almost guarantee that Lloyd will die. And in the case that Lloyd is spotted by the enemy, he will have a slim to zero chance of escape, thanks to the extremely fast vampires. It can take gamers many tries to be able to navigate a successful and vampire free route through the streets in order to get through the mission area so to move on in the game.
As the game of Vampire Rain continues, Lloyd receives more powerful weaponry that is much more helpful in combatting the vampires than his original weaponry. Lloyd is also led into action where he gets to fight against the vampires, often under the guise of a team. The arsenal of Vampire Rain includes a standard set of items including a UV Knife that can be used to stick a vampire in the back resulting in an immediate kill, making this piece of weaponry the prize possession of a combat-curious Lloyd. Other weapons available include an assault rifle, sniper rifle, shotgun, and an anti-armor rifle. For more rapid fire weaponry, the gamer can use the handgun and sub-machine gun.
Vampire Rain has been reformatted as an online game. In the online version, gamers can play as a single player or team up into groups of up to eight in order to participate in multiplayer scenarios including Death Match, Team Death Match, and Capture the Flag.
There is also a multiplayer game where the characters get to transform into the enemy as a vampire, also known as a nightwalker, in the game. In the nightwalker mode, the character gets to fight in combat. Also in the online version of Vampire Rain all of the firearms that are found in the Xbox 360 version are available.
Vampire Rain did not fare so well among video game enthusiasts and critics. It received a score of 3 out of 10 by Game Informer, 3.6 of 10 by GameTrailers, and 3.5 of 10 from the Official Xbox magazine.
ScrewAttack awarded Vampire Rain with a SAGY award in 2007 in the category of the Worst Xbox 360 Game of the Year, of which it received more than 50 percent of the votes. Critics claimed that the features and effects of Vampire Rain were too heavily borrowed from similar stealth games, specifically Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid.
The sounds and music for Vampire Rain was not impressive, nor was the plot line. Gamers complained that it was too difficult to kill vampires, especially in the earlier stages, which made it practically impossible to play the game.