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Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds PlayStation 2

Published by Vivendi Universal Games
Developed by Eurocom
Released: Out Now
Price: £39.99

Games based on TV shows aren't usually up to much and to make matters worse I don't like Buffy the Vampire slayer, so as you can imagine I'm probably not the ideal person to review this game, or at least that's what you would think. I have to say though that I was surprised to find I actually enjoyed playing the game and have reviewed it solely as a game and not how it compares to the TV program that it is based upon. If you are a fan of the TV show you'll be pleased to know that the games story has been written by Chris Golden & Tom Sneigoski who also write for the TV show so you should definitely enjoy what's on offer here.

The game begins in a magic shop with the gang fighting some vampires but it's soon discovered that Buffy's old enemy is once again about to give her trouble. Essentially Chaos Bleeds is a simple beat 'em up/action game with a decent story and a collection of puzzles to tie it all together. For the most part this works and the ability to control different characters from the TV show helps prevent boredom from occurring. You can control Buffy, Xander, Willow, Spike, Faith and Sid the Dummy throughout the course of the game. The first mission in the game is basically a story driven tutorial that introduces you to the various characters and their characteristics. While Buffy likes to use her fists and feet, Xander uses various weapons and Willow, who is rather weak, is best using her magic powers to vanquish her enemies as attempting to hit her opponents will often result in a battering for her.

Once you've finished the single player game, you'll be please to know that a few multiplayer modes have also been included. Slayer Challenge, which can also be played as a single player game, is where you pick a character and try to finish off as many enemies as possible. Survival is a fight to the death for 2 or more players. Bunny Catcher is for 2 or more players and the basic idea is to catch more bunnies than your opponent although some of the bunnies have strange side-effects. Domination is a fight to control the pentagrams with points being allocated for the length of time you control them. The game is time limited and once again is for two or more players.

Whilst the graphics look good the animation can at times look a bit ropey, particularly in the cutscenes but this isn't a big deal and doesn't spoil the game. The character models look good, nothing exceptional but good nevertheless. They resemble the characters from the TV, which is the most important thing. The lighting effects and textures can only really be described as average but they don't really spoil the game and more importantly there are no slowdown problems or game breaking glitches. In short the graphics serve their purpose but won't win any awards.

Buffy fans will be pleased to know that the game is subtitled and the subtitles are on by default. Although the game isn't fully subtitled, it isn't far from it. All the cutscenes are shown in a letterbox format with the subtitles being in the lower black border and as a result the text is clear and easy to read. All tutorial tips are shown in text and are placed on a subtle overlay box so as to make the text stand out and again the text is easy to read. Any important dialogue within the game is also shown in text in a similar manner but not all of the speech that is delivered during combat is subtitled. Whilst this is a shame it's not a major problem and shouldn't harm your enjoyment of the game.

Chaos Bleeds can be regarded as a success if someone like myself can actually enjoy it as a game. As I mentioned earlier I don't like the TV show but I found the game enjoyable and I appreciated playing as different characters as it breaks up the monotony of performing the same attacks throughout the game. Fans of the TV show will surely be impressed and will get something extra from the game. From what I've read the game neatly fits in between episodes of earlier TV shows and people who have watched the programs will certainly appreciate the plot more than someone like myself.

Overall Game Rating: 8.2/10
What more could you ask for? A game that can be enjoyed by fans and non-fans of the TV show.

Deaf Gamers comment:
All of the important information is subtitled and deaf gamers will be able to enjoy the game and its story.