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Blood Wake

Blood Wake by Microsoft Blood Wake
by Microsoft

Platform: Xbox
ESRB Rating: Teen
ASIN: B00005Q8JN

Check price @ Vehicle combat games have typically made up a good chunk of any console's library, but in the case of Blood Wake, the combat is taken to an atypical arena--the sea. Set against the backdrop of an Asian-themed locale where three different groups are vying for power, Blood Wake is a gunboat combat game that features good action, great graphics, and some of the most impressive water effects ever seen in a game.

Playing as Shao Kai, you are betrayed by your brother and left for dead. After being rescued by a rival warlord, you swear allegiance to that warlord and join forces with him. The story and setting are pretty original for an action game, but the animated cutscenes aren't as engaging as they should have been; after watching the first few, you'll find yourself skipping them and jumping straight to the missions.

Thankfully, Blood Wake scores big in this area. The missions run a wide gamut and will have you defending convoys, attacking enemy cargo ships, and collecting "payments." And though the missions are well designed, occasionally combat can degenerate into you and the enemy turning in circles in an effort to gain the best firing angle.

Over the course of the game you'll have access to over 10 gunboat variations, each armed to the gills with a wide variety of weapons. Though you can't choose which gunboat you'll use before a mission, the game does a nice job of giving you the boat that will best serve your purposes. Controlling the gunboats is fairly straightforward; but, since you need to contend with the physics of the water, some gamers may find the controls a little frustrating at first, especially when turning and moving forward after being stopped. Fortunately, after a few missions gamers will get their sea hands and the controls will become second nature.

Graphically, Blood Wake is extremely impressive. The gunboats feature lots of little details like cannons ejecting shells, the pilot moving in his seat, and the wood of the gunboat splintering damage as you take hits. The most impressive thing about Blood Wake, however, is its depiction of water. Waves crash over your gunboat, wakes impact how you steer, and torpedoes will send up a massive wave that will toss you into the air. It's not just fancy special effects; the water actually dictates how combat unfolds. When fighting in choppy seas you need to make sure you fire when you're at the top of a wave, otherwise your bullets will simply hit a wave in front of you. This is a nice touch and really show the amount of thought that went into Blood Wake's development.

Because of its fun gameplay and solid multiplayer component (four multiplayer games are included), fans of vehicle combat games owe it to themselves to try out Blood Wake. --William Harms

Water effects are very impressive
Fairly original setting
Awesome graphics
Lots of fun gameplay

Gameplay gets a little repetitive
Animated cutscenes aren't particularly engaging

Customer Reviews:
sweat games[blood wake], October 4, 2002
Reviewer: An 11-year old gamer
Blood wake is a awsome game if you like shooting awsome guns.Blow away any competition in multiplayer and in single player.Unlock more levels,more guns,and sweet boats.I would recemend Blood wake.

Great GAME, October 4, 2002
Reviewer: A gamer from Timbuctoo
This game is great! The things holding it back from being a five star game is you don't get to choose the boat that you use on each level. Also it doesn't have a co-op multi player mode. You should also be able to custamize your boats.Now the positve things: GREAT graphics,not a piece of cake to beat, 3 difficulty settings, and good story line.

Original, Wondeful with only Few Major Flaws, August 29, 2002
Reviewer: ajcar1992 from Baltimore, MD USA
This is a wondeful game, but its few major flaws keep it away from #1. Those flaws are 1 it is repetitive. 2 there is probably not enough modes to satisfy for long. and 3 is that it is really, really hard.

good but gets boring, August 21, 2002
Reviewer: A 12-year old gamer
This is a GREAT game when u first get it so i reccomend renting it i bought it and beat it in 1 week so rent it and dont waste ur money but game play wise graphics r good. A lot of fun until u get to a level nd have to try 10 times to beat it :(

one of the top 10 for xbox, August 16, 2002
Reviewer: A gamer
Ok, now the first thing I want to say is this is THE best game for xbox but I still LOVE this game! Sometimes the little cutscenes will get a little annoying but you should still watch them. This game is very intense and in my opinion a lot of people who gave this game things like one star are NOT right. You should just buy this game period! I'll admit I currently haven't beaten this game completely yet but I'm on the last level. One of the downsides with this game is the fact that there are some (only a small amount) of levels that are particularly short and easy but I still REALLY like this game. The only level that REALLY got me down was level 8. I must have tried 50 times before I was done with that level. Now for multiplayer, It can have a fun miltiplayer but what I found especially fun was this one level with a bunch of these vert-ramps. Anyway, My opinion on this game is 5 large stars! One more thing, I know, I'm only 11, but I have a very mature taste for games. Just ask me about halo ^_^

Great game until......, June 29, 2002
Reviewer: Mitch from Damascus, Maryland
This is a great vehicle combat game to come to the XBOX due to the fact that it takes advantage of the XBOX hardware. This game wasn't toooo hard on NORMAL difficulty until the last level, where I come to think of that level as IMPOSSIBLE. I had to wait until an invincibility cheat came out, and I hardly EVER have to do that with a game, and with that code, the last level was still hard to complete. There is almost NO replay value to this game because who would want to go back and try to beat it on a harder difficult level such as Admiral?! Multiplayer is also bad unless you have the code for Bloodball: Soccer in the water....It is very funny but still not that great!

Awesome water effects but...., June 27, 2002
Reviewer: jerseyrocks from Bound Brook, NJ United States
The water effects in this game really and truely are awesome. No game has ever matched the detail that water is treated with in this game. Having said that, all you do is drive a boat. Sometimes the boats get faster, sometimes better armed, but it's still just a boat.

Now, the game is an interesting concept and it is fun to play, but the replay value on it does wear thin. Additionally, the multi-player is tough to play because unless all 4 of the players are experienced it becomes a bloodbath for the one who knows how to play. Which granted can be fun.

Bottom line is this. If you can get this game for a good price then by all means get it. It is worth about... and will provide more then enough replay value. But as with many games, once you stop playing it for a while, it is not one that you will long to go back to.

Good Gaming!

It Could Have Been Better, May 31, 2002
Reviewer: chad steingraber from Lake Dallas, TX
-Chad Steingraber-
-Level Designer/Game Designer/3D Artist on The Terminator: Dawn of Fate-

This game definately has the water thing down. The physics on the boat through the water is superb. It fun just driving the boat around. But, of course, that isn't enough to make a great game. For me, the game became boring REAL quick. The graphics aren't as good as they could be (come on, this is the XBox guys!!) and the level design is slightly on the poor/boring side. With a little bit of inspired innovation, this game could have been really good....even great. But alas, such a game didn't surface.

Maybe they will make a sequel with some much needed upgrades? Anyway, this is a rent first title before you buy it.

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