Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2008)|
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds|
North American PlayStation 2 cover art
|Publisher(s)||Vivendi Universal Games
|Genre(s)||Horror/Beat 'em up|
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds is a 2003 video game and the fourth video game based on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise. It is the first multiplatform game in the franchise as well as the first game in the franchise to allow players to control characters other than Buffy Summers and also the first game in the franchise to feature a fully developed multiplayer mode; additional players had a limited ability to interact in a hidden debugging mode in the previous title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Buffy discovers that Ethan Rayne is at the center of a great struggle with the First, literally the first incarnation of evil the world has ever known. She and the gang must face an undead army of vampires, zombies, and demons to keep these nefarious villains from casting the world into permanent darkness. The plot involves different alternate realities bleeding into Buffy's own reality, leading to the reappearance of deceased enemies and the appearance of evil versions of allies.
The story is set during the television series' fifth season. Due to certain plot points mentioned and character styles, the game takes place some time after Forever (since Joyce's grave is seen), but before Tough Love (since Tara has not been driven insane by Glory), presumably in-between Intervention and Tough Love (since Spike is on more-or-less friendly terms with the Scooby Gang). The game also includes many references to previous episodes of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, including Faith being in jail and Giles' days as Ripper. The game extends an idea from a previous game: that of bringing back dead characters (the Master returned in a previous game), by bringing back Sid the Dummy, Kakistos and Anya's former demon self, Anyanka.
There are 12 levels in the game:
- "Magic Box"
- "Blood Factory"
- "Magic Box Revisited"
- "Downtown Sunnydale"
- "Sunnydale Hospital"
- "High School"
- "Old Quarry"
- "The Initiative"
- "Sunnydale Mall"
- "Sunnydale Zoo"
- "The First's Lair"
As well as the single-player story mode, the game features several different multi-player games. These are:
- "Survival" - player-on-player combat;
- "Bunny Catcher" - players compete to collect rabbits;
- "Slayer Challenge" - a single player must defeat as many enemies as possible (additional players can take control of the enemies);
- "Domination" - players must compete to control magical pentagrams for as long as possible.
At first, only one map (Zoo) and four characters (Buffy, Spike, Willow, Xander) are available. More maps (Cemetery, Initiative Hanger, Quarry) and characters (Male Vampire, Female Vampire, Zombie Skeleton, Tara, Zombie Demon, Zombie Devil, Bat Beast, Materani, Sid, Psycho Patient, S&M Slave, S&M Mistress, Faith, Kakistos, Zombie Soldier, Chainz, Abominator, Zombie Gorilla, Chris (Mutant Enemy), Joss Whedon) become unlocked as one plays through the main, single-player game and finds secret areas.
"DVD-style" extras can be unlocked by finding certain secret areas during the single-player game. These include interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and also the Chaos Bleeds tie-in comic book.
- Giselle Loren — Buffy Summers, Anya Jenkins
- Nicholas Brendon — Xander Harris
- Kari Wahlgren — Willow Rosenberg
- Anthony Stewart Head — Rupert Giles
- Amber Benson — Tara Maclay
- James Marsters — Spike
- Eliza Dushku — Faith Lehane
- Jeremy Roberts — Kakistos
- Robin Sachs — Ethan Rayne, The First
- Tom Wyner — Sid the Dummy
- Karen Strassman — Cassandra Rayne
- Joss Whedon — Himself
- Danielle Vasinova — Angela
- Dave Wittenberg — Assorted Vampires
- Eric Bradley — Additional Vampire Voices
- Other Voices: Tom Bourdon, Jenna Macari, Dave Marrujo, Erika Robledo
A comic book prequel was published by Dark Horse. Its story, centering around Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Spike dealing with alternate reality versions of deceased Gorch family members, was set just before the game (the comic's blurb confirms that it is set in season five) and established the idea that the walls between realities were dissolving and the realities were 'bleeding' into each other. The comic was also available in the game itself as an unlockable special feature. Additionally, the comic was reprinted as part of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer 2005 Annual in Britain.
Like the game, the comic was written by Christopher Golden and Tom Sniegoski and featured art by veteran Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book artist Cliff Richards as well as cover art by J. Scott Campbell.
The game received mixed reception upon its release in 2003. In a positive review, Gamespot reviewer Alex Navarro praised the music, atmpospehere, story, and realistic combat of the game, although he critiscized the "dated" visuals, repetitive puzzles, and described the multi-player mode as "not executed well". In a final statement, Navarro said that "Chaos Bleeds is an excellent, well-put-together action adventure game that most fans of the genre should be able to enjoy and any Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan will love".
Chaos Bleeds is generally regarded as an inferior sequel to the 2002 Xbox-exclusive game, with GameCell UK stating that "There are other games out there that do what this does better; one ironic thing is that the first Buffy game is one of them. The Xbox Buffy seemed to play much more smoothly and faster, had 5.1 sounds and did not have so many combat glitches and iffy collision detections." Although Xbox World Australlia mentioned that "It manages to improve slightly on most aspects of the original game and makes for a more accessible and less frustrating experience, barring some minor bungles in the graphical department and the over-simplistic combat. Even if the multiplayer mode is disappointingly shallow, the great single-player portion that allows you to play as no less than six different characters makes up for it in a big way."
The game sold 330,000 copies worldwide, the PS2 version selling 180,000, the Xbox version selling 120,000, and the Gamecube version selling 30,000.
- "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Chaos Bleeds Xbox Review", www.gamespot.com, retrieved August 2, 2013
- "Buffy Chaos Bleeds PS2 Review", www.gamecell.co.uk, retrieved August 2, 2013
- "Buffy Chaos Bleeds Xbox Review", www.xboxworld.com.au, retrieved August 2, 2013
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds at Eurocom
- Review of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds at GameSpy.com