Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2002 video game)
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Developer(s)||The Collective, Inc.|
Steven von Kampen|
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, survival horror, beat 'em up|
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a 2002 Xbox video game addition to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise. It is the second video game of the franchise to be released, though the earliest in terms of setting and the first for a console. The novella and dialogue of the game were written by Christopher Golden and Thomas Sniegoski, with additional dialogue provided by Richard Hare.
Giles takes Buffy for some late night Slayer training in an old Spanish Mission in Sunnydale. Buffy fights her way through the Mission, opening the door to the chapel where she is transported to the Sunken Church. There she encounters three nasty looking demons and the Masterwho she is shocked to see as she killed him and crushed his bones to dust. The Master cheerfully greets her and then drains her. Moments later, Buffy wakes from the nightmare safe in her bed.
The next night, Buffy practices for cheerleading as a favor to Cordelia when vampires invade the school. Buffy orders Cordelia to take the other girls into the supply closet while she turns the lights back on. Buffy battles through the school With Spider-Man, fighting vampires and Symbiotes before finding the janitor, Creepy Pete, dead. She gets his keys and heads to the basement where she restores power to the school. At that point, Giles contacts her to tell her that he is under attack and she rushes to the library where she fights off a powerful vampire named Malik who escapes with a book on spirit channeling. Giles is unable to determine why Malik wanted the book but isn't worried so Buffy and her friends leave for a night at the Bronze. At the same time, Malik is revealed to be working for Spike who has returned to Sunnydale and regrouped the Order of Aurelias. Spike uses the book to summon the spirit of an ancient being named Lybach who possesses Drusilla to force Spike to do its bidding. Lybach orders Spike to get fresh human sacrifices for a coming ceremony and he dispatches vampires to the Bronze then he encounters Buffy.
At the Bronze, Buffy and the others party until the vampires, led by one named Scylla, break in and kidnap several students, including Willow. Buffy chases the vampires outside where she encounters and fights off Spike. Buffy continues to follow the vampires in hopes of rescuing her friends and eventually ends up in the cemetery where she encounters the powerful necromancer Materiani who summons zombies to aid in delaying her. Buffy fights through waves of vampires, zombies and hellhounds to a mausoleum where she finds Scylla and Willow. Buffy fights Scylla who, like Malik, proves more powerful than an ordinary vampire. Buffy beats Scylla who flees rather than continue the fight, leaving Willow behind. Realizing that Spike has taken over the Sunken Church and still has more victims, Buffy decides to go after them after consulting with her friends. The group can't come to any conclusion besides that Spike may be trying to draw an ancient evil forth into this world and Buffy sets off again on her own.
Buffy reenters the mausoleum where she fights through zombies to reach the secret passageway leading to the Sunken Church. In the passage she fights more zombies and demonic spiders before finally reaching the Church. Buffy battles her way through the Church, now faced with demons as well as spiders and zombies and finally reaches the altar where the ritual is taking place. She arrives too late to save the victims, but interrupts the ritual causing the vampires to run while Materiani stays to fight her. Buffy kills Materiani and takes his Tedarka Talisman, but not before he completes the ritual. To Buffy's shock, the Master is resurrected as a phantom and she flees as the area collapses. Giles explains that while the Master couldn't be resurrected in physical form, a skilled necromancer could bring him back as a phantom though he has no idea why it would be done. Buffy mentions her dream and the appearance of the Master and gives Giles the sigil the demons from the dream wore in hopes that its a clue. Xander decides to see what information he can get from Willy the Snitch while Buffy heads to Angel's Mansion in hopes he can figure out the Master and Spike's plans.
At the Mansion, Angel tells Buffy only she can save him before being abducted by demons. Buffy fights through the Mansion to try to save him, fighting vampires and demons. Finally, Buffy reaches Angel's training room where she encounters Scylla once more. However, this time, Scylla transforms into a giant snake monster and attacks. Buffy defeats Scylla and kills her by exposing her to sunlight. Angel arrives, but is possessed by the Master, forcing Buffy to flee. As Buffy talks with her friends, she learns that Xander found out that the vampires are expecting a shipment of some sort at the docks and that Giles learned that the sigil represents three demons known as the Dreamers who have great mental powers and can bend reality while together. Buffy decides to kill the Dreamers and takes off with her friends for the docks to intercept the vampires shipment.
At the docks, Buffy finds herself facing an ever-increasing number of vampires, demons and demonic spiders in her way to the ship where the shipment is located. Some of these enemies block her way with forcefields. After a determined battle, Buffy reaches a warehouse where the cargo has been unloaded to find that it is one of the Dreamers. Buffy kills the Dreamer, infuriating the Master who needs it for his and Lybach's plan. The Master comes up with another plan, to use a mixture of steel and blood to forge a Deglon Sphere that will amplify the remaining Dreamers powers and allow the plan to work. He sends his men to take control of a local foundry and Malik and Spike to stop Buffy. However, he enrages Spike by threatening Drusilla. Buffy learns from Willow that she has discovered how to exorcise the Master from Angel but they have to find him first.
As Buffy heads out to find someone to lead her to the Master, demons and vampires attack the high school again, injuring Cordelia. Buffy battles through the school, learning along the way that there is a bomb in the basement. Buffy disarms the bomb and faces Malik once more who transforms into sabertoothed animal. Buffy defeats and stakes Malik, but fails to kill him, something she fails to realize. As Malik attacks again, Spike suddenly kills him and saves Buffy. Spike offers an alliance to stop the Master and save Angel and Buffy reluctantly accepts. Spike explains to Buffy and her friends that an Old One named Lybach has a plan to build a bridge from his demon dimension to Earth in order to lead an army of demons to take over the world. He needed the Dreamers to warp reality to create the bridge and the Master's expertise in dimensional portals to make it work. Spike is only helping as Lybach is possessing Drusilla and threatens to destroy her mind if he doesn't. However, Spike doesn't like the plan and has had enough. He offers to lead the group to the Master and help save Angel in exchange for their help in saving Drusilla. The group reluctantly agrees and sets out for the foundry.
At the foundry, Buffy battles her way in to the Master while her friends and Spike work on locating and rescuing Drusilla. Buffy fights through a determined vampire and demon resistance before finally reaching the Master. Buffy and the Master fight it out and Buffy defeats the Master but can't kill him without harming Angel. As the Master taunts her, Buffy reveals she hasn't come alone and Willow exorcises the Master as Xander and Giles exorcise Lybach from Drusilla. The Master attempts to possess Spike but Willow's spell protects him and the Master flees angrily. However, Angel reveals that it is not over as the Order got the Deglon Sphere and the Master intends to continue the plan even without Lybach's guidance. Having gotten what he wants, Spike and Drusilla leave and Buffy and her friends make preparations to assault the Sunken Church to stop the Master once and for all. Giles determines to Buffy's dismay that he and the others must perform a spell to give the Master back physical form so Buffy can destroy him again as he is too powerful to be destroyed by an exorcism and Willow gives her the Tedarka Talisman to guide her through any warped realities the Dreamers may come up with.
Buffy battles through electrical tunnels and eventually reaches the Sunken Church. Buffy has to battle through an army of vampires and demons before she finally reaches the Master and the Dreamers. However, rather than fight, the Master casts Buffy into the Dreamers' realm where she has to find her way through levels of a giant maze. Buffy manages to make it through the maze with the help of the Tedarka Talisman. Finally, Buffy finds the Dreamers at the end of the maze and kills them, returning her to the Sunken Church and destroying the Deglon Sphere. With the Master and Lybach's plan thwarted, Buffy faces off against the Master himself as her friends' spell takes effect. Finally, Buffy impales the Master on a giant stake and kills him once more. She and the others flee the Sunken Church as it collapses. Later that night, the group celebrates at the Bronze before Buffy must take off after a vampire, her work never done.
The game was re-released as part of the Xbox Classics series.
The game starts with a variation of the expository narrative that was featured in the early Buffy episodes, as well as a variation on the opening titles sequence. However, both of these are made up of game footage.
The game received "favorable" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. Ryan MacDonald, writing for GameSpot, said that it "is a terrific action game that has a great mix of multiple gameplay types and a great story."
The Cincinnati Enquirer gave it a score of four stars out of five and stated that "Video games based on TV franchises don't always live up to the shows that inspired them. Fortunately, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an exception." Entertainment Weekly gave it a B and said that "as vampire videogames go, Slayer doesn't suck." However, Maxim gave it seven out of ten and called it "eye-popping".
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