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Vampire Rain (ヴァンパイアレイン Vanpaia Rein) is a survival horror stealth video game developed by Artoon. It was released for the Xbox 360 in Japan on January 25, 2007 and in North America on July 3, 2007. The game was later ported to the PlayStation 3 under the title Vampire Rain: Altered Species and was released in Japan on August 21, 2008 and in North America on September 2, 2008.
Vampires, known as "nightwalkers", were found to be responsible for the disappearances of civilians in the United States and in other countries. The American Information Bureau (AIB) raises a black ops special forces unit which is deployed to the streets of Los Angeles.
Throughout the game the player is haunted by the vision of a young girl, who the player saved in a previous mission. Eventually the player finds out that his team leader has also seen her.
Later on it is revealed that the AIB, acting of their own accord, plan for America to enter full-scale war against the Nightwalkers. They send their own human/nightwalker hybrids to kill the player's group to get rid of the evidence, and send the rest of their forces against the Nightwalkers' headquarters in the city. The player defeats all the hybrids and vampires in their way, eventually meeting with the leader of the vampires in an attempt to keep the peace. Unfortunately, the leader also wants full-scale war against the humans, and plans to change the whole city into nightwalkers. The player is forced to fight and defeat him.
It turns out the head vampire wasn't really the true leader of nightwalkers in the city, as he was advised by two nightwalkers who were naturally born as vampires and can survive in the daytime. The player fights and kills the first. The second doesn't resist and offers the player the choice to kill him or not, claiming that the future of the nightwalker race will soon be revealed.
After the player has left the final battle, if he chose to end him the haunting young girl appears. She pours blood onto the ashes of the leader, and he is resurrected. If one chose not to kill him the lamenting leader vacates the premises only for the little girl to appear beside him and they walk off together.
Vampire Rain is a stealth game similar in nature to the Splinter Cell or Metal Gear series. Players are tasked with navigating their character through city streets, while avoiding the vampire enemies that patrol the streets disguised as ordinary human citizens. Players will often have to take alternate routes, such as climbing onto rooftops or through alleys, to avoid enemy encounters.
Unlike most stealth-action games, Vampire Rain places heavy emphasis on pure stealth. Enemies are extremely fast and can kill the player in two hits; the first hit usually immobilizes the player, giving the vampire sufficient time to land a second, killing blow. Additionally, for the first third of the game, players lack any weaponry that can kill vampires effectively without spending a large amount of ammunition. In effect, most attempts to initiate combat generally results in the player's death. Also, unlike most stealth games, there is usually no effective means to hide or escape once an enemy has spotted the player, which results in the player dying soon after being spotted. Successful completion of many missions thus generally requires total avoidance of enemies by figuring out the correct route to pass through the mission area without being detected.
Later in the game, players are given high-powered weapons which prove more effective against the game's vampire enemies. Also, there are a few pre-scripted action sequences that involve fighting against multiple enemies, generally with the assistance of teammates or special environmental hazards. The player's arsenal includes a handgun, sub-machine gun, assault rifle, shotgun, sniper rifle, anti-armor rifle and a UV Knife used to stab an enemy from behind for an instant kill.
If the player collects enough "Medals" that are either placed in hidden or difficult to reach spots throughout the game as well as passing certain missions under certain conditions such as within a time-limit, without needing to retry from a checkpoint or without killing any Nightwalkers will reward the player with extra side-missions and challenges.
Online multiplayer involves up to eight players in standard modes such as deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the flag, as well as the unique mode which allows one to become a nightwalker and fight opponents with extreme speed and power. All the firearms are available online and the gameplay is handled like in single player.
The game was poorly received. Reviews ranged from the lukewarm to the scathing. GameRankings tallies the review average as 38.82%; and Metacritic tallies the reviews at 38/100. ScrewAttack gave it the 2007 SAGY award for "Worst Xbox 360 Game of 2007" after receiving over half of the final total votes.
The reviews criticized Vampire Rain's enemy AI, controls, health meters for both the protagonist and enemies, and multiplayer modes. The game was also criticized for having elements derived from Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell but with much less appeal. The game was criticized for being too hard and for the linear level design. The game was complimented for its eerie music. Vampire Rain: Altered Species was also poorly received. A GameSpot review admonished the updated PlayStation 3 version of game for not undergoing major changes from the Xbox 360 version. IGN calls the Altered Species game "a trainwreck".
- Ignition and AQ Join Forces to Bring Vampire Rain: Altered Species to North America and Europe. Retrieved on June 3, 2008
- GameRankings: Vampire Rain Reviews
- Metacritic: Vampire Rain
- IGN: Vampire Rain Review, Part 1
- NZGamer.com's Vampire Rain Review. Retrieved on August 29, 2008.
- Gamespot's Vampire Rain: Altered Species Review.
- IGN's Vampire Rain: Altered Species Review.
- Kotaku Magu: This Week's Famitsu Scores