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Blade II is a 2002 action beat ’em up video game developed by Mucky Foot Productions and published by Activision for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Originally scheduled for North American release on the same day as the theatrical release of the 2002 film of the same name (March 22), it was ultimately released on September 3, the same day the film was released on DVD.
The game is not a direct adaptation of the film, but is actually a sequel, taking place between the events of Blade II and Blade: Trinity. Set six months after the events of the film, it follows Blade and Whistler as they attempt to prevent the vampires from creating a race of super-vampires even more powerful than the Reapers.
The developers championed the game as introducing a new type of never-before-seen melee combat into video gaming. However, most reviewers disliked the system, and the game as a whole was met with mainly negative reviews on both the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox. The game was also a commercial failure, selling less than half a million units across both platforms.
Blade II is an action/beat ’em up game played from a third-person perspective, with the player controlling Blade’s movement via the left analog stick. The game primarily focuses on melee combat, although it does allow the use of firearms.
Combat is controlled via the right analog stick, allowing for what the developers call a “360° combat system” – the player moves the stick in the direction in which they want to attack and Blade punches or kicks in that direction. The player has no control over what kind of attack Blade executes, only the direction in which he attacks. Blade can also block, chain attacks together into combos and perform “finishing moves”, such as grabbing an enemy in a headlock and driving a stake into their head.
A major feature of the game is Rage mode. Fighting slowly and methodically charges up Blade’s Rage meter through three levels: “Sword”, “Shield” and “Strength”. If the player activates Rage mode on the first level, Blade will take out his sword and use it for a limited amount of time. If activated on the second level, Blade uses his sword and becomes invincible. If activated on the third level, Blade uses his sword, becomes invincible and increases in strength.
At the start of the game Blade is equipped with only a “mach pistol”, but as the player advances they can unlock other weapons and accessories; a shotgun, a glaive, stronger body armor, silver knuckles, UV grenades, and serum to increase Blade’s health regeneration.
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