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Vampire Rain: Altered Species

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Vampire Rain: Altered Species (originally titled Vampire Rain) is a video game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It was released in for the Xbox 360 in Japan on January 25, 2007 and in North America on July 3, 2007. The PlayStation 3 version was released in Japan on August 21, 2008 and in North America on September 2, 2008.

Gameplay

Vampire Rain is a stealth-action 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 one or two hits; additionally, for the first third of the game, players lack any weaponry that can kill vampires effectively. In effect, any attempt to initiate combat generally results in the player's death. Also, unlike most stealth games, there is no effective means to hide or escape once an enemy has spotted the player, which usually 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.

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.

Reception

For the large part, the game was poorly received. Reviews ranged from the lukewarm to the scathing. GameStats tallies the review average as 3.6/10; GameRankings tallies the review average as 40%; 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 praised though for its eerie music used. Vampire Rain: Altered Species has also been received poorly, according to a GameSpot review that states that the game didn't receive major changes from the Xbox 360 version. IGN calls the Altered Species game "a trainwreck".

In Japan, however, the game was more well-received, with Famitsu granting the game a score of 30/40.

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