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Blood II: The Chosen

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Blood II: The Chosen
Blood2-cover-(mobygames.com).jpg
"I don't have time to play with you!" (Caleb)
Genre(s): First-Person Shooter
Platform(s): Microsoft Windows
Release: November 20, 1998
Developer(s): Monolith Productions
Publisher(s): GT Interactive
Country: United States
Series: Blood
Predecessor: Blood: Plasma Pack
Successor: Blood II: Revelations (cancelled)

Blood II: The Chosen is the sequel to Blood. This game was the only official sequel for Blood so far.

Plot

In 2028, Caleb has spent the last century since Blood searching for a way to resurrect his comrades, The Chosen, who were killed in the previous game by the Cabal, a cult dedicated to the worship of the evil god, Tchernobog. The Cabal, in the meantime, has spent the century since Tchernobog's death by Caleb's hands turning the cult into a global mega-corporation called CabalCo, which uses its economic influence to control the world's populace. This is all thanks to Gideon, the Cabal's current leader who has been raised to restore Tchernobog and destroy Caleb, now called the "Great Betrayer".

Bad Qualities

  1. Everything the first Blood did right, this game did wrong, due to Monolith being forced by GT Interactive to rush development in time for a 1998 Christmas launch.
    • The game is unforgiving just like the first game, but this time it's because the levels place more enemies and let them deal higher damage; the only noticeable difference is that your maximum health is also determined by difficulty, with the easiest allowing for 200 normal health and the hardest dropping you to just 50.
      • The Shikari, one of the most common enemies, is extremely unforgiving and unsatisfying to battle. Consequently, the player may find it easier to run away instead of fight, missing out on the few interesting segments.
      • Another enemy that becomes common early on is the Drudge Lord, and he is far more unforgiving than the Shikari.
      • The enemies that grab Caleb, the Life Leech, the severed Hands and the Thief, will likely kill the player because the manuals don't state clearly what to do when you are grabbed. So the player will likely just watch while Caleb's life meter reaches zero.
      • Two enemies featured near the end of the game, the Drudge Priest and the Death Shroud, are extremely difficult.
    • The original Blood had repetitive graphics, but the use of 3D with 2D elements was well done and surprisingly made the levels feel different. This game is fully in 3D, with many textures and models being reused often and little to no attention to detail.
    • Forgettable and bland soundtrack.
    • The original Blood was noted for having a frightening atmosphere full of bloodshed. While this game is also full of bloodshed, the bad graphic quality, forgettable soundtrack, and repetitive textures take away any chance for it to be scary.
    • In the first game, Caleb, the protagonist, had many funny one-liners despite the scary atmosphere. Now he has far less lines, and lines he does have are rather uninspired.
    • The first Blood had many pop culture references. This game has far less references, and most of them will pass unnoticed thanks to the fact that most players will be too busy running from overpowered enemies to take notice.
    • There is only one Death Ray, and it's very well-hidden. If you don't have a flashlight, you're not likely to find it without resorting to a guide.
  2. Mediocre shooting mechanics, common to many FPS games at the time.
  3. There are many weapons, but they have very little differences besides damage level.
  4. At the time it was released, Blood II didn't work on some computers for technical reasons.
  5. The game is filled with copy-and-past areas, particularly with levels set on subway trains, of which there are three across the first half of the game (two each starting the first two chapters, then another one halfway through the second chapter), and two of which even play out and end the exact same way (Caleb murders everyone, gets to the front, then the train crashes into another one), with the only difference being in enemy types (only Cultists the first time, adding Fanatics and Drudge Lords the second). Most examples, however, are the result of trying to emulate a Hub Level-style system without actually having hub levels, such as the part of the city with a laundromat from level 2 (which you come back to twice, once after visiting a museum and crossing through some tenements, then once after a sewer system, the Center for Disease Management, and through an airship - you can even skip almost the entire chapter, straight from C1L2 to C1L11, by simply noclipping through some vents in the back of the laundromat) and the CabalCo headquarters way near the end (where you play through the level, find a locked door and sidetrack to a power station to open it, go back and progress further, find another locked door and sidetrack to the R&D section to look for a keycard, then go back a third time to finally find the real exit to the roof).
  6. The game has only one expansion pack, named The Nightmare Levels, which is riddled with plot holes and anachronisms in relation to the first Blood and its expansions.
    • This happened because the player is not supposed to take its plot literally, but this doesn't stop this expansion from screwing the once perfect Blood timeline.
  7. Speaking of the expansion pack, it is a huge departure from the rest of the series with colorful scenarios, a few new enemies, and far more unforgiving difficulty than the base game. Most of the few new elements of this expansion pack were just taken and reused from a scrapped level of Blood II.
  8. The innocent NPCs are very annoying, screaming for the player to spare their lives, and they are everywhere in some levels.
  9. The final boss of the main game, the Ancient One, is just an "I'm gonna destroy the world because I'm so evil" antagonist, which is another huge (and bad) departure from the first game.
  10. This pretty much killed the Blood franchise, as there's been no attempt at a third game since.
  11. Sequelitis: The first Blood is considered a cult classic of early FPS design, with its distinctive aesthetic, crazy weapons, and challenging and ambitious levels. The second game is generally remembered for being unfinished, with unbalanced gameplay and a severe bug infestation.

Good Qualities

  1. Despite the game's terrible aging, it is still fun to play for people who really liked the first game.
  2. Blood II itself, without Nightmare Levels, took advantage of many plot holes from the first game and answered them.
  3. At least this game tried something new. There are more cutscenes, dialogue and character development.
    • It is possible that the final boss of the main game was also going to have character development in sequels.
  4. Some of the voice acting is not bad, with Stephan M. Weyte reprising his role as Caleb.
  5. The Nightmare Levels expansion added new firing modes for the weapons and some new features on the main game for replay value.
  6. It has mod support, including the Extra Crispy mod which fixes many frustrating difficulty spikes, touches up the graphics a bit, makes the playable characters stronger and gives them unique weapons at the start, and fixes other problems.

Reception

Blood II: The Chosen received mostly positive reviews from critics, but mixed to negative reviews from fans of the first game and is widely considered to be the second worst game from Monolith Productions next to Contract J.A.C.K. in 2003.

Gmanlives, being a fan of the first game, placed this game at number 6 on his Top 7 Disappointing Sequels to FPS games list.

Civvie 11 considers it one of the worst games he's ever reviewed for the channel. In fact, his review for the game holds the world record for the most amount of Gordan Ramsey clips used in a single review for his channel.

Videos

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