It's funny how a developer such as Hammerhead can go from making Quake II for PSOne, and churning it into one of the best FPS games on the PSOne, into a game as average as Blade. The Wesley Snipes Marvel action flick was released back in 1999, the movie wasn't exactly as groundbreaking as say Marvel's X-Men movie was, but it was still decent and was received well to a good audience. Of course if you don't know Blade is a vampire with deceased parents, and his environments are gothic based. It was pretty obvious that a company will sooner or later get their hands on the Blade license, and Activision was that company, they already have Spider-Man and X-Men, so why not add another Marvel game to the list? Well I think that Activision should have cancelled production of Blade or at least tell Hammerhead to perk up the frame rate and maybe then the game could have been better, here's the story.
Blade's biggest problem is its nearly unplayable frame rate and jerky camera movement. When moving around the screen you'll notice how unstable the frame rates are, they will constantly speed up and slow down, which will cause some irritation to the eye, and the jumpy camera is another flawed aspect in the game. If it wasn't for the game's decayed frame rate, I would have most likely given the visuals somewhere in the eights, if you overlook the frame rates, you'll notice some very nice detailed polygonal bodies, Blade is a solid built character with some great looking animations for movement, the arms and legs are nicely attached to the body and there are no visual seems or polygonal clipping between them. As far as character detail goes, Hammerhead did a nice job of creating some nice looking models, that is also including enemies. The environments are nice but a bit too repetitive for me to praise, the detail and all is there, but the same structures are re-used a countless number of times throughout the game, giving it almost like this "Looney Tunes" background feel, if you know what I mean. The structures such as crates, tables, and lamps look good for the most part, and I've got nothing to complain about their detail, but like I said they are recycled far too often and then re-used. Overall Blade's visuals would have probably scored somewhere in the eights, but because of the horrible frame rate that makes this game almost unplayable, I had no choice but to take off three crucial points.
As you start off the game, you will find yourself hanging off a weather helicopter, as an announcer is rambling about the stormy rain, Blade then drops down on what looks to be a train stop or warehouse of some sort, here is where the game begins. As Blade you will have the ability to use not only guns, but your fists and feet as well. Blade will have a variety of guns to use, you can pick up pistols such as handguns, or you can pick up shotguns, or if you prefer the machine gun artillery then you've got Uzis to accompany you. With guns you need enemies to practice on and Blade will give you a variety of enemies such as Zombies, Vampires, Policemen, Militia, Attack dogs, and SWAT Guards. Each enemy is susceptible to a different weapon, humans are prone to guns, while vampires are more vulnerable to carbon bullets in the head and also a good ass kicking. But because of the frame rate, Blade quickly becomes annoying, and on top of that the action is far too linear and quite repetitive, although at times it could be amusing. It's hard to imagine a flawed game such as Blade, after X-Men: Mutant Academy and Spider-Man two of the best comic book games to grace any console. You may want to at least rent Blade, but I feel that you will quickly get bored of it.
The soundtrack is noticeably bad, the game has the same beat playing over and over again, a lot like early first and second generation titles were. All you hear is a repetitive track playing the same beat over and over again, so your only hope of not listening to it is hitting the MUTE button. The voice acting is fairly good, but Wesley Snipes' voice makes no appearance and that could either be a good or bad thing, depending on if you like him or not. The voices are clear and well understood, so that isn't much of problem, but the boring soundtrack is though.
Strangely enough with the inclusion of a side-step, the controls still stink, the reason why is because you need a strafe button, what the game offers you is a stupid cheap imitation of a strafe, all Blade does is side-step and in a game like Blade you always have to keep your action fast. The analog has about three motions of sensitivity, and I wouldn't really qualify that as anything but another cheap approach to making the game's controls look or feel good. The Dual Shock is good, the feedback is strong, but I've felt much better. Of course also this being an adventure game and all, Blade can jump, punch, kick, open doors, fire weapons, he can lock on to targets and shoot at them by using the R2 button. Blade's controls are slow though and could have been much better than they are now, and I think more time Blade could have even turned out to be a great game.
With Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, X-Men, Spider-Man and Tenchu 2 being released earlier this year, Blade is one helluva game to kill Activision's incredible videogame streak. Not only is the videogame release of Blade late as ever, but the game couldn't even be saved if it was released simultaneously with the movie, because of its messed up frame rate, and overall boring gameplay experience, Blade is a title that is only worth a rental, and hardcore Marvel or Blade fans may really want to think twice before spending $40 on the game. Do me a favor, if you are looking for an action experience check out Syphon Filter 1 and 2, Metal Gear Solid, or Spider-Man, you will not regret it.