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The storyline for Chaos Bleeds was penned by Chris Golden and Tom Sneigoski (who both wrote for the TV series). Although the big baddie for this game is The First, the authors have created an original story which still fits nicely with the other Buffy mythology (no Lucasesque faux pas here). The First has created an alternate universe to attempt to circumvent his demise, and he has enlisted the dead, the undead, and the we-wish-they-were-dead to try and stop the Scoobies (and friends) in this third person fighting adventure. The rogues gallery features Kakistos, Ripper Giles, werewolves, Bat Beasts, and Zombie Gorillas (just to name a few).
You will alternate playing as Buffy, Xander, Willow, Spike, and Faith (as well as Sid the Dummy starting in the second level) and each level is set up to insure that character's special skills will be necessary to move you through the plot. Each character has unique fighting styles and weapons and there are tons more special moves and combos. There are training modes for each of our heroes, and a voice-over trainer for each of them (Giles instructing Buffy, Buffy instructing Spike, and so forth, although poor Xander apparently getsŽno one.) The developers paid special attention to the graphics for the characters, and the faces on our heroes have definitely evolved.
There are 12 levels of puzzle solving, butt kicking action in the single player mode, but the best part about this game is the multiplayer function. You can have up to 4 players in modes which include Last Man Standing, Domination, Versus, and Anya's favorite, Bunny Catcher. This game seems to have added lots more depth in the single player mode and the addition of multiplayer action gives this version a huge advantage over its predecessor. A console game that allows you to invite your own gang over for slaying carnage has a much longer shelf life than one that only lets you play by yourself. And Harish Rao hinted at two secrets to be discovered in the multiplayer mode (what a teaseŽI can't wait!).
Last but most certainly not least, for all the fans out there, the original cast members are back for all the voice-overs and cut scenes. The title also includes great bonus content, including cast interviews, photos, storyboards, a "making of" for the game, and a bonus e-comic. With so much love for the fans, I am willing to bet that Chaos Bleeds will be just the thing to combat our Buffy blues. This game comes out on all three platforms (another bonus over its predecessor) in late summer/early fall 2003.
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