home > preview > Buffy the Vampire Slayer Preview (Xbox)
GamesFirst! Online since 1995

|| Get Prices

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Preview (Xbox)
game: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
posted by: Monica Hafer
publisher: Electronic Arts
date posted: 09:10 AM Thu May 30th, 2002

Ok, so I'm definitely a fan-girl. I watch Buffy every week, I own the first season on DVD, and I even have screensavers on my computer that feature the slayer. So when I saw that one of the games coming out on the XBox was a 3rd person action/adventure game starring the stake-wielder herself, I put the EA booth at E3 at the top of my to-do list. And I was definitely not disappointed.

The plot from this game is almost straight from the TV show's first season. For those of you not cool enough (or obsessed enough, rather) to know what this entails, I'll give you the Reader's Digest version. Buffy is seventeen years old and has just moved to Sunnydale. She and her new group of misfit friends must stop an ancient vampire called The Master (alright, so they weren't that imaginative with names at that point) from building a bridge between Hell and earth and unleashing hoards of hellspawn demons. Although this game is bereft of the voice of Sarah Michelle Gellar--the characters Xander, Willow, Cordelia, Spike, Angel, Giles, and The Master are all sporting the voices of their real-life counterparts.

The game takes place in each of these scenic locations: Sunnydale High School, the cemetery, The Bronze nightclub, and the library (which is the portal to the Hellmouth). The representative that I talked to at the EA booth said that most levels have at least 12 mission objectives, and although the cemetery was the only one they were showing off, I think that the game will have enough breadth and depth to keep a gamer busy. The controls seem intuitive, and Buffy has some great martial arts and gymnastics moves along with the \"slayer powers\" of super jump, speed, and strength. She is also helped along in her battles by \"slayer sense\" and quick healing.

I was grinning from ear-to-ear when I saw that not only was the slayer armed with such staples as stakes, holy water, and a crossbow, but weapons can also be combined (can you say flaming crossbow, boys and girls?) and items from the environment can be picked up--shovels, staffs, and, in a pinch, even the broken legs of chairs (because vanquishing vampires requires piercing the heart, a dash of holywater, or a good sunburn). There is also a treasure hunt element, as stakes have been hidden throughout each of the levels. But you have to be careful, because if you drop your weapon, your enemies can pick it up and use it against you. Of course, Buffy kicks butt with her fighting and grappling moves, which seem easy to pick up. They also seem much more complex than a three-move button pounding combo, but kicking and grappling can only get you so far against the undead.

By far, the best element of this game is the blend of cheesy dialogue and absolute butt-kicking seriousness that the TV series is known for. Buffy's witty repartee while saving the world brings joy to my heart, and I believe that the developers (The Collective) definitely had some fans working on this title (I'd make a crack about the stakes being high for them, but you'd be expecting that one, right?). If the level I played is any indication, this game is going to be, at the very least, a heck of a lot of fun. I am happy to see a game that doesn't rest on the laurels of blind fan devotion and follows through on the promise of quality game play. In fact, I'm clearing space on my shelf for this title as we speak...