BloodRayne Betrayal first released just over 10 years ago, and players that missed out on the game the first time around are getting a second chance this week with the release of BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites. The game once again puts players in the role of Rayne, but this time in a 2D action platformer. Just in time for Fresh Bites to release on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, WayForward‘s Adam Tierney spoke to ComicBook.com about the new version of the game. Tierney is WayForward’s director of business development and publishing. The BloodRayne franchise has disappeared over the last few years, but Fresh Bites could represent an opportunity for the series to find a new audience.
BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites differs from the version released in 2011, offering fully voiced dialogue and some balancing to the game’s difficulty level. Tierney discusses the possibility of future BloodRayne games from WayForward, and where things could go from here. Read on to learn more about the new veriosn of the game and what might be in store for the future of BloodRayne!
Comicbook.com: It’s been 10 years since BloodRayne Betrayal first released. What inspired the team to revisit the game with Fresh Bites?
Adam Tierney: BloodRayne Betrayal is one of the licensed games from our back catalog that we’ve always been most fond of, and we’ve had a large number of fans request us to bring it to modern consoles in the decade since it was originally released. When Ziggurat acquired the IP and rights to the game, they reached out and asked if WayForward would be interested in updating the game and porting it to modern consoles with HD visuals. We saw this as a great opportunity to bring the game to a new generation of WayForward and BloodRayne fans, and hopefully build up excitement toward the brand in general to eventually warrant some new BloodRayne adventures.
The original game’s difficulty level resulted in some wildly different review scores. What impact did that have on development for Fresh Bites?
We definitely began the process by taking a look at what feedback we’d received over the past decade in regard to the game’s difficulty. Challenging games are fine, but there were a few spots in the game where fans felt the challenge crossed into frustration. So we made some minor tweaks to elements in those areas, and also adjusted Rayne’s health and damage values slightly to make the game more balanced toward the average player. That said, these adjustments are tied to a menu toggle in the game, so any players that want the pure, original experience with no changes made to the difficulty can still play that tougher version on new consoles.
What challenges were there revisiting the title?
Not much, really. The process mostly involves opening up the source code, making fixes to get it working on modern consoles, and also making adjustments so that all the visuals would be in HD (up to 4K), as opposed to the original game, which sported a 720p resolution. Locating and adjusting assets to all be HD-appropriate took some effort, but was still a relatively easy process. And then we worked with Ziggurat to decide what sort of additions to the game would be worth spending time and effort on, settling on full VO as the biggest value add to this version of the game.
If Fresh Bites performs well enough, has there been talk of another 2D follow-up?
We hope so! We’ve expressed an interest to Ziggurat in WayForward working on a brand-new BloodRayne game. I think it’s safe to say the likelihood of something like that happening hinges largely on the sales of this port and how interested gamers seem in more BloodRayne adventures.
Laura Bailey and Troy Baker are reprising their roles in the series for the first time since 2004. What led to their roles in Fresh Bites?
The original Betrayal was always very dialogue-heavy, but since it was produced back before WayForward really did much VO in our games, the dialogue was text-only in word bubbles above the characters. However, the fact that those words already existed in gameplay made it much easier for us to implement full VO audio, and bring back the original cast like Laura and Troy, without having to substantially rework the gameflow at all. Having now played the new version with full VO, it’s hard to imagine the game without it. It really takes the game’s story to a new level hearing these incredible actors bring each line to life.
Bringing Back BloodRayne
The BloodRayne series took a long break after the release of Betrayal. What makes the game a logical “restart” point for the franchise?
In addition to Betrayal, Ziggurat also worked with the developer of the first two games, Terminal Reality, to bring them back on PC. So with Fresh Bites being released, gamers will be able to play all three original BloodRayne games on modern hardware for the first time in quite a while. I think Ziggurat saw reviving all three of these games as a way to test the waters and find out what existing BloodRayne fan base remained before investing in future games in the series. For WayForward’s involvement, Betrayal included a lot of what our studio does best — action-platforming, 2D animation, compelling storytelling — so I think a next entry would likely feel like a fresh start for the brand, but also act as an extension of what we did in Betrayal.
What to know
What do newcomers need to know about the BloodRayne franchise heading into this game?
Rayne is a badass, sexy, snarky dhampir who spends our game eviscerating and decapitating hundreds of vampires, creatures, and soldiers. It’s so bloody, we had to program a fluid blood system because typical bloody VFX wouldn’t suffice. It’s tough, it’s fast, and it’s awesome.
Reason to return
For those that already played the original BloodRayne Betrayal, what’s the best reason to check out the new release?
Replaying the game in full HD and seeing greater clarity in Rayne’s feature film-style 2D animations and the gorgeous, inky backgrounds is worth the price of readmission alone. But I think hearing Laura voice Rayne again, which also now makes it so that she’s voiced Rayne in all three games, is the standout feature of this new release. Even though it had been over 15 years since Laura last voiced Rayne, right near the start of her incredible VO career, she slid back into the character as if she’d never stopped voicing her. We can’t wait for fans to hear her new performance, and experience (or re-experience) the game on modern systems.
BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites is now available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Do you plan on checking out the game? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!