A Review For A Video Game That Doesn’t Exist

Blood Reign: City Streets
Delgate Studios

The sophomore release from Delgate Studios is a success. Enough has been said about the gameplay and the gimmicky soundtrack, but I feel these aspects overshadow what is its finest asset: atmosphere.

You are transported to the world of Elmhurst, a city that is a copy and paste of New York City aesthetics and filled with baddies with the same sword-guns from the first Blood Reign. But this time the stakes are much higher. You can feel the weight of the world and all of the consequences that come from every decision, regardless how minute. And it is these details that push this game into the 90th percentile for us. From the loading screens that double as unintrusive exposition, to things like foreboding graffiti on the subway cars in the third level. In less skilled hands these touches would stand out and appear contrived, but here they are laid out casually, daring you to play through the level without noticing them.

The only complaint I would have aside from the lack of new enemy weapons would be the numerous side missions involving the underground agents. In a game where they go to such lengths to make the world seem lived in, and the options for your next move seem endless, it is a disappointment to have to constantly stop your progress to save all these children. Children you do not have any connection to, and who do not even thank you after you help them.

 But these are small blemishes on the wonderful whole.

It was reported before release that game director Mochizuki Tomiichi had a nervous breakdown while completing this, and will not be returning to work for the rest of the year. An hour into this game, you will agree that it was all worth it.

A Story on a Train

It was late October, and I was taking the PATCO home to NJ. The train was packed with baseball fans who were celebrating a win, or lamenting a loss; in Philly the two look the same. The phillies were offering some sort of incentive to attend the game in full costume. And so I smooshed into an aisle seat next to a sloppy Harry Potter and an accurately drunk Captain Sparrow. The surge in passengers and intoxication brought about pairs of police that roamed the trains in an attempt to keep the revelry from becoming something else.

Two officers made their way down our car towards me. Half way down a man attempted to stand without wobbling, and then finally accepted his sloppiness as an inevitability and used the seats in front of him to stand in the aisle, blocking the path of the police. They approached him calmly, and the one officer stood face to face with him. The cop opened his mouth to say something, but before he could the drunk leers forward at him, shouts “YOUR COSTUME SUCKS”, and proceeds to vomit all over the cops pants and shoes.

They got off at the next stop, and I lifted my shoes up onto the seat in case the vomit proved to be more beer than food.