Confession time: I’m a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’ve binged through the entire series from start to finish more than a few times, and I still make sure to watch Emmy-nominated episode Hush at least once a year, usually around Halloween. I’m not ashamed of my love for the series, but there is one Buffy experience I wish I could go back in time and take back: the 2003 video game Chaos Bleeds.
I was a high school freshman without much money of my own when the game came out, but I was able to convince my parents (also die-hard Buffy fans) to buy the game for me. I couldn’t wait to play it, and I remember eagerly unwrapping the package and sliding the disc into my trusty PlayStation 2. I also remember playing for roughly an hour and then never touching the game again.
There was so much wrong with Chaos Bleeds that I don’t even know where to start. The mechanics were terrible, making it extremely difficult to move around the fictional vampire-infested town of Sunnydale, CA (let alone fight off a few attacking monsters). The game was also constantly asking you to solve frustrating puzzles or track down magical objects that were hidden a little too well. Finally, the graphics were pretty awful, even by early 2000 standards.
It’s a shame, because the game had tons of potential. You could play as the full cast of characters, including Buffy and her friends, a few familiar vampires, demons and even Sid, the living ventriloquist’s dummy with a heart of gold. There was an original story, and a variety of multiplayer modes that let you compete with your friends. Unfortunately, this part of the game was even worse than the main campaign. It felt like something tacked on at the last minute without much thought or effort.
Chaos Bleeds was probably the worst video game I ever got as a gift or bought for myself. I’m just thankful it didn’t ruin Buffy the Vampire Slayer for me altogether.