Bloodrayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites – An Interview with Michael Devine about New Features
I didn’t play Bloodrayne: Betrayal when it was released way back in 2011. I hear it was a pretty slick platformer. Recently, Ziggurat Interactive released a remake of the game with the original developer; Wayforward. Now titled Bloodrayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites, it brings in a slew of changes to the classic action platformer. There’s a spiffy upgrade to 4K, along with new voice work from the likes of Laura Bailey and Troy Baker. We got to sit down with Michael Devine, SVP of business development at ZIggurat, to talk about this new and updated version.
DXP: Why Bloodrayne, why now?
MD: Since we started the company two years ago, we’ve relaunched and curated almost 100 classic retro games, but BloodRayne stands alone in its fanbase, following, and success. When you add in that our friends at WayForward were equally excited to tackle the original BloodRayne Betrayal and make an even more stunning version for modern platforms, it was an easy decision.
DXP: The original has a bit of a cult following, will Fresh Bites provide updates fans want to see?
MD: We really can’t stress enough how having Laura Bailey and Troy Baker voice their iconic characters adds to the narrative immersion of the game. Also, this version is retooled for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One X|S, Xbox Series X, and finally comes to a Nintendo console for the very first time on Switch. From the responses we’ve seen so far from announcing the game was in the works, I’d say we’re giving fans plenty of what they’re hoping for.
DXP: Outside of the Bloodrayne fandom, can this game stand on its own in a sea of sidescrollers?
MD: With its tight and fluid controls, vibrant art, compelling level design, and Rayne’s unique abilities — like feeding on prey (or detonating them with the poison bite), Fresh Bites holds its own quite well as a distinct and satisfying action-platformer. And we think it could be seen as ahead of its time in some respects in a genre that has exploded since its original release.
DXP: What features make the game stand out vs. something like, say, Hollow Knight?
MD: Aside from the new voice acting in Fresh Bites, BloodRayne Betrayal stands out for its emphasis on combat and for how its level design creates tense and memorable battle scenarios. For example, it can be difficult to get a letter grade higher than F on many stages, as you’ll need to travel fast and dispatch your enemies faster. Also, the gameplay is more focused on action than exploration, but there are a surprising number of secrets tucked away for those players expeditious enough to track them down.
DXP: When going back and looking at the original, what was most important for you to update?
MD: While the original game was well received by many, some players found its difficulty unfair at times. Fresh Bites can be enjoyed with that same punishing difficulty in “Classic” mode, or played with a new rebalanced difficulty in “Standard” mode. This was one of the updates WayForward was most excited to make for this version of the game.
DXP: Ziggurat specializes in remakes and remasters. What else is getting the magic touch next?
MD: We’ve spent over a year working with Empty Clip studios on the restoration of the never-released Atari Jaguar game, “American Hero.” That is just about to get a release date. We are also big fans of “A Boy and His Blob” and have some announcements regarding that coming up. And of course, we’re not nearly done with BloodRayne!
DXP: What spurred the focus on remasters vs. Original IPs?
MD: That’s a great question. We love all things retro and have the catalog to prove it. We focus on the restoration and curation of games to get them playable and enjoyable on modern platforms. Wherever possible we try to work with the original developers like WayForward, Terminal Reality, and others. That said, are new games possible within these IPs – 100% 🙂 Stay tuned.
DXP: Anything to say to the horror games community at large?
MD: Ziggurat continues to grow our expanding catalog that includes horror shooter classics like Last Rites and Killing Time, and even a horror RPG, The Legacy: Realm of Terror. However, BloodRayne is by far our biggest entry in the horror genre and we’re excited to keep fans talking about Rayne and her bloody exploits with our new enhanced editions.
I’d like to thank Michael for his time. You can pick up Bloodrayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites here.