Blood II: The Chosen – The Nightmare Levels (1999)

Expansion packs can more than live up to their name, sure in the era of D.L.C. their purpose has been replaced with a more incremental and piecemeal solution, But a good Expansion Pack can revolutionise how you think about a game and in some cases, make the final product just a bit closer to the intended vision than could be done under the initial development. In 1999, some discarded content of Blood 2 was reworked into a follow-up chapter, delving deeper into the plot that the developers could not do before. In Blood 2 The Nightmare Levels.

This expansion puts the player against the stuff of Nightmares.

The nefarious Gideon has finally met his demise, but that still has not stopped him narrating. Our, for lack of a better word, heroes, have taken a break and decided to relax by telling ghost stories and tales from their past. Caleb recounting the time he last fought with the cultist a century ago, Ophelia and her experiences with her Sorority, Gabriella’s stay at a haunted house and Ishmael’s tragic backstory in a carnival freak show. If that was not enough, an interdimensional deity is making each of them relive their nightmares. It is up to The Chosen to stop this threat by facing the fears they thought they buried long ago.

Gideon’s dead, baby! but that doesn’t stop him talking!

The expansion adds an array of five levels that draw a lot from the pasts of The Chosen, notably Caleb’s, cleverly remaking key levels from the original game. It is a treat to see the iconic Blood Cultist making a return, and the iconic battle-cries too. The members of The Chosen get more of their backstory fleshed out (no pun intended). More so since the initial game had to make some tough sacrifices to reach its deadline. A lot of these levels retain the contemporary setting as opposed to being set over a century ago, Especially the sorority that adds to the game’s film-inspired mythos with a newer entry akin to the scream franchise.

Some levels retcon the story somewhat, but it provides a reference to more modern horror films, and could be explained by the deity’s magic.

There is more in store than just the new story. The multiplayer gains some new maps and the new weapons included like the Flayer seem intriguing additions to an already full arsenal. Players even get one or two new creatures, such as the taunting goblin are also fun additions. Ultimately if you were fancying a little more after the campaign, or looking to spice up the multiplayer rounds, The Nightmare Levels is an easy recommendation.

The classic cultists make a return,.. Now in 3.D.

With this being the premature conclusion to the tales of Caleb et al. that combines the franchise’s strength, and some unanswered questions into a fitting send-off. It shows that this universe and characters still had a lot of unutilised potential, imagination and ingenuity and can muster greatness in a smaller package. On its own, The Nightmare Levels adds a lot more to make the standard Blood 2 more of a complete experience. Since they are packaged together on modern Storefronts, it is now hard to get one without the other. For fans of the franchise, that would want a little more time, these nightmare levels are anything but.

… though some embrace the level’s themes.

If you want more positive reviews delivered to the e-mail box of your choice, you can click on that little text bubble at the bottom of the screen. Do you agree or disagree? or have a suggestion for another pop-culture artefact that needs a positive light shone on it? Leave a comment in the comment box below! But remember to keep it positive!

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