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Blood Wake is a ship combat title taking place across an assortment of rivers, bays, straights, and oceans in a fictional setting inspired by ancient China. As a gifted young lieutenant named Shao Kai, who finds himself rescued at sea by the Shadow Clan after a savage attack, players begin a 28-level quest for vengeance against both the Jade Kingdom and mighty Iron Empire. Each level features an objective, from protecting a group of ships against marauding pirates to all-out assaults on enemy fortresses.
As players progress through the Story Mode, more and more boats will become available, each outfitted with specific weapon payloads and differing in size and power. A total of 14 boats, two of which are hidden, are divided into the following five classes: Speedboat, Catamaran, Gunboat, Devil Boat, and Hydroplane. Each vessel is equipped with two to four primary and up to seven secondary weapons. Primary weapons offer unlimited ammo, while secondary weapons are more powerful but are limited in number.
Depending on the vessel, a player's main attack consists of either chain guns or auto-cannons. Secondary weapons are also based on ship type, and may include torpedoes, rocket launchers, mines, stingers, and a wave gun. A circular radar in the top left corner of the screen delineates friendly and enemy vessels as well as land targets. Turbo, secondary weapon ammo, and armor levels are depicted in the screen's upper right corner. Players can replenish both secondary weapons and armor by collecting floating crates left behind by defeated vessels.
In addition to the single-player Story Mode, Blood Wake features a Battle Mode supporting up to four players via split-screen. Survivor, Free for All, and Team Deathmatch games have players either racking up as many kills as possible within a time limit or trying to reach a specified kill count. Domination is a King of the Hill variant, which involves maintaining control over a region until the time limit is reached. Each game can be played against up to three human or computer opponents. Blood Wake also supports codes, one of which unlocks a soccer-style multiplayer game of Blood Ball. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide