"Another "Killer" Legacy in the Kain series"

I have been a huge fan of the Legacy of Kain (LOK) series since the 1st blood omen back in 96.
When Eidos took the story by introducing the Soul Reaver series I was thrilled, and loved every moment of the game; however (as most gamers) left empty by the conclusion. I waited patiently for the next 2 years to be once again let down by a great game with a lack of bosses and non-conclusive ending.
I was also very let down by the blatant “cash cow” to milk the series labeled Blood omen 2 to the point that I returned it in 2 days after beating it (I'm the guy that keeps every game, every system).

So now we come to year 2003, were we have the title that is supposed to wrap up the entire series.

Game Play:
I am very impressed and somewhat disappointed with the basic game play. Overall I felt it was done pretty well; combat is smooth and very fluid.
The things that I didn’t like about defiance are from playing the previous Soul Reaver titles, when you’re Raziel you can no longer shift back to the spectral dimension to regain health, you also don’t region health in the spectral realm anymore and there are fewer spirits for you to consume in the spectral realm to regain health, but on a good note you no longer have to be at full health to transfer from the spectral to physical world.
I also found there were too many similarities in the game play between Kain and Raziel not much variety between the two, but don’t take these as a huge negative for I am just being critical and they only lower the score by about 2 points
7 of 10

Story:
Anyone who’s ever picked up any of the titles in the LOK series and took the time to play will know that these games are based on a phenomenal story line.
My complaint in this department is that the first half of the game turns out to be a “go here, go there” get this item quest (mainly keys and Reaver upgrades). I didn’t find the story to flow (completely) in the beginning, (not as many plot twists as SR1 & 2) but hold your lunch you’ll be in for a treat.
9 of 10

Graphics:
I’m a very critical person and it’s rare that I give out more than a 9 as a score, but I have to say I’d give defiance a 12 out of 10 if I could.
LOK Defiance animates beautifully. From the Saraphan castle all the way the fog in the under world these graphics are awe inspiring I have to say this game truly shows the graphical power of the X-box.
10 of 10

Audio:
Another area that is near perfect one or two minor flaws, voice overs and I noticed a few sound glitches when doing some of the magic spells, however this is possibly the greatest voice acting of any Video game platform, has an astounding musical score and maintains the same gorgeous background sounds and sound effects that is the tradition of the LOK series
9 of 10

Controls :
Controls were a little sub par in this game IMO. I absolutely hated the camera angles and the limited use of them on this game, I found myself falling off of several ledges due to a late reaction to the jump on the controller or really bad camera angles.
Also at times I found it almost impossible to aim the TK blast while trying to move the camera to an area to a part on screen were your unable to see. Again not a reason to dislike the game, I just feel the developers should have addressed these issues prior to launch.
6 of 10

(Extras)


Fun factor
I am a die hard fan so in one word “YES!!!”
of 10

Re-playability
With all of the unlock able art work and extras that you get for finding hidden artifacts you will have tons of replay on your hands.
8 of 10

Overall
I admit I am a fan so my views will be somewhat biased, but if you’ve gotten in to any of the previous titles or followed the LOK story you will not be disappointed. If you’ve never seen a LOK game (you don’t know what you’ve missed) I would say it would be at least worth your time to give it a rental.
I'd really say 8.5 but there are no fractions allowed.
8 of 10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/16/03


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