Review by dead jawa

"This abomination passes for a Legacy Of Kain game?!?!"

Well I'd just missed th 2D-ish Blood Omen for the PS1, but played Soul Reaver when that came out, and was blown away. It remains one of my favorite PS games and the best adventure/exploration game I've played thus far. For this generation I've gotten an XBox which, sadly, cuts me off from Soul Reaver 2. But theres still 2 XBox LOK games, which I picked up immeadiatly.

I had to play Blood Omen 2 first, as that's how the story flows, even though it involves an almost alternate timeline side story that doesn't have anything to do with the larger story. I was a bit disappointed by the games linearality, as reviews had pointed out; and at first the fight system did seem awkward. But I eventually discovered the clever strategicness inherent to it, and the joy of figuring out ways to use supposedly non-combat related powers to get cheap kills, which particularly befits the theme of the game. Plus the Wayne Douglas Barlowesque style to the game was beautiful. By the time I'd reached the end of this "weak" sequal I was thirsting for more. And so I immeadiatly started the POS which is Defiance.

Really, how long can you stare at Kain's (or Raziel's) face? Because that's all you see in this game. That, or their crotch. The camera is perputally pointed right at Kain's face, looking over his shoulders, except for those moments when the camera has been fixed to the most ackward position to try and manuever in. So you see Kain run into walls (because you can't see what's in front of you, only behind), walk off cliffs, walk into foes attacks, all beautifully framed by Kain's totally unsuspecting face, BECAUSE HE CAN'T SEE WHAT'S IN FRONT OF HIM! What kind of camera angle system places the camera, pointing towards you, between you and the enemy that you're fighting? I really have to wonder if the programmers of this game have played an adventure or exploration video game before. A brief rundown of its other major flaws:
- Button mashing fights. There isn't a "block" in this game, unless you unlock it later, just keep hitting attack.
- You perform tasks (bring this here, go here, go there) instead of solving puzzles.
- Like controlling Kain in a fight where you can only see the action thru a small window in the wall? This games for you!
- Camera angle changes to opposite directions. For those times when you get a semi fixed camer angle (like Resident Evil), the camera can change to an angle for which your joystick direction forward now is backward, making Kain do the back-and-forth vibration dance until you manage to snap him out of it.
- Camera angles also seem to change at the worst time.

All in all, Blood Omen 2 is the far superior XBox LOK game.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 05/12/04


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