Review by AKishan
"An adventure game with a dark twist."
One of the first adventure games for the Playstation, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain was a revolutionary game for the evolving system.
The controls in this game are good, but other gameplay aspects are shallow. It is fun to run through the world hacking people with a variety of weapons: a mace, axes, and swords (including the all powerful Soul Reaver, which literally explodes enemies when wielded correctly) while equipped in various armors. Each weapon has its pros and cons. The mace will batter human foes, but the minions of the underworld will not fall to its petty blows. The axes, vicious two handed weapons, are especially useful, since repeatedly tapping the attack button will send Kain spinning into a tornado of steel. The Iron Sword has no pros nor cons. The Flame Sword incinerates enemies, leaving no blood to feast upon. Different pieces of armor also have pros and cons: the Flesh Armor is weak but draws blood automatically; Chaos Armor is not strong, but divides damage in two, so the enemy receives some; the Wraith Armor will spilt damage between the magic meter and the blood vial; and the Iron Armor is the best defensively, but has no benefits. There are many combinations of armor and weapons, each beneficial and fun to try.
To add to the fun are strange spells and artifacts, like the Blood Gout spell (which sucks blood from the target) or the Implode (self explanatory) item. Getting these weird extras adds to the fun of the game. Also hidden throughout the world of Nosgoth are 100 secrets; finding them allows you to earn prestige.
Finally, you can shape shift into a werewolf, bat, mist, or human. They each have benefits. Nothing is better than getting into a guard compound disguised as a human, then testing your skill.
On the other hand, loading is extremely slow and makes changing weapons or using items tedious. Load times are horrible when moving from screen to screen. Luckily, some screens are huge. Also, the slow down when enemies are on screen is phenomenal. Finally, when you move, the camera will shift so that you are at the southern end of the screen. This makes dodging enemies hot on your tail very hard. This may not seem enough to merit the low rating, but wait until you go through it over and over again.
The story of this game is, in fact, a high point. You play as the wandering nobleman, Kain, who has journeyed far from his hometown of Coorhagen. Seeking respite, he stops at a tavern in the village of Ziegturl. The tavern keeper refuses to rent a room to the young man, so Kain steps outside. Here, he is attacked by brigands who ruthlessly slaughter him. The nobleman wakes up in Hell, where a necromancer, Mortanius, offers him the chance for revenge. His mind clouded, the cynical Kain agrees, only to revive as a vampire. But life as the undead is not so easy. After dispatching his assassins, Kain cannot return to the afterlife. There is no cure for his plague: death. The story unfolds further as Kain is forced to do Mortanius' bidding, acting as Mortanius' angel of death.
The dark story of this game is unique and well written, and that’s what counts.
The music in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is not that great, but it fits the gothic setting. The true merit here lies in the voice acting. There are no text boxes, just voices, and the voices are great. Stepping on certain markers will trigger certain audio sequences, which are very informative and sound awesome. Getting a new toy (spell, weapon, item, or armor), will net you an explanation (''...a messy spell, but a potent one none the less.''). This feature is excellent.
The graphics are pretty good, as is the animation. Switches and such exude a smooth glow, and should be easy to find, but the poor lighting effects in some environments, given to add effect, shadow them- you may find that you are wandering through a dungeon twice before noticing something.
Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain is a fun and interesting gothic adventure. Expect yourself to be challenged for a good 12-20 hours.
GameFAQs Score: 8/10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 12/18/01
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