Review by Phoenix9

"A true adventure masterpiece"

The renowned legacy is continued, and the latest sequel is all one could have hoped for, and more.

Playing the role of vampire king Kain, or soul taker Raziel, you uncover the mystic chains of fate, all while fighting hordes of humans and demons, until a shocking end...

I will divide this game into categories, for ease of rating:

Story: 10. Simply astonishing.
The plotline of Legacy of Kain: Defiance is an even match for all but the best of RPGs. Intricate, compelling, and utterly enjoyable. I don't want to spoil anything here, so I'll just tell you to sit back and enjoy the cutscenes.

Graphics: 9. Nigh-perfect.
It's not Final Fantasy X in terms of graphics, but it's darn close. If I were a LoK hater, I do not think there would be anything to pick on in this game. The shading and the lighting...equally stunning. Character models? Superb. They've paid attention to every little detail. Also, when you switch realms (between spiritual and material)...the graphics change. Alot. Everything around you becomes twisted and distorted. Very interesting to view.

Music/Sound: 8. Linear, yet nice.
Nothing too memorable. I believe they actually re-used some of the songs from older installments. That can be a good thing or a bad thing; if you like originality, certainly not good. But if you want something continuing and like to reminisce, most definitely a good thing. The other sounds are all top-notch; clashing of blades, explosions, lines you would actually expect, thuds upon jumping, muffled movement. Everything taken into consideration.

Gameplay: 10. Amazing and very fun.
All the controls are flowing and easily memorizable. Getting to used to special attacks may be just the slightest bit hard on your first time through, but it's actually quite simple (light nudge on the left analog, mash the attack button). When there's vampires there's blood. Blood to be had. By press of a button, you can have a drink of your incapacitated foe's red liquid. And you can toss people around like rag dolls using telekinesis. All very fun, I have to say.

The game isn't peculiarly hard, though you might find yourself stumped on a few certain puzzles. The bosses or enemies you fight aren't too hard once you get the hang of them, but can still present a challenge if you drop your guard.
Loading time? What loading time? Well, sure, but only between the levels. No extra loading for special events or cutscenes. Also, the game rarely or never slows down.

Overall: 10. Well, yeah. Superb game.

Buy or Rent?
Well...I'd say buy...BUT. It's fairly short, at about maybe 15 or so hours, depending on your playing ability. Perhaps you could get away with renting it and actually beating it, though it has some replay value, and the fighting is so fun and addicting...
Verdict: Buy.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 02/05/04

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