Review by sknmak
This game really does nothing to help the series at all.
Eidos other hit franchise, The Legacy of Kain Series, has had great success. So now we have Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2. You all might know that Eidos is known for games such as the Tomb Raider series and Mad Dash Racing. So we know Eidos background a little bit. LoK: Blood Omen 2 was released in 2002. You follow the story of Kain, who is seeking to regain control of Nosgoth. Blood Omen 2 takes place two hundred years after Lok: Blood Omen (1) and several centuries before the events that took place in LoK: Soul Reaver. A vampire named Umah has revived Kain, as well as his health. Kain awakens two hundred years after a battle, that Kain apparently lost. Kain remembers only a few things from the previous two hundred years before his death. For the most part Kain is weak and lost most of his former powers / abilities. Now that Kain has awakened, he is looking to regain control of the land. This is where the game starts. The game starts off like other various titles, sending you through the city in "tutorials" based situations. Although you are playing the main game, the beginning of the game is very helpful so you can learn the controls. You can think of Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2 as a beat-em up sort of title. The combat is pretty shallow and sort of repetitive. The music is almost non-existing, and the voice acting is boring. Don't be surprised if you can't remember what is happening, because the voice acting will make you day-dream. Kain has a couple of moves, he has a main attack, an attack while enemies are on the ground, and he can grab enemies and attack.
When Kain grabs an enemy or a helpless human, he can choke or throw the enemy. Kain can use various weapons in which he obtains from defeated foes, which has various attacks depending on the weapon of choice. Kain has stealth skills as well, but his stealth kills can only be done in or near mist. Kain must have and use the ability "Mist" while he is standing near or around mist or fog. The stealth kills can be quite satisfying at times, but is sometimes hard to execute on some enemies. The combat uses a lock on feature that Eidos calls Autoface (in the manual), this lock on feature locks on to the closes enemy while pressing the right trigger. You can side step while pressing the left or right analog stick + A button. You block with the left trigger, but there are 2 options for blocking called "Assisted" and "Skilled". The only difference is that you hold the left trigger to block ALL attacks while using the "Assisted" option and while using the "Skilled" method, you must press the left trigger right before a enemy attacks you everytime an enemy abilities to attack. Anyways the combat is pretty much repetitive, predictable and boring. Some battles can be good at first, but it's pretty much the samething through out the game, attack, block attack, repeat. The game slightly stops as enemies slowly attacks Kain when Kain blocks the enemies attacks. If a enemy knocks Kain on his back, the enemies will actually wait for the Vampire to get back up on his feet (lol) and this can take anywhere from 2-6 seconds. Sometimes I thought Kain was dead, because his health was low and it took him so long to get up off of the ground. Some enemies will give you a good challenge, but Kain doesn't seem like a "real" vampire. Of course he can suck blood in cool ways, laugh at others demise, and use various abilities, but Kain just seems so typical. Kain moves in combat are rather dull and performed way too many times through out the game.
The graphics would have been great for a early Sega Dreamcast title, but on the Xbox, PS2 era, it's pretty pathetic of Eidos. The FMVs look nice, but the in-game graphics are ok, but kinda shallow. Now don't get me wrong, the graphics aren't terrible, but they are pretty bad and shows Eidos was kinda lazy in the graphics department. There are minor graphical issues in the game as well. The character models were well done for this type of game, but the graphics makes them all look weird and funny looking. Earlier I called this game a beat em up title, because you basically go around various areas in the land of Nosgoth,solve easy puzzles, kill whoever crosses your path, solve a few more easy puzzles, reach the next destination, repeat. Every once in a while you will have a boss battle. The boss battles are ok, but nothing to get excited about. It's pretty halarious to watch Vampires chase each other. I mean Vampires of all creatures. The chases are slow and boring because you will run through doors, fight a few enemies and jump over a few buildings. There are certain points in the game, where you must activate a green control panel (glyph) that gives off a green aroma in order to get through a specific area, this can be a easy task or a hard task, it all depends on the gamer. This is also repetitive in Blood Omen 2, and you can count on doing this in nearly every level through out the game. Kain drinks blood to regain his health. Kain health slowly decreases automatically in the game, but there are more than enough helpless victims in the city to kill, as well as enemies. There is also a Lore meter that Kain must fill in order to increase his health.
Fans of the series will like the storyline, for everyone else who hasn't followed the storyline, it's either a hit or miss. The game gets pretty bizarre at times too. In a specific level to accomplish a objective/mission, Kain dresses up as a human (wears humans clothing), because some other vampires claimed that he was the vampire that looked more like an human, which was true, while I was looking at the other demonic looking vampires. But damn, Kain looks pale as hell, he looks dead, he has claws, and fangs. His eye color is different from humans and his ears are larger than humans and pointy. I was thinking what the hell? Oh well, I continued through the level, and the humans interacted with Kain normally, as if he was another human. You must know that if you pull the right trigger, causing Kain to go into a combat stance, the humans will run away, but you can continue the level. Various enemies already know that Kain is an vampire, while people watching the fight is clueless (WTH?). Kain can get some pretty cool powers in the game, but they fail thanks to the repetitive gameplay that Eidos decided to release to the public. So the game has it's downs, and well, downs. There aren't too many good things to say in this game, seriously. The mist and/or fog in the game is usually in a small square area that floats about 3 inches off of the game, even inside of buildings and casltes, LOL. I would think that most gamers won't finsh the game, but the game doesn't really get any better than the first 30% or 40%. Other than the storyline and that the game supports Dolby Digital (only with the Xbox High Definition AV pack or Advanced AV pack), you aren't really missing anything in Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2. The previous LoK: Soul Reaver games were better than this. Eidos seems to have gotten lazy on some of their very good franchises lately.
Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2 receives a 4.5 out of 10
These are not next gen graphics, the graphics are on par with most Dreamcast titles (think of Alone in the Dark graphics or worst on the Dreamcast). The textures look nice in some areas and bad in other areas. The blood looks ok I guess. The characters all looks below gamers expectation and passable. I just can't understand why Eidos couldn't have made the game look a bit better, well it is Eidos, the stubborn people who have used the PS1 Tomb Raider graphics from the PS1/N64 era to the PS2, Xbox, Gamecube era. Don't expect anything special from the graphics.
The controls are not the worst ever, but not the best either. For the most part the controls are very responsive, but once you enter combat (holding the right trigger), the game can be quite frustrating. Sometimes there will be a slight lag when you are trying to grab or attack an enemy or worst, the game won't even execute the command. This slight lag can cause Kain to receive damage. It takes a while to get used the the controller lag, but once you get it, you'll eventually win more fights and almost never take damage once you learn the patterns of various enemies. There's only one control layout by the way.
The gameplay was basically repetitive throughout the game. The combat is flawed from basically blocking and hoping to land a attack on foes. Side stepping is pretty much worthless in combat. You can't even jump while you are locked on to enemies for crying out loud, because Eidos decided to use the Jump button as a side step button. The game is just too repetitive and the puzzles are easy to figure out for the most part. There are a few minor graphical issues to deal with. The game speed is constant and really never lags, which is a big plus. Voice acting is boring and you can't skip the cut scenes. Eidos added some cool things for Kain to do, but by the time you find these cool things and abilities you will be nearly done with the game completely.
Fun Factor: 3/10
Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2 doesn't have a lot of reply value. The gameplay is repetitive, as well as the combat. The voice acting is passable, but does little to nothing to help the storyline or the gameplay. The game combat battles can get harder throughout the game. Kain just doesn't feel like a cool vampire or a vampire for the most part. He feel so restricted. The abilities are flawed because of Eidos development team and some gameplay mechanics. Meaning that Kain abilities feels limited, very limited. The graphics are passable for this type of game. Don't even ask about the music. Battles are boring and the stealth kills get boring after a while. You are forced to perform Kain's special stealth kills in the Mist / Fog, so you can't perform Kain's special stealth kill even if a enemy is unaware of your presence. The replay value is very low because of the gameplay and the flaws throughout the game, and the fact that the game gets really boring after awhile. LoK: Blood Omen 2 had so much potential, but Eidos failed to use it. You aren't missing anything special in LoK: Blood Omen 2.
Rating: 2.0 - Poor
Product Release: Blood Omen 2 (US, 03/21/02)
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