Review by Gizamaluke7377

"Kain is not amused."

Blood Omen 2

Blood Omen 2 is the fourth installment in the Legacy of Kain series. The game continues the story of Kain, the lord of the vampires. After falling in combat to the Sarafan Lord, Kain awoke in a vampire stronghold. There he meets the female vampire Umah. Kain was awaken, forgetting his past, only remembering fragments of it. Umah told Kain that the Sarafan (a group of warrior priests bent on eliminating all vampires from the face of the Earth) have taken over Nosgoth. The Sarafan Lord stole Kain's legendary sword, the Soul Reaver, after defeating Kain in combat many centuries ago. Then the Sarafan began hunting down all the vampires, sentencing them to the fate of death. During all of this, Kain was unconscious, still recovering from his bout with the Sarafan Lord. He had been unconscious for two centuries. Now Kain's only desire is to get revenge on the Sarafan Lord and get the Soul Reaver back in his position.

Unlike the first Blood Omen, Blood Omen 2 is in full 3D, much like the Soul Reaver games. The game starts out slow, but gets better once you get past Chapter 2. The gameplay in Blood Omen 2 is very simple, even for a action game. You basically go from point A to point B, solving puzzles along the way. However, because of this, the game is very linear.

The game does get a little repetitive after a while, and the Glyph puzzles are very boring. Most of the puzzle portions of Blood Omen 2 consist of turning switches, and it grows very tedious. There are variations to the puzzles, but the majority of them require turning switches and valves. When enemies fall in combat, you can take their weapons and use them to your advantage. Your Blood Meter drains if you don't consume enough blood. Unlike previous Legacy of Kain games, sucking blood has more purpose then just refilling your health. Every time you suck an enemies blood, your Lore Bar fills. Once the bar reaches the top, Kain's health increases. It's a nifty feature not found in the other Legacy of Kain games.

There are a variety of different environments found through out this game. At the beginning, you end up in the slums. Your objective at the beginning is to learn the controls and recover your strength by slaughtering innocent citizens and sucking their juicy blood. Then you move on, trying to get revenge on your lieutenants for betraying you during the war against the Sarafan Lord. You move from the slums, up to the more clean parts of the city, to factories, palaces, and swamps. There are more places to discover, but I don't want to reveal too many spoilers.

The graphics in Blood Omen 2 aren't anything to brag about, but for a PS2 port, they look good enough. Kain himself and the other main characters look close to standards, but everyone else looks simple and blocky. While the graphics are pretty simple, they have good animation (save for some horrible collision detection). The textures and setting of the environment are very interesting and help paint the foreign world. They did a good job at maintaining a steady frame rate for this game. The camera could have used some tweaking, however.

Sound and Music
The sound in Blood Omen 2 is one of its' redeeming points. Surprisingly, there isn't a lot of music during the stages in Blood Omen 2, which surprised me. However, for the points of the game with music, they are good and fit the mood of the game. There is a problem during some scenes where the music is so loud it's hard to hear the characters. Get ready to turn up the volume during some scenes. Simon Temple does an amazing job as Kain's voice, however with the difficulty of hearing during some scenes, it makes his work harder to appreciate. The sounds effects are especially nice. Nothing beats the sounds of draining the blood out of your victim, slicing their head off, or tearing their eyes out of their skulls. True bliss.

Glitches and Bugs
Here is one of the big drawbacks of Blood Omen 2. The glitches and bugs. While this version of the game isn't nearly as plagued as the PS2 version, it has it's fare share of glitches. People going though walls, you getting stuck in walls, the Soul Reaver getting stuck in your arm, and freezing are just a few of the glitches. Luckily, most of the glitches aren't too fatal (able to ruin to game) and freezing only happens sometimes. The game only freezed on me once.

Replay Value
After beating the game, you can use a cheat code to give Kain the Soul Reaver from the start and his classic armour from the original Blood Omen, but this doesn't warrant another playthrough. Sadly, there isn't much replay value.

Final Thoughts
While the game is good, when compared to Soul Reaver 2 and the classics that are Blood Omen and Soul Reaver, Blood Omen 2 is the worst game in the Legacy of Kain series. It had some great ideas, but they were poorly executed. With a lackluster plot, boring characters, no real impact on the other games, boring combat, and repetitive puzzles, I can only afford this game a average score. If you want to play a great Legacy of Kain game on Xbox, stick with Legacy of Kain: Defiance.

Final Score: 6/10

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 05/02/04

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