Blood Omen: The Legacy of Kain
The Legacy of Kain places you behind the fangs of one of history's most fabled monsters—Kain, a vampire. Now you didn't start out life as a vampire, no sir. At one time in your life, you were an average, ordinary dude. But, after being brutally slain, you make a deal with a Necromancer to give you another chance at life. Being the generous fellow that he is, the Necromancer grants your wish with one minor condition. He returns you as a vampire with the mission of finding the guilty party that removed you from the earth to return the favor. Only then will you be free of your thirst for blood and become human again.
This quest takes you through seemingly endless worlds with upwards of 170 different enemies scattered throughout. Use multiple weapons, armor, spells and even morph to four different forms to help your journey.The Legacy of Kain boasts 25 minutes of full motion animations, 120 hours of gameplay and tons of blood.
Be warned. This game carries a MA-17 rating and earns every bit of it. If you get squeamish just thinking about blood, then I suggest you pop in Crash Bandicoot and let this one go, but if Loaded and Mortal Kombat are up your alley, get ready!
As mentioned above, you play Kain, a human-turned-vampire. As fable has us believe, vampires survive on one thing: blood. This holds true for Kain. Your main objective as Kain the vampire is to find and kill the demon that killed you. Since vampires are also feared as evil, all of the people you meet on your journey will try to kill you. The only way to refill your depleting life supply is to drink their blood.
You start your adventure equipped with armor and a sword. With only these for protection, you venture out into the cold world to begin your search. Immediately, you face your first battle. Take your time and learn the controls. Every button on the PlayStation controller is used, but the controls are not that complicated. Throughout the game new weapons and armor are found; you will find that the right combination of weapons and armor will render you almost untouchable against certain enemies, but that others will rip right through you.
A big part of your arsenal and survival are the magic spells. You collect spells throughout the worlds to help you battle enemies and revive your life. Spells range from mind control to blood gout (drains all of the target's blood into your life gullet) to inspiring hate (all enemies in the area go insane with hate and start killing each other). Master these spells and know when to use each of them.
Kain also has the ability to morph into four different forms. The first form is the vampire. This form is used for day to day travels and explorations. The second morph is the bat. This allows you to fly great distances in a short period. The flying FMV is incredible! The third form Kain can take is that of the wolf. The wolf allows Kain to travel at faster speeds, jump and rip open throats. As a wolf you have the ability to access areas that the vampire could not access. The final form is mist. When in mist form, Kain can pass through walls and locked doors. Kain can also find disguises that allow him to roam among humans and gather knowledge and information from them.
The graphics in Legacy of Kain are top-notch. This game uses all the capacity on the CD-ROM and each and every bit of the 32 bits the PlayStation has to offer—the intro sequences, the spurting blood, the real-time battles, the detailed worlds and especially drinking a victim's blood from up to 2 feet away. A great attention to detail was observed on this title; it pulls you in and doesn't let go.
The audio is equally impressive. From the cries for help of the prisoners chained to the wall, to the clanging of your sword against your enemy's weapon, the audio pulls you into the game. The slashing, spurting and gurgling is non-stop. I found myself uttering an occasional "that was very cool" after a particularly graphic and vocal slaying.
Normally, I don't say much about the documentation of PlayStation games. Most of the time they are adequate and get by. Unfortunately, this was one of the areas of disappointment with Kain. This is such a huge game with so many objects and secrets, I would have liked to have seen a little more explanation or a picture next to objects so you know for sure what you are picking up and what it can do. I know this is nitpicky, but I feel for the amount of time the gamer will invest in this one, a little more comprehensive manual would have been nice.
Blood Omen: The Legacy of Kain will provide many, many, many (I could keep going with the "many"s) hours of enjoyment. The game is huge, gameplay is reminiscent of the classic Legend of Zelda with the gore of Loaded, graphics are sharp and the controls are easy and responsive. On the downside, you need to add an extra many to the number of hours this game will take from you simply because of load times. Due to the extensive worlds and detailed backgrounds, the game suffers from overload. This slows down the action considerably and makes tasks, such as checking your inventory, a real pain. If you are a fan of action/role playing/lots o' blood games, this is a don't-miss title for you. If you like fast-paced, Doom-style action, this may be a bit too slow. All in all, Legacy of Kain is a fun game that will satisfy the thirst for blood.