Legacy Of Kain Soul Reaver
If you want a good example of why you bought a Dreamcast, take Raziel to the cliffs over the vortex in Soul Reaver and look down over the edge. The graphics here are simply incredible...gorgeous effects, crisp, sharp textures and beautiful 60 fps animation. Soul Reaver was never lacking in the graphics department, but playing it on the Dreamcast you really do get the feeling that this was the way it was supposed to be played. As a first example of a Tomb Raider-style game on the system, you could hardly ask for more. The quest itself (for those of you unfamiliar with the PlayStation game) is suitably intriguing and the story unfolds at a steady pace as you work through the enormous levels. What's most satisfying about the gameplay is that while it shares gameplay mechanics with the likes of Tomb Raider, this isn't just running, jumping and killing stuff. There are some pretty convoluted puzzles that appear throughout the game, and what I liked most is the fact that all of the bosses require you beat them by solving these rather than simply hitting them on the head with a pointy stick. Progression through the game rewards you sufficiently with new abilities to keep you satisfied--and it's not until the disappointing ending that the game ever lets itself down. The sequel can't come soon enough.
And I thought this thing looked good on the PlayStation. Soul Reaver really pops to life on the Dreamcast. Heck, I spent a lot of the game just looking at stuff. Of course, the excellent story and puzzle-rich gameplay remain intact. And this is just the type of epic adventure the Dreamcast needs. But should you nab this game if you already beat the PlayStation version? No. The only thing you'll get out of it is a showcase title that'll wow your pals.
If you have a Dreamcast and missed out on Soul Reaver the first time around on PlayStation, get this game. Stunning visuals, tight gameplay, a gripping story--this game has all the bases covered. The game itself may be the same as the PlayStation version, but the quality of the visuals alone makes it all worth it. Core could learn a lot from this game, and if Tomb Raider controlled like this, it'd be a much better game. A Dreamcast must-have.
I feel bad for PS owners who bought Soul Reaver. This version is much more impressive. The lighting effects and colors seem twice as potent. It has to be among the top five prettiest games for the DC (at this time). The faster frame-rate does wonders for Raziel's mobility. Not that it's bad in the PS version, but now It looks and feels extra fluid. The only negative is the anti-climactic ending, but in light of everything else, Soul Reaver is worth the money.
Download Legacy Of Kain Soul Reaver
Crystal Dynamics has resurrected the dead with this sequel to Legacy of Kain. With 3D action as well as additional spelb and features, the Legacy lives on!
Imagine, if you will, Lara Croft as a blood-sucking, soul-devouring undead warrior, and you'll have a pretty good idea of what Soul Reaver is all about The story line continues the "evil" ending from the original Legacy of Kain where the vampires won. Gone is the isometric overhead view of the first game, now replaced with a true 3D engine which lets the Soul Reaver (a zombie-ninja ragamuffin with tattered clothes) walk, jump, glide, fight, and devour souls.
A Legacy to Upholo
In the preview version, the jumping and positioning mechanics needed some desperate help.There were a ton of tricky and frustrating leaps to contend with, and some serious fog clouded up the backgrounds. It may be that all of this evil will be cleansed in the final game.The developers at Crystal Dynamics are hoping that Soul Reaver's cool new moves--like impaling vampires to the ground, then twisting in the stakes with glee--will keep previous Kain-sters happy and draw in a whole slew of new gothic gamers.
Leave it to Reaver
It won't be a hard sell.The game has a definite dark look to it with dungeons, deserted temples, and mysterious villages aplenty. And the developers have added a great, new environment-morphing feature which enables you to transform the real world into a parallel shadow world at the touch of a button, altering the terrain to reveal different entryways, shortcuts, and other goodies. One minute you're facing a deep chasm with no hope of leaping across to safety, and the next you're strolling down a newly formed walkway. It's an interest-ing development for a game full of nasty but amusing ses
Crystal Dynamics knows you can't keep a good vampire down. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain was a dark sleeper hit for the PlayStation, a Gothic classic that mesmerized players with its vampiric tale of revenge, epic-length action/RPG gameplay, and foreboding, open-ended conclusion. But how do you build upon the Kain legacy and still serve gamers well? With Soul Reaver: Legacy of Kain for the PlayStation, Crystal literally goes to Hell and back.
The game is set in the grim gothic 3D world of Nosgoth. a land tainted by the rule of a vampire dynasty. Kain is the leader of this vampire empire. In his conquest of Nosgoth, Kain created five lieutenants to forge his legions.
First born of these lieutenants was Raziel. the anti-hero of this game. When the game begins, vampires are clearly in control of the land. They've destroyed most of the human kingdoms and are experiencing a renaissance. Huge furnaces were built to blot out the sun with smoke. Each vampire legion overseen by a lieutenant was granted land. Kain held court in a vast palace built on the ruins of the Pillars of Nosgoth. an ancient seat of power in the land. All was well until Raziel had the audacity to evolve beyond his master.
Vampires in Nosgoth become more powerful as they age. They mutate, becoming less humanoid and more monstrous. Raziel received a dark gift' -wings. With this gift his abilities surpassed Kain s. Rain would suffer no challenges to his supremacy. For his transgression, Raziel was executed; cast into the Lake of Dead Souls - a fate reserved for traitors and weaklings. As Raziel fell into the vortex his body was devastated. Flesh melted, wings in tatters, Raziel left the material plane. He became a creature of the spectral realm. In the spectral plane Raziel encountered the Elder. The Elder and Raziel struck a bargain; Raziel would have his vengeance against Kain for the souls of his brethren. Thus, the first Soul Reaver was created. Now Raziel must stalk the ruins of Nosgoth feeding on the souls of his enemies as he hunts for Kain.
Gameplay consists of three different elements; exploration, puzzle solving, and combat. Raziel begins the game in the spectral plane. This is where you learn how to feed on the souls of creatures to get energy. After you fill your energy bar, you'll be able to find a gate that will allow you to shift onto the material plane. When you return to the material plane, you'll find that things have changed. Much time has passed from your execution to your return. This exploration is one of the compelling aspects of the game as is Raziels journey of self discovery.
Puzzle solving ranges from the simple where do I go next to complex multiple step brain busters. All the puzzles solutions are shown real-time i.e. if you solve something you get to see the results, you don't have to search for the solution.
Combat is very slick. To overcome hand-to-hand in a 3D environment, Crystal Dynamics created an autoface button. When autoface is engaged Raziel faces the closest enemy. Very simple and intuitive. To defeat his vampire enemies, Raziel must use items he finds in the environment. He can rip stakes off of fences to impale his foe or grab a torch off of the wall to burn them. After defeating an enemy, Raziel must feed on their souls to survive.
Another nice concept is immortality. Raziel can't be killed. If he loses his energy on the material plane, he is shunted' back to the spectral plane. This gives the game a real organic feeling. You don't spend all of your time dying' and going back to your last save. All your time is spent in the game.
Character developmen is much the same. Raziel gains abilities b feeding on the souls of the vampire clan leaders (lieutenants). This gives him new innate powers that alleviate the need for inventory screens. Scattered throughout the game are glyphs. These are area affect spells based on elemental powers like fire or water. Visually powerful.
Stunning! Fantastic textures and environments. It seems that several of the artists creating the game were former architects. It shows. Definitely some influences from Gaudi and Bauhaus. The--environments are great, but the effect of shifting from the specjral to the material planes is incredible. The backgrounds morph real-time. Unbelievable!
Unearthing The Plot
One of the first things that had to be done was to continue the Legacy of Kain story line. Blood Omen fans will recall that at game's end, the vampire anti-hero Kain faced a choice: either sacrifice his undead self for the good of all or rule the world as lord of the vampires. Soul Reaver finds Kain taking the latter course of action (see sidebar, "Honor and Gory: The Legacy of Rain"). You'll play as Raziel, a vampire seeking to overthrow Kain's vicious rule.
While developing this story line, Crystal Dynamics added more Gothic touches than you'll find in a Nine Inch Nails video. Kain's vampire empire is dark, dank, and creepy. The intricate plot is one of the game's bright spots. In Soul
Honor And Gory: The Legacy Of Pain
In the first game, Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Kain is unjustly murdered. In the land of the dead, he vows revenge, but returns to the material world as a vampire, killing the helpless humans and drinking their blood. At the end of Blood Omen, he must choose between, returning to the dad for the good of the many or remaining in the world of the living as had bloodsucker.
In Soul Reaver, Kain's decision becomes painfully dear. Kain has set up a vara-pire city in Nosgoth, the underworld realm, and humans everywhere have consequently become walking liquid refreshment. Kain has also created a legion of vampires with six lieutenants drafted to help him rule. Raziel and his boys, who sit on Kain's high council, watch the lesser lads with bored vampires' eyes, hoping for a savage battle to break out just so they can have some fun. Purgatory sounds a lot like Iowa.
But soon Kain has a new passion. He takes his trusted upper-crust vampires, including Raziel, to a distant place where their bodies evolve into higher forms. Baziel sprouts wings, but makes the mistake of showing them off to Kain. In a fit of jealous rage, Kain rips them off and casts Raziel into a magic vortex of water-and H20 is the only thing that hurts a vampire more than a root canal. Razicl loses face (literally watching his pw disintegrate), dons a cowl and a scowl, and meets up with the mysterious Elder to plot the demise of Lord Kain. What Kazicl doesn't realize, however, is that while he took his mystic dunk' ing, several thousand yean have gone by in Nosgoth. And as anyone will tell you, things change with the passage of time. Being a vampire can be such a pain in the neck.
Reaver, you're totally hooked the minute the beautifully crafted computer-generated scenes start running. You soon become familiar with 10 classes of vampires who are out to rid the underworld of Raziel, along with almost a dozen grim and feral bosses. In their design stages, these bosses looked more frightening than Congressional impeachment prosecutors.
Additionally, 20 different types of enemies will haunt your world. Not surprisingly, throughout the dark and sinister levels, you'll engage in extensive hand-to-hand combat using a variety of weapons to slice, dice, torch, and, of course, impale your foes.
More Fang For The Buck
To bring all this vampire vamping to...er, life, Crystal decided to imbue Soul Reaver with a revamped look. It went Lara Croft's route, using a super-charged version of the Gex 3 game engine to give Raziel a 3D playing field. The games visual tour de force, however, is based on Raziel's ability to shift between two realities: the material realm and the spectral realm.
If you imagine the light and dark worlds of The Legend of Zelda: Links Awakening, you'll get the idea. When Raziel shifts from one realm to the other, the environments are physically changed so that solutions to otherwise dead-end puzzles may be revealed. For example, if a chasm appears to be too far to jump across in the spectral realm, morphing to the material realm may reveal a helpful stone ledge. This terrain morphing is an innovative and effect that brings depth and nuance to Soul Reavers gameplay.
Beating The Bloodsuckers
Of course, when it comes to vampire slaying, it's good to be prepared. After Raziel steals the awesome Soul Reaver weapon from Kain, he's more than up to the task. The Reaver actually attaches to Raziel's arm like an organic lightsaber, and when he finds special forges, he can upgrade the Soul Reavers potency.
Raziel also will be able to build up other powers in several ways. In some locations, he'll find magic Glyphs. These mystic stones serve as power-ups that enable him to command potent forces such as earthquakes and rings of fire. He'll also steal powers from boss vampires. For example, if a boss climbs up walls or swims underwater as a tactic against you, you'll acquire that ability if you defeat him.
Will The Dead Rise Again?
If you're wondering what's going down (or rising again) in Kain's world, you'll definitely want to play Soul Reaver when it hits the streets in late March. Blood Omen fans and newbies should get ready for a vampires feast that definitely does not suck.
It's been a long time coming, but I think it's safe to say that Soul Reaver has been worth the wait. Mix vampires, Lovecraftian nastiness and Tomb Raider with a sprinkling of comic book fave Spawn and you have a mix that is very compelling. What's most impressive is the incredible design--both to the levels themselves (which all stream seamlessly from the CD so there are no load times) and to the puzzles which make up the bulk of the gameplay. From seeing early demos of this, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a runny-jumpy-killy thing with you hopping about, looking mean and nibbling on bad guys. It's not like that though, and in fact the majority of the gameplay comprises of exploration and puzzle solving. Noteworthy examples of this are the bosses--you don't really kill any of them with real brawn, but instead you'll find yourself solving a puzzle that will lead to their demise. It's all terribly clever stuff, and some of the environment-based puzzles can get very complex. Fortunately though, they never seem too convoluted. The story is excellent, and it's supplemented by some tremendous performances from the voice actors. Top this off with some of the best graphics in a PlayStation game since Metal Gear, and you have something well worth investing 40+ hours of your time in.
Soul Reaver Is truly an impressive video game. The graphics, animation and level design are amazing. The story is told in such a way--by some topnotch voice talent I might add - you can't help but become involved in Raziel's quest. Yeah, the camera gets whacked-out at times, and there's some slowdown, but you'll get past it. The game's so immersive, you overlook these little problems. If you buy it, be prepared for a game of epic proportions.
This monster was really worth the wait--and I do mean monster, it's huge. You'll be playing this until Christmas. The environments are really pretty, lots of rich color and shifting light effects. That and the suspenseful music make quite a freaky atmosphere. Like Akuji, there's a fair amount of unmolested free roaming. You never feel overwhelmed with enemies or hopeless situations. I agree with John, Soul Reaver is a very tastefully done game.
When it came down to it, I had a hard time believing I was actually playing Soul Reaver...I've waited and waited, and then waited some more for this game. It lives up to expectations in terms of graphics and presentation, but I wasn't expecting all the puzzle-based gameplay in Kain. It felt like I was playing "Tomb Reaver," having to push all those blocks around. But you want to know how good the graphics are, don't you...well they're VERY GOOD.
One of the most celebrated games at last year's E3 was Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, the longawaited sequel to one of the PlayStation's darkest, most original RPGs. Soon, gamers everywhere will be able to see for themselves what all the fuss was about when the game finally hits store shelves next month, courtesy of Eidos Interactive.
The events of Soul Reaver take place 1,000 years after the conclusion of the first game. A vampire apocalypse lead by the evil Kain has transformed the world of Nosgoth, interrupting the cyclical flow of life energy. The player assumes the role of Raziel, a former lieutenant of Kain's out to restore balance to the universe as well as to wreak revenge against his former master for severely mutilating his body. One of Soul Reaver's most unusual play mechanics is the ability to "shunt" or travel to a parallel Spectral World, a warped mirror-image of Nosgoth. The laws that govern physical reality are vastly different in the Spectral World, allowing Raziel to perform feats he wouldn't ordinarily be capable of. Only by traveling between the two worlds can Raziel solve some of the game's more perplexing puzzles and ultimately defeat Kain.
Unlike Legacy of Kain's protagonist, who fed on the blood of the living, Raziel feeds on the souls of Nosgoth's living dead, which he sucks through the cavity in his deformed face. Should Raziel run out of this life energy, he is automatically transported to the Spectral World, from which he must find an exit.
Soul Reaver's expansive 3D levels spool directly from the disc, eliminating the annoying disc access that plagued the original. The elimination of save points and inventory screens also should make Soul Reaver one of the most seamless, immersive role-playing experiences to date.
A millennium has passed since Blood Omen, when Lord Kain set his capital in the ruins of the Pillars and began his conquest of the world. By dipping into the underworld and snaring souls, Kain has been able to build a cadre of vampires who have in turn helped him to pillage Nosgoth and subjugate the humans. The vampires revel in their new world and evolve in their powers, Changing into higher forms. Always Kain would Change first, followed a decade or so later by one of his lieutenants, until Raziel had the audacity to evolve first, becoming gifted with wings.
For his crimes Raziel has been cast into the Lake of Lost Souls, the execution ground for traitors, burning at the touch of the water. After a time he could hear a voice through the pain, the voice of something primal, desperate, righteous, ancient. The Elder had always fed on the souls of Nosgoth, but the vampires had deprived it of sustenance. The Elder offered redemption to Raziel, if he would slay his former brethren and avenge himself against Kain.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
Let me start off by saying that I will be sending Eidos a bill for the replacement cost of my sidewinder gamepad. This game made my hands sweat so much that I think I shorted it out. But I guess after sitting in front of the computer for six straight hours playing the game, even the best player would have sweaty fingers. But seriously, Soul Reaver is so addictive that you will lose track of time and you will definitely build up any calluses that you might have on your thumbs. The game is easy to grasp and even a person without very good eye-hand coordination will be able to pick it up within about 10 minutes. At the very beginning of the game there is a little tutorial on how to do some simple moves. One of the things that made the game so enjoyable was the fact that I didn't have to memorize 32 combinations to beat the enemies. I can't stand games that make me contort my hands into pretzels while I try to master the double lindy.
Do not think that Soul Reaver is just an action, hack and slash game. It also has some really good puzzles in it. They are not as hard as Myst but I found that they could be quite challenging. If you find that you can't do anything in a level just go into the Spectral world and sometimes the world changes enough for you to figure out what the objective is. I wish I had a quarter for every time my wife told me to go to the Spectral world and that solved the problem I was having.
Anybody who has played the Tomb Raider series can tell you that the graphics from Eidos are always cutting edge. I was simply blown away by how the game looked. The graphics were so good that my wife actually came over to the computer and watched me play. (The game has to be really good if she wants to watch.) The different regions in Nosgoth were unlike any other region. Personally I liked the snow area towards the end of the game. When I walked through the canyon and came out into an open area with a fortress on the left, both my wife and I sat there and said 'WOW!'? It was definitely an impressive sight to see this building with the snow falling around us. I had to stop and look around the place for a little while and just soak it all in. Not many games make me pause and look at the scenery, but this one made me slow down and scope things out.
The cut scenes in the game were done very well. They kept the storyline going and gave me a little break from mashing my thumb on my gamepad. The only problem I saw with them was that the mouths on the people did not move. I know you have heard that from me in the past with other games but I do find it annoying when the people seem to talk through telepathy.
This has got to be the creepiest game I have ever played in my life! The sounds were the best I have heard in a long time. The music fit the mood and made the game feel like I was watching a movie unfold in front of me. It would get intense when I was in battle and then taper off when I was running around trying to solve a puzzle.When I killed a vampire the sound of the blade going the through undead flesh sent a shiver down my spine. I almost felt sorry for sticking the poor guys. Almost.
Minimum: P200 MHz MMX processor (with 3D accelerator card), P266 MHz Processor (without 3D accelerator), Windows 95/98, 16 MB RAM (32 MB Recommended), 4X CD-ROM (8X CD-ROM Recommended), 100% DirectX 6 Compliant sound card, 320 MB hard drive space, Keyboard and mouse (gamepad or joystick recommended).
The documentation for the game was top of the line. Not only will it gives you tips as to the installation of the program but it also gives an in-depth overview of the game. After finishing the game, I was thumbing through the manual and I realized that I didn't need the pad of sticky notes that I have been doodling on. It was all in the book. As I read the manual, I thought that Eidos might have given away too much information on how to play the game. There is a training session when you first start the game and it lets you know what buttons do certain things. When you get further into the game you gain special powers and it was kind of fun not knowing what these special powers do until you use them. If I had read the manual first I would have known right away what to do with them and I think I would have solved the game sooner. But that would have taken away from the fun factor of the game. My suggestion to any future player is to only read the manual if you have to.
Normally, I don't worry much about violence in games but I did screen this game before letting my son watch me play. There isn't any bad language but some of the scenes are a little graphic for the younger folks. Don't get me wrong, there aren't any heads being hacked off or anything like that but the game is quite violent.
Look out Lara Croft, Raziel has taken over the neighborhood. From the first moment I loaded the game I knew I was going to love it. The graphics were spectacular and the gameplay was flawless. I only found a couple of problems in the game: first, the save game feature was a little annoying but after playing with it for awhile I realized that it was actually nice to have teleporters for traveling around the land. Second, there isn't any multiplayer support, but then again Tomb Raider never had any either and look how well that did in the stores. Lastly, the ending! How can you end a game that is this good? Personally I would have made enough levels so that the consumer could play for at least 24 months. So what if the game would have to fit on 47 CDs, I would build a new room on my house to accommodate them. I mean c'mon now, I have to sit around and wait for the sequel?
If the original Legacy of Kain creeped you out, you'll freak over Crystal D's latest soul-stealing epic.
The Terror Continues
At the end of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, you're given the choice to either sacrifice yourself and bring peace to Nosgoth or become its evil dictator (you probably didn't choose to sacrifice yourself--especially after playing the game for over 40 hours). Soul Reaver picks up a millennium after Kain's dark decision to rule the world, wherein Kain recruited six souls from the underworld to help build his legion of vampires and wipe out the human race. He then commanded his slaves to construct giant furnaces that would generate enough smoke to cover the sky, thus blocking the sun, which drains their vampire powers. Without worry from the sun, Kain and his legion fed on the souls of the helpless and ruled the bloody land.
In Soul Reaver, you'll play as Raziel, one of Kain's vampire followers who is damned to the underworld by Kain for becoming too powerful. While you're in the underworld, its ruler, the Elder, explains his disgust with Kain: Since Kain is turning everyone into vampires, there are no new souls for the Elder to devour. Now it's up to you to return to Nosgoth, conquer Kain, and provide the underworld with fresh souls.
Before he banished you to the underworld, Kain ripped off the wings you were growing. Although you can't fly in Soul Reaver, you can use what's left of your wings to glide from platform to platform. And instead of sucking the blood of your victims to stay alive (as you did in Blood Omen), you now must suck the souls of enemies to survive. Soul Reaver even includes mad vampire beat-downs; you can use grappling holds, hand-to-hand combat, and weapons you find in the environment to smack the bloodsuckers silly. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is still very early in development, but from the initial screens, it could be the scariest (and coolest) game this Halloween.
Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain turned the action/adventure genre upside down--instead of being a traditional, squeaky-clean hero, you played a vampire bent on revenge, sucking the blood from enemies (and innocents) on your quest for justice. But since Kain's first quest was successful, he's been corrupted by his power, and has stolen all the souls from Nosgoth, leaving none for the Elder. As Raziel, a lesser vampire banished from Kain's legions, it's your job to overthrow Kain's bloody-fisted rule, thus supplying fresh souls for your new master, the Elder.
You'll battle 12 bosses and 20 different enemies in your quest to depose Kain, sucking souls for your own sustenance along the way. It's a grim game, full of gothic imagery and detailed 3D graphics; even in these early screens, it's clear the game's dark atmosphere is shaping up nicely. Vampire fans, get ready--Soul Reaver could be the ultimate thriller this October.
Snapshots and Media
- Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine
- Mummy: Tomb of the Pharaoh
- Soul Reaver 2
- Syphon Filter
- Tomb Raider
- Tomb Raider 2
- Tomb Raider 3
- Tomb Raider: Chronicles
- Tomb Raider The Last Revelation
- Akuji The Heartless
- Blood Omen Legacy of Kain
- Blood Omen: The Legacy of Kain
- Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness
- Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb