Legacy of Kain: Defiance (Playstation 2)

 
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Product Description

Legacy of Kain: Defiance - Return to the dark intrugue of Nosgoth, where the vampire Kain pursues his fallen creation Raziel. Divided by their common enemies, the two heroes must fight to unravel the mystery of their destinies, as the fate of the world hangs in the balance. While their adversaries plot their destruction, Kain and Raziel must embark on a dark odyssey, which only one of them may survive.

Features:
  • Play as both Kain and Raziel, two powerful and highly evolved vampires with unique abilities
  • Engage in intense combat utilizing thrilling combo moves, and physical agility to destroy hordes of human, demonic, and undead foes
  • Utilize telekinetic powers to manipulate the environment and hurl your enemies into obstacles, impale them on sharp objects, or throw them off ledges to their deaths
  • Feed your dark hunger by sucking the blood and devouring the souls of your enemies to survive
  • Possess the bodies of unsuspecting victims to shift between the shadowy and sinister Spectral Realm and the rich and beautiful Material Plane

Customer Reviews:

  • If you like Raziel you'll cry
    It's a very good game but if you like Raziel OVER Kain you're gonna hate it.
    The plot is ok, the answers of all the questions leaved by the others Legacy of Kain are there but...
    All the others reviews tell about the gameplay and that's right the game is great, the puzzles very intrincates but easy an logic only the final for Raziel who doesn't deserve it.
    I think Crystal and Eidos do that to take back the history to Kain....more info
  • Good Old Fashioned Vampire Fun
    I've been playing the Soul Reaver games since the beginning and have always been captivated by them. Great story, great gameplay and some of the best graphics. Thankfully, "Defiance" lives up to the usually high standards.

    This is a great game, pure and simple. The graphics are outstanding and the gaemplay is extremely fun and easy to get used to. It seems a little over complicated at first but you get the hang of it very quickly. For those of you who have followed the storyline from the beginning, this one does not disappoint as it twists and turns between Kain and Raziel, letting you play as both characters of course. The graphics are outstanding, and that's on playstation, so imagine how could they'll be on Xbox.

    I do have one major complaint and this is the sole reason I gave it 4 stars and not five. The camera in this game makes me want to hang myself. It is terrible, period. Maybe the one of the most annoying cameras in the history of games. But like I said, being that this is the ONLY problem I find with the game, it can be overlooked.

    Overall, a quality, nice looking game, with great gameplay and great storyline makes this one probably my favorite of the series.

    Graphics: 9/10 (PS2)
    Gameplay: 9/10
    Storyline: 9/10
    Overall: 9/10...more info

  • First impressions after release
    I've played it for a total of 6 (in-game) hours and here's my thoughts.

    It's a VERY beautiful game. I broke down and got the Xbox version ( personally don't like the system) because I had to have the system give the game's graphics justice. The combat system is so much more fun than it has ever been. It's more involved, but it's moves come off pretty smoothly. You get to earn new combos (just a few, and I'm not sure what prompts you learning the combo) - they're also fun, but it seems people are having a difficult time pulling them off consistantly.

    They had mentioned that there would be more combat, a little less story and the puzzles would be more game related. There is much more combat (but it's just the right amount), I am loving the story (it doesn't feel less at all) and the puzzles feel about the same as they were in SR2, and sometimes just as obtuse. IMPORTANT - they don't tell you this, but ulike the other SR games, Raziel can actually climb walls in the spectral realm - I got stuck for about an hour just because I didn't know this. It was annoying, but I'm over it. You also have to re-forge Raziel's reaver to the elements, but you don't need to embue them on fonts like before, you can select them at will. Each reaver for both characters also casts spells when charged. The camera is both very cinematic, and very annoying at points. You can't free-roam view like the previous games and sometimes you really want to look around the room - but they do a good job of not putting anything important out of your view. Also slightly annoying are some invisible walls they have in certain areas - it looks like you should be able to go to certain platforms but they force you to go around. Like I said, slightly annoying, but nothing has taken away from the fact that this so far is the best installment in the series (and force powers are SO much fun). They also finally make it so you can re-view any cut scenes that focus on the story. SR2 gave us the Dark Legacy that let you read transcripts of scenes, bur that's not enough for me when they have such great cinematics and voice-acting.

    The enemy action is more fun too. I'm a roleplayer, and my friend and I noticed the human enemies act more like a well rounded D&D group - they have spell-casters that suplement the fighters, forcing you to modify your order of attack and techniques.

    This is still a preliminary review because I'm not done with the game, but I highly recommend this as a solid game that's fun and intelligent - LOTS of style. They do a pretty good job summerizing the previous games as well. But like the other Legacy of Kain games, I'd recommend having a strategy guide/walkthrough near you for those times when you get hung up on a puzzle (other than the rule changing on the wall climbing - I haven't been completely stumped by any yet, but they can be a bit obtuse at times and I'd hate to miss out on the story just because one puzzle tripped me up).

    Great game - excellent story - wonderful characters - 5 stars!...more info

  • Slaughter Mercilessly
    Being the Legacy of Kain fan that I am, I went out and bought this game the day it came out. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. This game has some of the best graphics ever and the music and sound effects are supreme. Of course, this is not enough to make a great game. Luckily, the fighting system has been revamped and resembles that of Devil May Cry. You can literally keep a combo chain going until an enemy dies if you wanted to. However, you don't necessarily have to be to skilled at combos to enjoy this new fighting style. If you are one of those people that has a hard time doing combos you can always do the typical hack and slash type fighting from the first Legacy of Kain game (Blood Omen). The storyline in this game is vintage Legacy of Kain genious. How the writers came up with some of the stuff in this game is beyond me, but I'm glad they did! Plus, this game ties up a lot of the loose ends from Soul Reaver 2 and has one of the most climactic endings ever. Plus, the ending doesn't leave you going "so what happens next?" Don't worry though, it still has been left open for, I hope, another sequel. The only problems with this game are the camera can be a little problamatic, and it is a little to short. I beat it in under six hours. Other than that the game is pure genious and makes up for the "glitchtacular" Blood Omen 2....more info
  • Perfect game!! Worth my money!!
    I rushed to the store in no time to get this game the night before the release date. Usually I'll never buy a game before reading some editor reviews. But this time, forget it! this game is just too amazing to wait. I played both Kain and Raziel, and I was just very amazed by the everything about this game.

    Gameplay:
    Now unlike the previous installments, this game features Devil May Cry style fighting system. One can execute unlimited-hit combos, throw them and slash them in mid-air. It also features learning special moves along the game, weapon enhancement, and telekinesis. with telekinesis, you can hurl enemies and throw them down a bridge, to a wall, to sharp objects, and columns. it's very cool that sometimes they will stick on a wall or after they hit a wall they slowly slide down with a blood track on it. your enemies will also be bounced back from the ceiling when u use lift attack.

    Kain's unique moves feature blood-drinking(of course), you can either suck their blood from a distant or simply bite on them. Also he can dissolve into mist form to pass thru gates or bars, or when dodging in combat. Finally, in some areas, he can leap across wide gap or fly between distant locations by transforming into a swarm of bats.

    While Kain has to drink blood, Raziel requires souls devouring. Raziel's unique abilities are shifting between spectral and material realms. when switching to material world, Raziel transforms a dead body into his own image and will require souls to keep him alive. in material world he can swim, open doors, move and pick up objects, and break stuff. In spectrual world, he can dematerialize to pass thru gates and sometimes be able to see hidden paths. Another thing is, he can no longer fly but can glide in mid-air.

    Graphics and Sound:
    Excellent! You now no longer have the view always behind their back, instead, it automatically adjusts the camera view just like Devil May Cry. The statues, walls, characters, background, floor,....just everything you see in the game is highly detailed. From the ancient stronghold to the twisted creepy underworld, everything just blends together so well. The cut-scenes also help player to follow the story. The background music suits the stages very well. you can also hear voices. Like when Kain is discovered by human, they'll shout "A vampire!". In Underworld, you can always hear human souls crying and whispering, saying stuff like "No..please..No" and "Raziel...Raziel"!

    Now since i just started playing I don't know how long this game will last. but for all the stuff i've seen so far, i'm 100% satisfied. This is the best installment yet and I hope you'll enjoy it too....more info

  • The Legacy Continues
    My jaw nearly dropped the first time I saw an ad for this game in a gaming magazine (forget which). Ever since the cliffhanger (again) at the end of Soul Reaver 2, I have been eagerly awaiting the next installment of the franchise. Now that it's finally here, I can proudly say that it doesn't disappoint. This is now the 5th game in the series, but is also by far the superior one of them all. The best news is that what the LOK fans truly love about the games, that being the excellent voice acting and intriguing story, is as good as ever. The story truly unfolds like an epic tale of deceit, manipulation, destiny, and vengeance. This is also the first game in the series where both Kain and Raziel are playable characters within the same game.

    In terms of the game itself, it plays very easily. The new combat system works great, giving you the ability to take on multiple enemies at once. The mid-air combos work well and and that extra bit of flair. The characters also are granted special new abilities as their combat experience increases, giving the player incentive to stand and fight instead of running away. The reaver also gets many new enhancements in the game, both as the physical and wraith blade, and even includes an energy meter that when full, can be used to unleash a powerful wave attack on multiple enemies. Also, both Kain and Raziel now posess telekinetic abilites that, when used in a fight, can hurl enemies onto sharp objects, or push them off a ledge to their death.

    The bonus features on the disc are great. During the game, both Kain and Raziel can collect tomes to unlock bonus features from the main menu, which generally include concept artwork and storyboards from previous LOK games. The Dark Chronicle is also far superior, for this time, you can watch the cinematics from the game as you progress, instead of just written transcripts of the action. When the game is beaten, you get access to video recordings of the voice sessions, 3D renderings of the characters and environments, and more concept artwork.

    I have to say though that one change made is both a blessing and a curse. The new camera system, which uses a fixed position instead of previous games where it followed the character, simultaneously gives you both a wider view of the action, but also can be a pain in the rear when in combat. There are times where you could be facing an enemy and if they move behind a pillar or staircase, the camera doesn't rotate and the obstruction keeps you from seeing the fight, not to mention you can't see your enemy! It also makes jumping onto platforms more challenging because it doesn't center behind the character, as in previous games.

    I really can't say anything bad about this game. It has much more of an action feel to it, but with the added bonus of superb voice acting and the most intriguing and complex storyline of any franchise to date. Do yourself a favor and pick up this game. If you're a hardcore LOK fan like me, you should already own a copy. For you newbies who buy it, get the other games as well. It will make for a fantastic experience, not to mention it'll be a lot less confusing....more info

  • Great storyline and characters, but needs more polish
    Until now, the Legacy Of Kain games have failed to leave a positive impression on me. The storyline and voice acting caught my interest, but the gameplay and graphics were mediocre at best. When I heard about Defiance being an improvement over the last installments however, I decided to give the series another look. While it is true that Defiance sports better scenery and more exciting combat than it's predecessors, there are still some aspects that need refining. The sound effects seem muffled and too quiet for an action game, and some of the animations of the characters are awkward (when Kain/Raziel take a hit, they just quietly slide across the floor). Some of the backrounds are beautifully detailed (such as the mansion area later in the game), but others are drab, cookie cutter rehashes of previous areas. Other problems such as slow-down and jittery camera movements put a damper on what would have otherwise been an excellent experience. Ultimately, the overall quality of Defiance is inconsistent. If Eidos spent just a little more time ironing out the rough spots, it could have been a true classic....more info
  • Did you like Devil May Cry and Primal? If so, buy this game!
    I'm skeptical about "slasher/hacker" type games. They bore me. But this one is NOT one of those games. It's not quite a "thinking/horror" game like Silent Hill or Fatal Frame. It's more like Devil May Cry or Primal. The atmosphere is awesome! The story-line is compelling. The characters are interesting.

    It's about solving puzzles, unlocking crypts, doors, time portals, and of course killing and absorbing the souls of ghosts, ghouls, vampire killers that are out to get you. Since you have tasks to do, the fighting seems like an afterthought in order for you to complete each tasks. It makes the work that much more suspenseful to complete. Both Kain and Raziel are two characters that you play, and both have unique abilities. Both characters are played and end up meeting each other later in the game. You play both characters by alternating between them each mission.

    This is a good epic/gothic (Vampire theme) style game that was well worth the purchase. Just make sure you like games like Devil May Cry and Primal before you buy this game....more info

  • Vae Victus
    Speaking as a true fan of the series, I loved this game. I only wish it could have been longer. I also wish they would have kept the standard third person camera angles. Kain the THE ultimate bad a**, and raziel is pretty cool too. The voice acting ( as with the whole series) is top notch, better than 98% of anything you will see in a movie. I say to Eidos, keep them coming, never end the Kain series, it will never be as lame as metroid, zelda, or megaman....more info
  • Excellent combat, great plot, this game keeps me going.
    This is probably one of my favorite games of all time. And the best game in the 'Legacy of Kain' series too!

    Players play as both Kain and Raziel and follow each characters' story through Nosgoth, and through time. The way the two stories are so deeply intertwined is awesome! At first I was a bit confused, but as the plot unfolds (a bit slowly), I became entranced with this story!

    Combat is incredible. The amount of attacks, and variety of choices makes combat really fun and unique. Telekinesis is by far the coolest thing ever introduced in combat. From the start of the game, Kain can launch an enemy in the air, send him flying over a cliff, catch him before he falls, and telekinetically suck his body back for a brutal beating! And not far into the game, extra attacks are earned like a mid-air bounce attack, where Kain or Raziel smack the opponent into the ground that they bounce back up in the air only to be juggled again!

    I've played this game for 10 hours now, and I must admit in a few places I get lost, and travel through the same area's quite a lot. But that's only a problem because I'm impatient to see what part of the story will unfold next! Each level and room is so incredibly drawn and rendered, I stop just to look at all the artwork that was so meticulously set. The amount and quality of architecture and inventive sculptures in this game is breathtaking....more info

  • Great game!
    Defiance is an absolutely amazing addition to the Soul Reaver and Blood Omen series from Crystal Dynamics/Eidos Interactive! I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the artwork, the lush environments and the seamless special effects this game has to offer. The Cinematics are skillfully animated and I've never heard better voice overs in a game, EVER!

    I also really love the way you get to play BOTH Kain and Raziel in turn as you progress through the game, keeping things even more interesting as you get to witness each character slowly decipher their intertwined destinies as the story comes to a climactic ending. Both characters are extremely fun to play too, as each of them gains special moves making the already great combat system even more fun!

    I highly recommend this game to anyone, even if you haven't played any of the Soul Reaver or Blood Omen games since there is PLENTY of story to fill you in on the details as you play along!...more info

  • Epic tale and fantasically fun!!!
    Few games have effected me the way the installments of the Legacy of Kain series have. I was not too impressed with Blood Omen 2, it was not a bad game though just substandard for the quality expected from this series. I will also get out of the way the belabored, yet true, comments about the camera angles. They are completely terrible and I dunno what the development team was thinking. You'll get used to it though and hopefully go on to appreciate this game and the awesome tale your rewarded with for your hardships. I know I should knock off a star atleast for my compliants about the camera angles, but I can't bring myself to do it. The storyline starts off slow, but when things start to develop you'll be glad you stuck around. I think the ending is great and we visit with our favorite characters from throughout the series. I've heard rumors this will be the last Legacy of Kain game. Despite what people may expect me to say in response to that I wouldn't really be bothered if it is. I would like LoK to end with something like this. I think it is good to end while your hot and leave a legacy (no pun intended) rather than play this story out until fans are saying nasty things. I think the developers were respectful to the history and the characters and I'm pleased....more info
  • Awesome ending to a spectacular series, but is it the end?
    Leagcy of Kain: Defiance was a spectacular game. I've had the chance to follow the games and what happens in this one makes all the mysterious things in every other game make so much sense. The team that made this game is genious. The way the story follows perfectly the timelines and how each thing effected outcomes in other games blew me away. It was a satisfying out come which left a few questions unanswered. Will there be another chapter in this amazing series, I don't know but I hope there is.
    The Game:
    Game play and graphics were fairly good. It did take me a while to get used to the point of veiw that the game was played in. For those who have played all of the previous games it was always shown from the back of the character seeing all that was in front of him, in this game it is totally different. Different angles are used as you go through the game and it can get confusing at times, and even hard. I personally had trouble guaging jumps or if I was in the right place to hit enemies. Other than that, the game runs smoothly and, other than the minor directional movement problems that occur due to the different camera angles, navigates smoothly.
    If you have all the other games and don't have this one get it. It will be worth your money and time. If you don't have any of the games I suggest investing in the Legacy of Kain series and enjoy the experience....more info
  • COOLEST GAMES EVER CONTINUIED!
    I'm a big legacy of kain fan,so I had to play this one.In the game your both Kain and Raziel(my favorite).In the first level your Kain and your in the sarafan stronghold.In level 2 your Raziel and trying to escape the spectral relm.And you swith charecters between levels.There are also cool bonus materials.This is the coolest installment yet!...more info
  • This game owns my soul!
    Well, the fifth installment in the Kain series. What an excellent game, the new fighting engine is great, and the story is even better.

    The only thing that i see wrong with this game is the camera system, and the fact that there are almost thirteen reavers!

    But i guess that the new reavers are a good thing.. Since you can now attack underwater with the Earth reaver,
    Kain is more of the Gung Ho character, youll see that fighting with him is easier than with Raziel.

    On the other hand, Raziel's ability to shift plains will come in handy when solving puzzles. Also he can survive in water, when Kain dies in it.

    The spectral plain blows in this game though. My friend came ovwer and he got sick after playing in the spectral plain for five minutes because of the blurrry effect there.

    But all in all im gonna stick with my love for Kain and Raziel and im not gonna turn my back on them because of a little glitch...
    -Bob...more info

  • Fantastic game with some minor flaws
    I have long been a fan of the Legacy of Kain games. Blood Omen was one of my first playstation games, and it still stands as one of my all-time favorites. When Soul Reaver hit about 3 years later, the dramatic change of game play and surprising turn of the story was a huge hit, and I became instantly hooked. Like Blood Omen before it, I was compelled to finish Soul Reaver to the end, and to this day Soul Reaver also stands out as one of my all-time favorite games. Afterwards, the offerings of Soul Reaver 2 and Blood Omen 2 were decent, but the gameplay didn't live up to the standards set by Soul Reaver. Defiance changes everything...once again, the Legacy of Kain series successfully combines a spell-binding story with excellent gameplay.

    Picking up shortly after Soul Reaver 2, Defiance has you assume the role of not only Raziel, but Kain as well. Although Blood Omen 2 allowed you to play as Kain as well, I must admit that it was a real gift to be able to play as Kain again, especially since the gameplay in Blood Omen 2 was awful compared to Defiance. As the story progresses, you will switch between Kain and Raziel in a series of chapters. Often times, the chapter you are currently playing ends with a brief cliffhanger, and thrusts you into the other character's shoes. What is great about this game is that the designers understand that the following this series has is mostly a cult following, or rather somewhat small amount of very devoted people who truly love the story. Long-time fans will be thrilled with the questions answered, most notably questions from Blood Omen and Soul Reaver 1 & 2, but unfortunately many of Blood Omen 2's questions still go unanswered. Despite this, I myself was absolutely stunned by the story...I almost got lockjaw syndrome from my mouth being gaped open in shock during the entire last 3 hours of the game.

    The gameplay is tons of fun. Unlike the mediocre combat offerings from Soul Reaver 2 and Blood Omen 2, I actually found myself thirsting for combat in this game, and when it happened, it was alot of fun. Although fundamentally the same, since both Kain and Raziel have the exact same special moves (which are learned through the game by gaining combat experience), Kain and Raziel play somewhat differently. Kain is definitely the stronger powerhouse, able to make short work of most enemies, where Raziel is considerably weaker, but is much quicker and is better at evading enemies rather than facing them head on. When playing as Raziel I found myself wanting to avoid combat until I started gaining more special moves as the game progressed. The special moves are easy to perform and the same for both characters (though the look different and are called different things).

    Unlike previous games, you cannot pick up weapons as you go. Kain and Raziel both wield their versions of the Reaver. Kain possesses the Blood reaver, while Raziel possesses different incarnations of the Soul Reaver. As you progress, both Kain and Raziel's Reavers gain new powers, which substantially sets them apart from one another. Each weapon can be powered up by using it to finish the opponent. So instead of consuming the soul or drinking the blood themselves, Raziel and Kain can instead use their Reavers to consume the Soul or Blood of their enemy. Another gratifying aspect is that there is a purpose to getting the new Reaver upgrades. Each one has its own unique power that is useful in the right situation.

    In terms of overall gameplay, Kain and Raziel have different games. Kain's game focuses mostly on locating keys or artifacts to progress, and is combat intensive. Raziel's game, however, is heavily puzzle-oriented and lighter on combat, though there are situations with overwhelming enemies.

    In terms of flaws, this game is utterly packed with glitches. On countless occasions, I had to save the game(which can be done anywhere, thankfully) and turn off the machine because the game would suddenly stop playing sounds. Other times, the game froze when there were large amounts of enemies on screen. This also happened when the game seemed to go nuts and spawn massive amounts of enemies on the screen, which couldn't be hit. The game then proceeded to freeze. Sometimes the audio cut out during cut scenes, which was royally annoying. There were some minor clipping issues during combat as well.

    Overall, despite the countless amount of glitches and bugs, Legacy of Kain: Defiance stands out as one of the BEST games I have played in a long, long time. I don't think i've been this compelled to sit down and finish a game since the first Soul Reaver. The story is excellent, with the same returning voice-acting cast, some of which are notable Hollywood talent. All of the cut scenes are saved as you progress, so you can view them at any time. This game was also longer than the past 2 outings, clocking in for me at about 25 or more hours. I was very happy with this game and pleased to see that it was so improved over the last 2 offerings....more info

  • very much underrated game
    man i just beat this game today, and it ROCKS!. i'm not a hardcore fan of this series but i'll give this game its due. i only played blood omen2(which was very excellent) and soul reaver1(which was o.k). i didn't even play SR2 but i understood defiance totally. i highly recommend playing blood omen2 and SR1(both of which are under 8 dollars) before you hop on this game.

    story: i'll give it a 8/10 becuase sometimes the story can get a still sidetrack.

    grahics: i'll give it a 9/10. the voice acting is awesome, the character models are solid throughout the whole game.

    gameplay: i'll give it a 8/10. the game is not hard to control between kain and razel.

    over all i'll give this awesome game a 8 1/2 out of 10. this is the most underrated game i've seen in a while. yeah the camera angle is a little different, but trust me its not anything to cry about. i had this game twice(xbox and ps2) the first time around i hated the camera angle so i didn't give it time of day. but the 2nd time around i fell it love with it. also this is not a walk in the park game, this game is long, real long. injoy...more info
  • lagacy of kain rocks
    this game is not out yet but I bet it will be great. the first legacy of kain game I played was the first soul reaver Iv been hooked every since. the games are very well put together the grapics are incredable and the game play is great. I recomend that every check out soul reaver and soul reaver 2 and also blood omen 2. I will for sure be getting the new game...more info
  • Ah, The Children Of The Night....
    Latest in the long-running vampire series, Legacy of Kain: Defiance chronicles the return of everybody's two favourite anti-heroes to the blood soaked world of Nosgoth.

    To bring the newbies up to speed, Legacy of Kain follows Vampire tyrant Kain and his vengeful prodigy Raziel as they battle for supremacy across time and space in a mythical world of supernatural mystery. Both protagonists wield an ancient sword, the Soul Reaver - Kain's is the physical body of the sword, while Raziel is fused to the spectral essence of the mighty blade. The time sorceror Mobius has cast both vampires back into the past, to the roots of Nosgoth's history, and it is here that we pick up the latest chapter.

    Soul Reaver is a 3D action adventure in which players alternately assume the roles of Raziel and Kain. Each character is unique in that Kain requires blood to keep his health up, while Raziel, a spectral vampire, requires souls. To this end each vampire has a unique repetoir of combat and finishing moves to dish out on enemies, such as Kain sinking his fangs in his dizzied victim's throat. In addition, both characters are able deploy complex sword combos, as well as magical powers in combat - one that looks particularly satisfying is the ability to telekenetically pick up and hurl opponents off of cliffs, or into nearby spikes, impaling them. Indeed, much of the focus for this game is an overhauled combat system, and the player will often find themselves attacked by multiple foes.

    In keeping with the traditions of the series, there will also be plenty of mind-bending puzzles to deal with. Raziel is capable of shifting between the living and spectral worlds, and in each environment is able to achieve different things to solve a puzzle. For example, while Raziel cannot pick up objects in the spirit world, he can warp through gates and other thin obstacles, or jump to otherwise inaccessable areas. This gives the game a fantastic degree of scope and depth to 3D problem solving.

    The graphics for the series are top notch, and its one of the first series of games to do away with loading screens - clever coding allows the game to load upcoming environments before you reach them, allowing a seamless transition through the vast land of Nosgoth. The world is realised in beautiful, lovingly crafted architecture, spooky, mist filled forests and flickering caves. The spectral world, which Raziel is tied to is rendered in eerie blues and greens, and there's a lot of excellent lighting throughout. Its one of the most atmospheric games you'll play this year.

    One of the chief critisisms levelled at the last game, Soul Reaver 2, is that it was too wordy and complex a plot, with not enough action and exploring. This latest title seems to have addressed those concerns by upping the action in spades, while staying true to the devious twists and turns of the series. This should be on every fan's wish list, and I'd recommend it to anyone in search of an offbeat and spooky adventure game....more info

  • Defying my fears for the game.
    When I first looked into this game, I heard that it had an awesome fighting engine --which it does-- and feared instantly that it'd be a repeat of the atrocity that is Blood Omen II, which I felt lacked the story and dialogue that's become the defining element of the Legacy of Kain series.

    This one returns to the brilliant surreal dialogue of older days, every word catching in your mind like poetry. Some of the lines even repeat in your head -- like the flipping coin analogy of Soul Reaver II.

    The gaming elements are right on par. The puzzle part of the game is there ,yet in a smaller way than before; not nearly as annoying or as difficult, so for those of you who enjoyed completing these things and patting yourself on the back with a congratulatory "I'm so damned smart", you might not be so very pleased with this one.

    As I mentioned earlier, and others have mentioned too, the fighting engine is simply awesome. Think about the others, great ~vampire~ games, right? Well take the pleasantries of the story and add the ability to levitate for moments, juggling your opponent around using telekenesis to suspend them in mid air or bounce them down into the ground and then back up to you to continue your assault. There is also the niftiness of floating above your enemies, telekeneticly guzzling their blood while you declare yourself dark god of these pathetic mortals. -insert maniacal laughter-

    Aside from that, the camera isn't the good ol' "follows you around right behind you" anymore-- which has its ups an downs to it. In what remains of the puzzles in Defiance the camera tends to focus towards the areas of interest. Othertimes it makes for great views and fight scenes. The downside is that you sometimes get lost just because you missed a passage that the camera was facing away from.

    The sounds are okay. It's missing a few things, but I'm very pleased to hear Kain yelling "Woe to the defeated" in Latin again (( it happens to have been added back into a pleasant dialogue between Kain and Raziel )), and the new eerie sounds that haunt Raziel while existing in the spectral realm.

    The extras are nice as well, including the openings of Soul Reaver and its sequel and various outtakes and videos of the voice actors doing their jobs. There's also a subtitle option for the hearing impaired... or those who just love listening to blaring rock music (for me it was Beethoven's Ninth) while kicking hordes of men around as if they were toddlers.

    All around, it's a bloody (pun intended) awesome game....more info

  • Great game a little short
    I really liked this game it made you think because you had to go back and fourth between kain and razeil(I do not belive I spelled his name right) knowing both there strengths and weaknesses. I loved how they boosed the telekenisis for this game alling it to be more a skill than just a knock back. I felt through this game that your kinda in like a teken game with a much bigger fighting area and the reaver spells where hard to charge up for other than when you have the special reaver stones. Other than that it was a really great game story was good and razeil starts with just the knock back ability then he goes and when you beat torel he gets to move people around like kain. I really hate what happens to him though if you have played soul reaver and 2 you can not truly help but feel sorry for home. and I really would have loved to have kain's teleporting ability durring the game rather than just see him use it at the end of the final battle to get to the top of the shaft. Over all good game and a must have for any Legacy of Kain fan....more info
  • A worthy conclusion to the Legacy of Kain series
    As a long-time fan of the Legacy of Kain series, I have played every game in the series to date. As of right now, the series has been shelved by Eidos in favor of Tomb Raider, making Defiance the last entry in what is truly an epic story.

    Going into this fifth LoK game, I had rather high expectations. Blood Omen 2 was a letdown in several respects, having been developed by a new team inexperienced in with the series. Based on the previews and assurances from the team, this game promised to make up for its predecessor. After playing through the game numerous times, I firmly believe it succeeds in that goal.

    The game returns to the story of Raziel and the future Kain. After the events of Soul Reaver 2, Raziel is trapped in the Spectral Realm by his former benefactor-turned-adversary, the mysterious Elder God. After escaping from his master's grip, he seeks to uncover the mystery behind the terrible destiny charted for him in Nosgoth's ancient past. Meanwhile, Kain is also seeking the truth behind his own destiny, which is inescapably tied into Raziel's.

    The LoK series is famous for its complex storylines, and this entry into the series is no exception. Nosgoth's mythology is once again finely explored as Kain and Raziel make several startling discoveries not only about their fates, but also the true enemies that seek to destroy them and conquer Nosgoth. Locations such as the Pillars and the Sarafan Stronghold make their return, along with a few surprise areas which should please those familiar with the first LoK game, Blood Omen.

    All the central characters are here too. Kain, Raziel, Moebius,
    Ariel, Vorador, and the Elder God return once again, along with a few surprises I won't spoil for you. I will say one of them solves a long standing mystery from Soul Reaver 1, and another gives further insight into a plot thread from Blood Omen.

    As with Soul Reaver 2, the story is told through interactions between the characters and through murals that tell the history of Nosgoth's ancient past. The voice acting is as good as ever. LoK has always been known for excellent voice acting and Defiance doesn't disappoint.

    But what about the gameplay itself? Well, I'd say it's a definite improvement over the previous games. The puzzles are less elaborate than in Soul Reaver 2, but the combat more than makes up for this. In the vein of games like Devil May Cry, the characters can now perform devastating combos. Kain wields the physical version of the Reaver, while Raziel has the wraith blade. Both characters have the ability of telekinesis, which they can use in conjunction with hack-n-slash attacks and a multitude of Reaver spells. The only downside is that the open-ended nature of Blood Omen and Soul Reaver 1 is still missing. Hopefully Crystal Dynamics will address that next time if another game is put into production.

    Boss battles also make their return to the series, albeit with mixed results. On many occasions, Raziel will have to face the spirits of former Pillar guardians, which can get tedious after the first two. However, the three major boss battles are better executed, especially the final battle that you'll never see coming.

    Graphically, the game is slightly more refined than Soul Reaver 2. The characters all look great and have even greater detail to them. Admittedly, the architecture isn't quite as compelling this time around. There are a few notable exceptions, especially a certain mansion you explore later on as Raziel.

    Overall, Defiance is a great game that is a worthy entry into the Legacy of Kain series. There are a few flaws that could use improvement, but its strengths are definitely greater than its weaknesses. The gameplay is fast paced and exciting, and the story sheds light on many questions left over from the previous games, including the true enemy at the heart of Nosgoth's bloody history.

    Incidentally, it's a well known fact that the first game in the series, Blood Omen, was largely developed by another company called Silicon Knights. There are some hardcore fans of that game who will seek to convince everyone that the sequels by Crystal Dynamics are completely worthless. That Blood Omen is an unparalleled masterpiece and that the sequels somehow shame its status. They're entitled to their opinions, of course. But for those who are undecided, perhaps you should look at Silicon Knights' intentions for Legacy of Kain after Blood Omen. In a word: NONE. SK had no intentions whatsoever of making a sequel. It's true they introduced us to a fascinating world, but they had no intention of ever exploring that world any further, or settling the numerous plot lines left open by the writers. Things such as the next phase of the Dark Entity's plan (he admitted to Kain that there was one), the origins of the Circle and the vampires themselves, what the Dark Entity truly was, and the true nature of the Pillars. It's one thing to leave a couple things a mystery, like the series Silent Hill does frequently. But so many unresolved plot threads were just screaming for a sequel, yet they were completely ignored in favor of projects that proceeded to languish in development hell.

    I understand how some fans may feel cheated that Crystal Dynamics' games do not fall into the same genre of Blood Omen. But that's precisely the point. CD was not trying to create more carbon copies of Blood Omen. Because SK themselves held very little interest in LoK anymore, CD did not owe it to them to create sequels that were exactly like Blood Omen. What they owed SK was to treat the story with respect, which they did. Even Blood Omen 2, the worst of the series, still makes the effort to expand on Nosgoth's history and terrain.

    What CD accomplished was to create a fascinating story from the plot threads left unresolved in that game, and in the process, expand greatly on the world of Nosgoth. Nosgoth is now one of the most remarkable worlds in gaming, with a history that is intruiging and complex, yet still holds an air of mystery to it.
    The series isn't perfect; several things could be much better. But in the end, doesn't that apply to every other series as well?
    Ultimately games are about having fun, and for gamers who like a well thought story set in a fascinating world, LoK will provide many hours of enjoyment....more info
  • A step backwards from its predecessor, but still good
    This is the latest (but hopefully not last) game in the Legacy of Kain Series. It is also the only game in which you get to play both Kain and Raziel.

    I was really excited about this game at first, hearing they had revamped the combat system, about the only thing not great from the previous games. The actual result was only really a slight improvement.

    They modeled it after Devil May Cry (A game near and dear to my heart), but its execution was not good. There are more camera issues with this game than almost any I've played previously. Too many times did I find the camera looking at the corner of a passageway while I'm busy fighting on the other side of it. What little control over the camera you have is useless; instead of rotating around the point of interest (ie, your character) it rotates on its own position. So instead of swinging around the corner so i can actually see Raziel, it looks in the other direction.

    The style in general worked well in Devil May Cry (though I recall less camera issues in that game), but that game had an emphasis on nearly equal melee & ranged combat. When enemies were offscreen, you could at least shoot at them. This game has some ranged capabilities (telekenesis or TK), its not something you can use too much of.

    I will admit though that using Kain's TK to throw enemies off a bridge, onto a spike, or just pull them closer was suprisingly fun.

    That said, when the camera was working correctly, battles were slightly more interesting and frenzied than in previous games, but they also became frustrating sometimes. Also, the game's attempts at bosses (ghosts of previous pillar gaurdians) were extremely lame.

    Graphics-wise, the game is pretty good. Kain and Raziel both look great, and little things like Kain's mist-form looked suprisingly good. The lighting/shadowing was particularly well done.

    Plot wise, the game is good, but nowhere near the greatness of any of the previous games (except maybe Blood omen 2). The pacing drags, and it seems a little forumlaic. Also, while the voice acting is top-notch as usual for this series, the dialogue seemed to suffer a bit; it was a little over the top in some places (the lines and words themselves, not the acting).

    The game gets better near the end, and many people will probably prefer it than to the end of the Soul Reaver games. This one leaves off with a definite "To be continued..." feel, but doesn't leave you with a Cliff-Hanger or with a feeling of unfulfilment....more info
  • Defied My Expectations
    When I first loaded up Legacy of Kain: Defiance the first thing that struck me was how good everything looked, in fact, I have never seen a PS2 game that looked better. More detail, more objects with more polys and better textures than either Soul Reaver 2 or Blood Omen 2. Soul Reaver 2 I consider the best game I have ever played on the Playstation- and I was hoping that Defiance would carry the quality of story and unforgettable voice acting to the next level, and while Michael Bell and Simon Templeton (Raziel and Kain's voice actors), are clearly at the top of their form, Crystal Dynamics decided to scale back the story in favor of more action. I had mixed feelings about that because it sounded as though they were dumbing down the franchise in favor of more glitz. They haven't- the revamped combat system includes several new maneuvers and special abilities that really go a long way to making Defiance is a more exciting experience and I'm betting many fans of the older games might like the fact that the 10 minute cut scenes with all their flowery dialog are gone.

    To be sure the story is deep as it carries on after the events in SR2- 500 years after and begins with Kain infiltrating the Sarafan stronghold to confront Moebius while Raziel has spent the past five centuries in the underworld. Raziel has discovered that his destiny is to be the spirit that will inhabit the Soul Reaver blade and this understandably has him a little upset. The core theme of Defiance is simply that- the exertion of free will over fate. Kain believes that no one except perhaps Raziel has free will and is moving through events to find him as well as his own answers. Raziel is in the unique position of being outside the rules in some instances to the point of being able to avoid the scrutiny of the Time Streamer, Moebius. This enables Raziel to journey about Nosgoth with some freedom- exploring the world and learning more and more about his past and perhaps find a clue as to how to avoid his terrible fate.

    One of the interesting aspects of the game, aside from switching between Kain and Raziel from chapter to chapter, is they are visiting the same places and essentially looking for the same answers, separated by 500 years and together they assemble the story for the player. The downside to this is you essentially are doing the same things twice in some cases, even to the point where Raziel must reforge the Reaver as he did in SR2. Fortunately, these missions seem secondary and are quite a bit easier than they were in SR2, taking little time to accomplish. In the reforging of the blade they made each new enhancement permanent and Raziel can switch between the elemental enhancements as the player sees fit rather than having to find the correct elemental font to reimbue the blade with the energy type needed. Kain also enhances that physical Reaver- new powers abound for both characters such as invisibility, a dimensional attack that allows Kain to execute attacks on several targets at once, and the awesome improvement they made to each characters telekinesis- allowing either Kain or Raziel to fling opponents into walls or off cliffs with a quick snap of a O button. Multiple successive attacks on foes also charges each Reaver allowing Kain or Raziel to crack off additional spells. Both characters are much tougher than their previous incarnations.

    Raziel perhaps goes through the most changes- he no longer re-enters the physical world using the swirling dimensional gates, instead he must find an area in the spectral realm where a body is buried. Raziel shifts, inhabiting the corps which he then discards, assuming his normal blue bad-ass form. Additionally, he no longer seems to regenerate slowly in the Spectral Realm, plus his ability to devour souls is no longer at odds with the Reaver's hunger. He can feed and thereby sustain himself much easier than he could in SR2. He can feed the Reaver, but instead of just absorbing the soul, the Reaver is charged faster enabling him to cast spells. Both Kain and Raziel can also dodge foes like never before- executing tumbles, leaps, somersaults and quick shifts to mist form to avoid attacks.

    Graphically, Defiance is one big piece of eye candy- areas are huge and very well detailed- colors and textures are very lavish- things like fog, smoke and light effects are used sparingly and to great effect with the `less is more' philosophy. As I said, graphics are very much improved over the older games and the PS2 handles most of them quite well and I only noticed one segment (Kain's battle with Sarafan on the draw bridges), where there was a noticeable drop in frame rate. Music is also first rate and is best described as `funky gothic'- lots of drums and low buzzing synthesizer tunes, whispers and metallic clanks that combine to give the music a very original and unusual feel. Sound effects are unusual and often creepy, especially during Raziel's stints in the Spectral Realm- disembodied voices, screams, crying- very well used in all instances.

    If I have any complaints, it would be choice of camera positions. In SR2, in fact most of the Legacy of Kain games, the camera was squarely over the character's shoulder, in Defiance the camera is unbound, and positioning seems to be based on where the character is in the level. While this adds a neat cinematic feel to the action, it makes certain leaps and jumps difficult because often you can't see where you're jumping to. I noticed this especially in Raziel's first mission when he has to escape from the Elder God in the Spectral Realm- I must have attempted two of the last jumps 20 times each before I got it just right. Second, Kain's objectives seem a little more vague than Raziel's, at least to me. It's balanced out by the fact that the player spends more time as Raziel....more info

  • Best one Of all
    I've played legacy of cain series since 1998 yup PS1 and I can say that this is the best installment on all the cain series the plot was wonderful, but I advice player to play from legacy of cain blood omen 1,2 and legacy of cain soul reaver 1,2 before playing this one to get the full story line on the game. :)

    spoiler "can't wait for the next installment/ending?"...more info
  • Defying the Mediocrity of Games
    First off I want to state that I am a LoK fanatic. It's probably my favorite series of games period. So with that information, you could make a good argument to take my review with a grain of salt. Though I will try to be objective, I just love the series so much that I sometimes put on rose-colored glasses when it comes to flaws in the series. Heck, I found a way to enjoy Blood Omen 2, and it was far from spectacular.

    I also want to thank Crystal Dynamics for not "dumbing down" this latest installment. I can admit that the LoK series has always been a bit of a nitch series. It's not an easy series to just jump into without having some knowledge of previous games. Sure, they do give you some of the background in the instruction manual, but that hardly keeps you up to date with what is going on. And with that, CD and Eidos could have just made this an action/adventure game in the LoK world, with familiar characters and locations. Thankfully, they did not. They kept the driving force behind the LoK series going, and that my friends is the storyline. The best voice acting I have ever witnessed in games, combined with an incredible sweeping storyline that spans 5 games is what makes us fans of the series go nuts when a new one is on the way.

    And that's why I find it upsetting to see when people either complain that the story is either too difficult to understand, or they give you the totally wrong idea of what the storyline is. I am not one to give away storyline in a review, because 1: you'll find it out in the game once you play it, and 2: you are reading a review to find out a game's strengths and weaknesses, not what it's story is. But I am so tired of people saying in reviews about Kain and Raziel being at odds. Did these people even play Soul Reaver 2? Didn't they notice that Kain was different? Didn't they get the idea that he had a purpose behind what seems like cruelty? (Sorry, pent up frustration.) I will admit though, the storyline would be difficult to understand if this is your first endeavor into the LoK universe. You would be scratching your head wondering what is going on. But don't let anyone tell you that it's too difficult to understand, it's just that you really need to play the pervious 2 Soul Reaver games to have a good grasp of it, and the original Blood Omen would help too. At the very least Soul Reaver 2, cause that game has a lot of the storyline on the disc itself in written form.

    Okay, now with non-storyline aspects of the game. As other reviewers and mags have stated, Defiance looks fantastic. One of the prettiest games I've played in a while. Very nice gothic look and feel. The combat is also very nice as compared to previous installments. It felt to me that they took about the best aspects of the previous games and combined them into Defiance, which I must say works great. I won't go into the combat being like DMC, cause you probably have seen that 50 times by now. It is a lot more fluid and fun now and there are some very nice moves that both Raziel and Kain can do. And while the camera can be a bother at times, for the most part I found it quite enjoyable. I also like when you can flip into a first person view to look around, gives you an opportunity to appreciate the surroundings and also figure stuff out.

    So in finishing with my ramblings, I would say this is the best LoK installment yet. Would I recommend this game however to people who have never played a LoK game? That I'm not so sure about. While I think if you enjoy action/adventure games you will find this game very enjoyable. I think you would be missing out on what makes this series so great, the story. I know I've harped on the story a lot in this review, but I just want to convey that this series is more story driven than any I have played in the past. Best way I could describe it would be like a 5-part movie. Is it possible to just watch movie 5 and still enjoy it? Yes, definitely, but wouldn't you be missing out on some of the story since you missed the previous 4 movies?...more info

  • This was really bad
    I rented this game and wow it was just as bad as the others (LK's)were good. Bad camra angles, bad play through system, and what happend to all the cool stuff you got in the last games. Don't buy this one!!!...more info
  • A wonderful game in every aspect
    Before, in the Legacy of Kain games, there was always something to complain about. In Blood Omen, the controls were stocky and the graphics weren't exactly the best. In Soul Reaver, half of the game's quests(Glyphs) were pointless, and the battle system was a little blocky. In Soul Reaver 2, there were no boss fights and it was much too short a game. In Blood Omen 2, the battle system was awkward and the enjoyment of the story and puzzles was diminished. Now, in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, Crystal Dynamics has finally put everything together for what is quite possibly the best game of the year. The battle system has been totally revamped to resemble an improved, yes improved, version of Devil May Cry. If you thought you could do some sick juggles in DMC, Defiance will blow your mind. The graphics, as always, are excellent, and the voice acting and music is top tier in the business. Two major criticisms of the game are the lack of a map and camera problems. First of all, I think it was silly for game websites to complain about this, since Devil May Cry had the same problems, and they managed to see past them. The fact is that if you are used to controlling Raziel, then the camera will have no effect at all on your skills. I never had the situation arise where I was put at a disadvantage in battle due to the camera, and if you have any skill at all in action games it won't bother you either. The lack of a map is purely opinion. I personally think it adds to the atmosphere, and truthfully the puzzles would be way too easy if you had everything laid out for you instead of figuring it out for yourself. That being said, the puzzles have been considerably toned down since SR2, which had the best puzzles in any game in my opinion. They are still fairly enjoyable, but for an action-oriented game they tend to be a hinderance instead of a joy to solve.
    Overall, so much happens in the story of this game that any LoK fan NEEDS to play it. I'm serious. SR, SR2, and BO2 all set up major questions that Defiance has answered, and answered stunningly. When it is all said and done, this is one of the best games I've played in a while....more info
  • If u love vampires.......
    god did i love this game. but then again i was always a big fan of the lok games. some beter than others but this one is definetly the best lok game in the entire series. The game gives u deversity in worlds. And of course Raziel and Kain look as good as ever. My personal favorite being Raziel. Even though the two do basically the same thing they do it in their own ruthless way. So if u love vampires pick this one up.... or else! (just kidding!)...more info
  • I don't like it
    This game has great voice acting, graphics, and plot. So far it sounds like a good game, but it isn't. I beat it in 5 days which consisted of running around in the same looking levels fighting the same looking bad guys. It's nearly impossble to beat without a guide book. You'll have no idea whats going on if you never played blood omen or the soul reavers. One awful thing is that you can't first play the game as kain and then as Raziel. It swiches off between them....more info
  • Great game, big improvement
    This game was wonderful. I found that cutting into my enemys was a blast, the envoroments were very nicely done, and all the extras at the end were great. Also the way the saves were built in were perfect. And don't over look the fun of TKing people off of ledges, on to spikes, all around. Great fun, and great to use when battleing lots of enemys.
    A few gripes (and yes, I gave it 4 stars dispite all this): First off, I sometimes found the fighting hard to do in a crowd. It seemed like I'd take hits no matter how I did it. Not that its not ok to take hits, but it seemed like I was getting pummeled for no reason. Second, the puzzles. Unlike everyone else I've talked to, I DIDN'T like all the puzzles. Thank god there were very few for Kain. Every time we switched charicters however, I knew I'd be doing a puzzle fest first, and a fighting fest second. Third, I'm not going to complain about the camera, since i didn't have any real trouble with it. A "pull the camera behind the player" button would have been nice though. Fourth, the final boss battle was (for me) stupid hard! And it wasn't like I couldn't get the patterns or something, I just couldn't seem to do it without taking too much damage so that I'd die before i beat him. Also, the slow down sucked. Sometimes you'd know you had a big fight because there would be this major slow down as you walked into a room. And lastly, you learn a great "rapid hit" move early on, but its hard to use when every time you use it, some enemy smacks you from the side. Not sure how to correct this, but there were times when I'd have loved to go to town on the enemy, but if I hacked at him too long, he just shrugged it off and smacked me anyway, like that sword in his face did no good.
    Dispite all of that, this game is wonderfully solid, and a great experience. Its worth the price, and took me longer than the standard rental time to complete, so not a rental for me. And now that I've beaten it, I can go back and have some fun going through knowing I'm searching for the combat, not the puzzles (I know how to solve them all now)....more info
  • Better Than Ever!
    I love this game. It should definatly(sorry spelling isn't my strong point) be owned by Legacy of Kain fans. The camera has dramatically changed from traditional 3rd person to Devil May Cry position.The fighting has been redone for the better.You can play as both Raziel and Kain in this one.The story takes place after Soul Reaver 2. You start off as Kain searching for Moebius the Time Teller to figure out Raziel's true destiny.You then play as Raziel in the Underworld.
    PROS:
    -Fighting is more fun and easier.
    -When you hit a guy on a wall they slide down slowly leaving a trail of blood.
    -Story comes to a climactic end.
    -Play as Kain and Raziel.
    -Get Soul Reaver enhancements,Telekenisis enhancements, and health enhancements.
    -Puzzles are difficult but fun.
    -Unlockable bonuses such as concept art from the Legacy of Kain series.
    -Auto-Face target.
    CONS:
    -Camera sometimes makes it hard to fight because you can't see.
    -When it's over

    This is a great finish to my favorite series of games.I hope you enjoy this as much as I do....more info
  • Legacy of Kain:Defiance.....
    Nothing much has changed in the land of Nosgoth as of late. But, one thing is evident, this ain't your same ol' Legacy of Kain game. Defiance redefines the series with its' new combat system and 'Devil May Cry/Castlevania:Lament of Innocence' camera-style. Those two things, alone, add so much more depth to things that I hope they keep them for future installments. Admittedly, the camera could use a lil more polish in areas where the environment stands in your way but, for the most part, it works. Working in chapters and following them alternately through their quest, the story begins with Kain hunting down Moebius for answers and, then, with Raziel trying to find his way out of the Spectral Realm. Those expecting another game filled with more questions than answers will be genuinely surprised. This game answers every question you've had since Soul Reaver 1. So, you definitely know who's friend or foe in this installment. Sadly, though, with that apparent-it would seem as though the series is drawing to a close. Rest assured, though, it's not. It's just bringing this saga to a close and readying us for the next. One thing most LOK fans know is the storyline of Kain, Raziel, and Nosgoth is Epic.
    I'll have to agree with the majority on this one. This is the best Legacy of Kain installment yet. One not to be missed by the masses....more info
  • A worthy conclusion to the Legacy of Kain series
    As a long-time fan of the Legacy of Kain series, I have played every game in the series to date. As of right now, the series has been shelved by Eidos in favor of Tomb Raider, making Defiance the last entry in what is truly an epic story.

    Going into this fifth LoK game, I had rather high expectations. Blood Omen 2 was a letdown in several respects, having been developed by a new team inexperienced in with the series. Based on the previews and assurances from the team, this game promised to make up for its predecessor. After playing through the game numerous times, I firmly believe it succeeds in that goal.

    The game returns to the story of Raziel and the future Kain. After the events of Soul Reaver 2, Raziel is trapped in the Spectral Realm by his former benefactor-turned-adversary, the mysterious Elder God. After escaping from his master's grip, he seeks to uncover the mystery behind the terrible destiny charted for him in Nosgoth's ancient past. Meanwhile, Kain is also seeking the truth behind his own destiny, which is inescapably tied into Raziel's.

    The LoK series is famous for its complex storylines, and this entry into the series is no exception. Nosgoth's mythology is once again finely explored as Kain and Raziel make several startling discoveries not only about their fates, but also the true enemies that seek to destroy them and conquer Nosgoth. Locations such as the Pillars and the Sarafan Stronghold make their return, along with a few surprise areas which should please those familiar with the first LoK game, Blood Omen.

    All the central characters are here too. Kain, Raziel, Moebius,
    Ariel, Vorador, and the Elder God return once again, along with a few surprises I won't spoil for you. I will say one of them solves a long standing mystery from Soul Reaver 1, and another gives further insight into a plot thread from Blood Omen.

    As with Soul Reaver 2, the story is told through interactions between the characters and through murals that tell the history of Nosgoth's ancient past. The voice acting is as good as ever. LoK has always been known for excellent voice acting and Defiance doesn't disappoint.

    But what about the gameplay itself? Well, I'd say it's a definite improvement over the previous games. The puzzles are less elaborate than in Soul Reaver 2, but the combat more than makes up for this. In the vein of games like Devil May Cry, the characters can now perform devastating combos. Kain wields the physical version of the Reaver, while Raziel has the wraith blade. Both characters have the ability of telekinesis, which they can use in conjunction with hack-n-slash attacks and a multitude of Reaver spells. The only downside is that the open-ended nature of Blood Omen and Soul Reaver 1 is still missing. Hopefully Crystal Dynamics will address that next time if another game is put into production.

    Boss battles also make their return to the series, albeit with mixed results. On many occasions, Raziel will have to face the spirits of former Pillar guardians, which can get tedious after the first two. However, the three major boss battles are better executed, especially the final battle that you'll never see coming.

    Graphically, the game is slightly more refined than Soul Reaver 2. The characters all look great and have even greater detail to them. Admittedly, the architecture isn't quite as compelling this time around. There are a few notable exceptions, especially a certain mansion you explore later on as Raziel.

    Overall, Defiance is a great game that is a worthy entry into the Legacy of Kain series. There are a few flaws that could use improvement, but its strengths are definitely greater than its weaknesses. The gameplay is fast paced and exciting, and the story sheds light on many questions left over from the previous games, including the true enemy at the heart of Nosgoth's bloody history.

    Incidentally, it's a well known fact that the first game in the series, Blood Omen, was largely developed by another company called Silicon Knights. There are some hardcore fans of that game who will seek to convince everyone that the sequels by Crystal Dynamics are completely worthless. That Blood Omen is an unparalleled masterpiece and that the sequels somehow shame its status. They're entitled to their opinions, of course. But for those who are undecided, perhaps you should look at Silicon Knights' intentions for Legacy of Kain after Blood Omen. In a word: NONE. SK had no intentions whatsoever of making a sequel. It's true they introduced us to a fascinating world, but they had no intention of ever exploring that world any further, or settling the numerous plot lines left open by the writers. Things such as the next phase of the Dark Entity's plan (he admitted to Kain that there was one), the origins of the Circle and the vampires themselves, what the Dark Entity truly was, and the true nature of the Pillars. It's one thing to leave a couple things a mystery, like the series Silent Hill does frequently. But so many unresolved plot threads were just screaming for a sequel, yet they were completely ignored in favor of projects that proceeded to languish in development hell.

    I understand how some fans may feel cheated that Crystal Dynamics' games do not fall into the same genre of Blood Omen. But that's precisely the point. CD was not trying to create more carbon copies of Blood Omen. Because SK themselves held very little interest in LoK anymore, CD did not owe it to them to create sequels that were exactly like Blood Omen. What they owed SK was to treat the story with respect, which they did. Even Blood Omen 2, the worst of the series, still makes the effort to expand on Nosgoth's history and terrain.

    What CD accomplished was to create a fascinating story from the plot threads left unresolved in that game, and in the process, expand greatly on the world of Nosgoth. Nosgoth is now one of the most remarkable worlds in gaming, with a history that is intruiging and complex, yet still holds an air of mystery to it.
    The series isn't perfect; several things could be much better. But in the end, doesn't that apply to every other series as well?
    Ultimately games are about having fun, and for gamers who like a well thought story set in a fascinating world, LoK will provide many hours of enjoyment....more info
  • excellent game
    As with the other games of this series I have to say that this is a masterpiece. Eidos has outdone themselves again with Defiance. Graghically this game puts others to shame. Everything from the characters to the enviroment are very lush and full of detail. One could walk around and explore the level of depth put into making the scenary for the game. The voice acting with no suprise is superb. This series sets the standard for other games to reach.

    For those first entering the series at this point, the story is unfolded for the period you're in. It is highly recommended that if you want a better grasp of the story get Soul Reaver 1 & 2. Fortunatly the story can somewhat be ignored so if your just looking for action there is no loss in the games depth. Unlike before the story moved the game along directly. Here you can skip the dialog and just check the objectives. Making this playable for vets and newcomers.

    The gameplay is where this game shines and faulters slightly. The new more action oriented fighting is a nice change from the other games but will take a little time to get used to for vets of the series. The use of telekenesis and being able to combo attacks with it makes this game stand out combat wise. As you battle, you gain new attacks and new abilities for your weapon. The only problem lies with Kain and Raziel's similarity in attacking methods. Though they are disguised fairly well you can see a familiar pattern between the two. The swtching between the two characters to progress the story may annoy a few but for me it adds more to the depth to the game and is welcomed.

    Overall this game is better than most and is a welcomed addition to an already superb series.If your looking for a nice melee game this will work but can get repetitive if you don't follow the story to break the monotany. Everyone else that is familiar with story it is a must have....more info

  • The Best.
    I love the Legacy of Kain games and in this one, the story gets better and bigger. Although I didn't really like angle views through out the game it was still a good play. The puzzles are trickier and the enemies are more. Just play it....more info
  • Legacy of Kain: Defiance
    Great game!! If you like the previous versions of the saga you will definitely enjoy this one....more info

 

 
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