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As Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver turns 20, let's remember why it was brilliant

samwizered

Member
Oct 31, 2012
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I love Soul Reaver and played it multiple times through on Dreamcast, but it always saddens me that the game could've been so much better with some more development time. When examined more closely, it's obvious that it was significantly cut down and rushed to completion.

For those interested in Soul Reaver's cut content, I highly recommend checking out this series of YouTube videos. It shows some alpha builds of the game that still feature many of the levels and features that later got cut, and helps paint a clearer picture of what the game was intended to be.
 

Darkmakaimura

Member
Dec 12, 2008
15,778
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I own all the games on GOG and a PS1 copy of the original Blood Omen.

One of the best series ever made.
 

Dev1lXYZ

Member
Sep 1, 2017
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Owned it on every platform. I liked the story and world a lot because of the first game. I would get a few hours in and drop it every single time. Looking back on it, the game really didn’t have much going for it gameplay wise and that is probably why I got bored with it. Never got into the sequels because they just didn’t do much to improve on the storyline at all. It should remain dead.
 

SuperGooey

Member
Oct 31, 2019
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This reminds me that I've loved this game since it appeared in my PS1 demo disk way back in the 90s, but I never fully completed it. I do own a full copy... Hmm, maybe it's time I finally get around to completing it. The game overwhelmed me when I was younger, but I'm quite sure I can handle it now.
 

II_JumPeR_I

Member
Dec 20, 2018
924
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Germany
Square Enix is sitting on so many great Eidos IPs and isnt doing anything with them.
Give me freaking ports for the old OG Tomb Raider games or ports of the Soul Reaver trilogy :/ But nah here is another Final Fantasy remaster or whatever.
 

teezzy

Fantastik Tuna
Mar 18, 2020
9,826
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I still own all of the games in the series, the original ones from launch. I’ll never get rid of them. I’d love to see a remake of the entire series, then maybe there would be a chance for a publisher to green light a sequel.

You and me both brother. Rise up
 
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Hawks Eclipse

Member
Nov 15, 2019
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Sadly I never managed to properly play through Blood Omen 1 & 2, though I did read up on the stories for BO2.

What really stuck with me to this day, having played SR1, 2 and Defiance around their release dates, is
how I went from championing Raziel and hating Kain (SR1), to having Kain become, in my limited experience, one of the most charismatic antiheroes in modern videogames.

If they were to ever remake the series, I'd love if they collaborated with, or outright hired any studio that has experience in delivering great action. Defiance was a nice attempt for its time but Kain and Raziel deserve much more.
 

Evil Calvin

Member
Aug 23, 2017
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Blood Omen Legacy of Kain was MUCH better. It just needs to be remade or re-released as the PS1 load times on that was horrendous.
 

bender

Candy Corn Aficionado
Apr 12, 2010
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Great storytelling and a wonderful voice cast. That said, by the time Soul Reaver 2 hit the PS2, it felt incredibly dated in terms of combat and puzzle design.
 

SuperGooey

Member
Oct 31, 2019
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I rebought Soul Reaver for the PS3 store a day ago. I've played it before a lot time ago, but never completed it and most of my memories of the game are foggy. After playing it for a couple hours...

I think I love it! It definitely has some of that early 3D game jank like bad camera, awkward combat, and it's hard to know where to go (a map or at least location names would have helped), but the core game is a lot of fun. It's basically Metroid and Zelda mixed together with a gothic setting. I think there would be a HUGE market for Soul Reaver if it were to get a sequel/reboot today. I'm actually surprised at how well the puzzles are integrated seamlessly into the environments--reminds me of Metroid Prime 2.

I think my one major issue with the game so far is how slowly new abilities are dished out to you. That's one thing Zelda and especially Metroid games have mastered, that most games struggle with (Hollow Knight is another game that comes to mind with this weakness).
 
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ahmyleg

Banned
Sep 12, 2019
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These games were my religion back in the day...

In my old age, I see more of their flaws now, gameplay-wise of course, but even story-wise as well. Still unforgettable, though. Except Defiance was kinda corny....I'd take Blood Omen 2 over Defiance any day.
 

thuGG_pl

Member
Aug 30, 2013
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The intro was fucking amazing in this game, the music was something else.
One of the best games I've ever played.
 
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IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
30,589
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ibiza
Code:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/224920/Legacy_of_Kain_Soul_Reaver/

Notice: Square Enix has temporarily removed this title from sale to work on some important updates. Please check back soon!
 
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justiceiro

Member
Feb 27, 2015
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I wish they made one game with the entire story. I heard all game have interconnected stories, but quality varies a lot.
 
Dec 12, 2018
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I heard all game have interconnected stories, but quality varies a lot.
Soul Reaver 1 and 2 have very strong plots, probably among the best gaming has to offer. Defiance has a good story too. Blood Omen 2 is the weak link here. It has its moments but it can't keep up. I'd say if anything it is the gameplay that varies a lot:

Soul Reaver is the most balanced out of all of them.
Blood Omen 1 is a decent Zelda-like game.
Soul Reaver 2, in terms of gameplay, is a step backward (with one exception though, there are much fewer puzzles about block-pushing.)
Blood Omen 2 is quite decent in terms of gameplay, better than Soul Reaver 2, but a whole lot worse in terms of story, dialogues, etc.
Defiance has very mediocre gameplay, the worst so far, but the story and dialogues are great and it brings the story to a satisfying conclusion.
 
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justiceiro

Member
Feb 27, 2015
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Soul Reaver 1 and 2 have very strong plots, probably among the best gaming has to offer. Defiance has a good story too. Blood Omen 2 is the weak link here. It has its moments but it can't keep up. I'd say if anything it is the gameplay that varies a lot:

Soul Reaver is the most balanced out of all of them.
Blood Omen 1 is a decent Zelda-like game.
Soul Reaver 2, in terms of gameplay, is a step backward (with one exception though, there are much fewer puzzles about block-pushing.)
Blood Omen 2 is quite decent in terms of gameplay, better than Soul Reaver 2, but a whole lot worse in terms of story, dialogues, etc.
Defiance has very mediocre gameplay, the worst so far, but the story and dialogues are great and it brings the story to a satisfying conclusion.
That's exactly i wish they made all one game, kinda like kingdom hearts
 

SafeOrAlone

Gold Member
May 22, 2018
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I loved this franchise. I didn’t beat the games, but I played them all and had a couple action figures. It all built up to Defiance for me, which i was really looking forward to and got for either Christmas or my birthday. Really cool, atmospheric game. I remember playing it while on the phone with my old middle school/high school close friend/crush.