Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun (updated with E3 2012 Square Enix Teaser and Pre-Boss Video)

Arrith

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Jun 2, 2013
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Damn I wish this was released, it looks pretty good, loved the LoK Franchise. Maybe one day we will get another one.

Thanks for all the info.
 

injurai

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Oct 18, 2011
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Why is it cancelled projects often look so more enticing and innovative compared to other projects? Is it the forbidden fruit syndrome? Or do they pour their hearts into an incredible vertical slice that is unrealistic to scale up to a full game?
 

gatti-man

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Aug 30, 2010
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I think this game could be another good investment opportunity for Microsoft on similar basis as the Tomb Raider production. They could easily help financially the game to be finished in exchange of exclusivity, timed or life. Even if they did not recovered 100% of their investment selling the game they would, at least, have another exclusive to market and maybe even give it free on XBO bundles. For sure it would be much cheaper than creating a game from zero since the game seems to be at least 1/3 done and LoK is an already known IP...
I can only imagine the joy and tears of an exclusive LOK game. Would be a brilliant move and sell consoles for sure.
 

Aces&Eights

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Nov 13, 2013
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This is hands down one of the best OPs I've ever seen.

Damn shame they canceled it. We live and die by corporates sales expectations. This could have been huge like the Souls series imo.
 

Nibel

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Oct 18, 2011
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Man, this would have been a killer PS4 launch title.

It's weird; this game has a lot of elements that bore me but the whole style, the shift-mechanics and atmosphere are fucking cool. The whole world design feels mature.
 

AndyD

aka andydumi
Jan 24, 2007
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I rewatched it and it really looks good. Like AC blended with Darksiders a bit. Reminds me of Mordor and Batman too in the combat.

And it seems so far along in many respects.
 

Morrigan Stark

Arrogant Smirk
Jul 23, 2010
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I watched the whole thing and.... ehhhhhh. As a huge fan of Legacy of Kain, I can't say I am really that sad this was cancelled. Very little of value seems to be lost.

Positive impressions:
- World looks pretty big
- Spectral shifting had potential for puzzles, though we didn't see any example;
- It's not Blood Omen 2;
- It's a single player game for console;
- It's not Nosgoth;

Now the negative:
- Looks just like Shadow of Mordor but without the few good aspects of it:
-- Boring Batman-like combat;
-- Boring shantytowns and ruins;
-- Big map with tons of icons and collectibles (can't be AAA without that right?);
-- Buy those upgrades with your XP, of course (can't be AAA without that either);
-- Wraith that follows you around to explain things to you;
- Atrocious writing and dialogue with juvenile edgy swearing;
- Generic angry "my family was murdered grrr" protag;
- Stupid gratuitous sexism (seriously, why are the female vampire hunters fighting with a tit out? lolsoedgy? fuck off);
- Generic art direction, looks nothing like the Legacy of Kain aesthetics;
- Spectral shifting looks much less interesting than in Soul Reaver;
- Auto-jumping;

The worst offenders to me are the bad writing and boring art (inexcusable in an LoK game), and the whole AssCreedAsylumofMordor feel that rubs me the wrong way.
It might have made for an OK generic PS360 open-world game, and it probably isn't worse than BO2 at least, but I wouldn't want this as a new LoK at all. Sorry for the folks who worked hard on this, Squeenix cancelling at the last minute was a dick move for sure, but I probably wouldn't have liked that game much.

This is like, the DmC of Legacy of Kains, not super bummed out about its cancellation. I mean it could have been cool but it's a far cry from a proper Legacy of Kain title. It's all very "I smoulder with generic rage"
Hahaha so much this. And LOL @ DmC, that's harsh but I can't say I disagree. It only needed wrestling music to accompany it... xD

Kane is deified. Super interesting info, such a shame. Fucking hurts.
Kane? KANE???

smh
 

SamwiseRed

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Oct 31, 2012
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Depressing. Why would Square Enix throw away such a promising project? This game looks like it would've been really good. I'm sorry for all the members of the dev team who had their talent wasted.
 
Nov 25, 2014
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Looks like a typical modernisation of a classic. Really didn't see any of the heart and soul of the LOK in that but that's just me.
 

Any Questions

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Jan 5, 2015
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Loved this franchise when it came out. There is real room for a return to this IP. Think most people would go nuts for a new game in this series on modern consoles. I know I would be very happy to invest.
 

HowZatOZ

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Dec 4, 2013
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I'm a massive Legacy fan and this just hurts. I definitely agree with others in that unplayable games are able to come out and do successfully well while games like this one are pushed into the bin because investors don't see the money. Such a travesty.
 

Mama Robotnik

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Apr 11, 2008
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I've just been contacted by a new source. They provided a screenshot I had never seen before as evidence of their authenticity. They have given me permission to post the following:

Mysterious Source said:
- This game was pushing the 360 and PS3 to the limit. A combination of sheer level scale, the twin realm mechanic and the ageing Unreal 3 engine meant it was a struggle to get this running to an acceptable level. A commitment to next gen would have possibly seen the game avoid the chop as we would have been freed from some hefty technical restraints that were holding the game back in a number of areas, including the visuals. Conversely, I can see why switching to next gen would have made the numbers even less attractive to SE top brass, given the far smaller install base.

- Having just finished Shadow of Mordor, which I found hugely enjoyable, I have to say it was eerily similar to the open world (hub as we termed them) areas of Dead Sun. From the art style, to the switching worlds, the environment traversal, character ability progression, combat and numerous other aspects, SOM was incredibly close to half the game we were making.

- The Dungeons were the other half. Given how much work obviously went into SOM, one of the most polished games I've played, I think Dead Sun was too ambitious, which probably also contributed to it getting the axe. It would have been a monster of a game - the wetlands hub area you've already seen was just one of 3 or 4 entirely different open hub areas, never mind the various dungeons that were planned. They all had distinctively different looks, puzzles and boss fights. The team wasn't big enough to pull that lot off in a reasonable time frame, to the quality level required of a AAA release.

- Which is all a great shame, as the design of the game was excellent and meticulously thought through. Whilst not a straight sequel to previous LOK games, and not featuring previous favourite characters, it had more than enough depth and references to previous games to both satisfy (most) fans and really bring the LOK series back to life in a modern format. It was certainly a lot more than a re-skinned Assassin's Creed or Batman, even if it did share some aspects with those games. But there we go, the vagaries of the games industry. Those design docs will still be around somewhere at Climax (or possibly elsewhere) - all it would take is someone with a spare $100 million or so and that'd see it up and running.
Really really interesting stuff, and perhaps gives some context to the cancellation. Thank you again for contacting me, I really do appreciate it!
 

jaundicejuice

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Jun 30, 2005
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It's so strange to watch this and not hear Simon Templeman, Micheal Bell or Tony Jay (sadface). Those three voice actors are so intrinsically tied to what I think of is Legacy of Kain.

I haven't touched that Nosgoth free-to-play shooter but this looks pretty far removed from the world created by the older Legacy of Kain games. The plane shifting is sort of like Soul Reavers Spectral and Material realm shifting and the soul consumption are the only strong looking connection to Legacy of Kain. That said the Arkham-styled combat looked kinda neat and the flying section looked pretty fun. The spectral realm second chance fight system looks kinda neat as well.

Mechanically this game looked pretty far along.
 

Ruruja

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Feb 27, 2014
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Assassin's Creed V: Kain's Legacy.

Still looks like a game worth releasing however, waste of money to just can it.
 

jaundicejuice

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Jun 30, 2005
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There's nothing about the world or enemies in that video of Dead Sun that seems remotely connected to Legacy of Kain. Dead Sun looks a lot like Shadow of Mordor, big open world, kind of empty, platforming and traversal that looks like it's lifted right out of Assassin's Creed and combat system that's heavily influenced by the Arkham games. I don't really see Legacy of Kain's influence.
 

Shikamaru Ninja

任天堂 の 忍者
That game looked quite good actually. However, I think that it is silly to not make a game with Kain and the real Nosgoth of Blood Omen if you want to make the best use of the intellectual property.

Kain is the greatest anti-hero ever created. Nosgoth was an epic world before the Soul Reaver series turned into a decrepit fog ridden empty world.
 

flaxknuckles

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Nov 7, 2012
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Dat forbidden fruit syndrome

All you LOK fans know you would've been foaming at the mouth if this game came out, it seriously doesn't look that good, unique, or similar to LOK. The veils have lifted off my eyes when it comes to these cancelled games. Barely any of them look promising.
 

nampad

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Feb 19, 2013
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Footage looks good so I am really disappointing this was cancelled.
For what it's worth, if any developer of this game reads this, I would have been quite excited for this game from what I have seen.
 

Eblo

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Jun 4, 2014
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I nearly choked on my drink when I saw this today. It had to have been a dream; there's no way Soul Reaver would have continued after how Defiance ended. The trailer obviously is a step away from what we've had in the series thus far, but I could totally excuse this under the guise of modernity and refinement. I still find it hard to believe that we're only seeing footage of a pre-alpha build; the game looks way too solid as it is already.

Props to everyone's work to getting this stuff to see the light of day. I hope the work put into this game pays off somehow.
 

Amerika

Neo Member
Jul 3, 2013
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Why is it cancelled projects often look so more enticing and innovative compared to other projects? Is it the forbidden fruit syndrome? Or do they pour their hearts into an incredible vertical slice that is unrealistic to scale up to a full game?
Most of the innovative or offkey projects (like this one) are the ones that aren't nearly as likely to sell a massive amount of units. And it sounds like the money that SE would have to pour into this game, even if it turned out to be amazing, wouldn't quite work out in their favor since it's definitely not targeting any typical demographic. So they might have thought that the game was good, and with polish it might have been, but it wouldn't cover their costs with units sold even if it was a critical success.

What I would like to see is a full script for the game. You didn't really get to see much in the gameplay session but what was there was pretty solid and I have a feeling there was a pretty big planned twist. I'd like to read the rest to find out if my assumption was correct and to simply read what could have been a good game story.
 

Velikost

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Nov 22, 2013
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I really liked Soul Reaver back in the day, and the video in the OP intrigued me. Sad I'll never get the chance to try this out; seems like it would've been fun.
 

Morrigan Stark

Arrogant Smirk
Jul 23, 2010
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This post has made the rounds in the usual sites, maybe we can make some noise? This train already left, but there is always hope for the best.

Blood Omen remake and start anew, please.
If a Blood Omen remake means littering a bland map with pointless collectibles, turn the dialogue extra edgy full of f-words, make multiplier combos appear in combat, have Mortanius show up constantly behind your shoulder to tell you how to drink blood and swing your sword, unlock the mind control or projectile spell by spending XP (which you get bonus on by doing those sick combos of course) on it, and show Ariel with a boob window, then you know what, I really don't want it. xD
 

ichtyander

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Jan 23, 2013
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I've just been contacted by a new source. They provided a screenshot I had never seen before as evidence of their authenticity. They have given me permission to post the following:



Really really interesting stuff, and perhaps gives some context to the cancellation. Thank you again for contacting me, I really do appreciate it!
Very interesting insights, wonderful stuff. I'm wondering about the Shadow of Mordor bit, is there a chance Dead Sun inspired at least some details of SoM (apart from some of the mechanics, the whole "one of the main characters' soul bound to the body of the other main character" plot element is eerily similar)? Did some of the folks from Climax maybe go to Monolith after Dead Sun's cancellation?

It would be pretty interesting if Dead Sun influenced Shadow of Mordor in some way, kinda like (but not really) how the Chakan game was turned into Blood Omen 2.
 

[Asmodean]

Member
Dec 28, 2012
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Somebody(bring back the dreamteam ;p) really needs to do something good with this series. It's way too good to be shoved off to the "archives of lost IPs".

LoK has some of the most interesting, memorable characters, and narrative. The lore, etc is stellar. And, after 12+ years, All they have to show for this excellent IP, is a moba.....A MOBA.

sigh...

P.S as others have mentoned, your threads are legendary, Mama Robotnik. Thanks for sharing your findings ^.^
 

John Harker

Definitely doesn't make things up as he goes along.
Feb 26, 2005
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Depressing. Why would Square Enix throw away such a promising project? This game looks like it would've been really good. I'm sorry for all the members of the dev team who had their talent wasted.
Would it have made back the $100mm it would take? Plus it's a pretty obscure IP for those kinds of numbers, so the marketing investment would probably be code to $50mm globally... They probably got skitters given the end of last gen this would have come out
 
Jun 18, 2010
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Looks like a typical modernisation of a classic. Really didn't see any of the heart and soul of the LOK in that but that's just me.
Honestly, I'm with you. I can imagine the reveal thread for this had it not been cancelled, and I don't think it would have been pretty despite all the "Square, why!?" posts in this thread. I think the fact it was cancelled is making it more tantalizing.
 
May 11, 2014
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This looked awful, at least from a character design standpoint. This obsession with realism goes too far sometimes. I loved the stylized look of the characters in the older games
 

Necromanti

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Sep 27, 2010
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Honestly, I'm with you. I can imagine the reveal thread for this had it not been cancelled, and I don't think it would have been pretty despite all the "Square, why!?" posts in this thread. I think the fact it was cancelled is making it more tantalizing.
I think it's more the fact that a game like Nosgoth will probably be the last we'll ever see of the franchise. Context matters.
 

The Hermit

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Jan 13, 2006
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that looked generic as all hell... it felt like Assassins creed or something

There are some neat things, but it doesn't feel like the old LoK games.

Sorry. But the plan was: platforming, puzzles, dungeons, huge bosses, a MASSIVE amount of exploration. Outside the tutorial bit (which is in the video), no handholding. Jumping was automated (like Zelda meets AA), but the actual platforming was all puzzle based (realm shifting, tricky jumps, having to move quickly, planning in advance etc).

The combat was very Batmanish, though, only much faster. Like an angry pinball with fatalities.
...or maybe it does.

 

swazzyswess

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Oct 10, 2013
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sad that this (mostly) confirms there's not another LoK/Soul Reaver game being made, but happy they didn't go forward with this game. the dark elegance of the series seems mostly missing from this.
 

MiamiWesker

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Apr 26, 2006
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We were going to get a shadow of Mordor with good level design and actual boss battles worth a damn. I want to cry.
 

Lain

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Jul 24, 2004
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Looking at the youtube video, I feel so disappointed with SE for scrapping the game. It looks like something I'd really want to play and a new LoK singleplayer game is something I've been wanting for a while.
 

televator

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Sep 21, 2011
10,853
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I watched the whole thing and.... ehhhhhh. As a huge fan of Legacy of Kain, I can't say I am really that sad this was cancelled. Very little of value seems to be lost.

Positive impressions:
- World looks pretty big
- Spectral shifting had potential for puzzles, though we didn't see any example;
- It's not Blood Omen 2;
- It's a single player game for console;
- It's not Nosgoth;

Now the negative:
- Looks just like Shadow of Mordor but without the few good aspects of it:
-- Boring Batman-like combat;
-- Boring shantytowns and ruins;
-- Big map with tons of icons and collectibles (can't be AAA without that right?);
-- Buy those upgrades with your XP, of course (can't be AAA without that either);
-- Wraith that follows you around to explain things to you;
- Atrocious writing and dialogue with juvenile edgy swearing;
- Generic angry "my family was murdered grrr" protag;
- Stupid gratuitous sexism (seriously, why are the female vampire hunters fighting with a tit out? lolsoedgy? fuck off);
- Generic art direction, looks nothing like the Legacy of Kain aesthetics;
- Spectral shifting looks much less interesting than in Soul Reaver;
- Auto-jumping;

The worst offenders to me are the bad writing and boring art (inexcusable in an LoK game), and the whole AssCreedAsylumofMordor feel that rubs me the wrong way.
It might have made for an OK generic PS360 open-world game, and it probably isn't worse than BO2 at least, but I wouldn't want this as a new LoK at all. Sorry for the folks who worked hard on this, Squeenix cancelling at the last minute was a dick move for sure, but I probably wouldn't have liked that game much.


Hahaha so much this. And LOL @ DmC, that's harsh but I can't say I disagree. It only needed wrestling music to accompany it... xD


Kane? KANE???

smh
As much as I would have liked a successor to this franchise, I agree with most of your points. Except for the Batman fighting system. I actually love the combat in the Batman games so I don't think it a negative at all. Frankly I don't understand the hate for it. Do people think it's too easy or something?
 
Dec 4, 2010
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AZ
Watched it again (to torture myself) and i'm so amazed this got cancelled, if this was released as a PS4 launch game it would have been far better than most of the stuff released then - by then Darksiders was dead and there was nothing of a similar vein going then, this could have slotted in to a void long since left

What are SE thinking?
That they weren't going to make money with ps4's install base.

According to the people working on it, it was too ambitious.