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

I love the phase shifting. The open world. This would have been so good. When he grew those wings I was like;


In fact my only gripe is with the designs. They are not bad. Far from it. Just not what I imagined a modern Soul Reaver game would look like. These look less "fantasy", or stylized. It's hard to explain. It's like what happens when you take a game or cartoon, and make a TV series out of it. Some stuff doesn't translate properly into "real life". I unno. I would like to see a new game with highly stylized art direction, akin to it's origins. With Raziel looking more like a ghoul or demon again. Art that would resemble something like this or this.
 
Sep 27, 2011
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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.
I had pretty much the same reactions to this as you did. I'd love for Legacy of Kain to return, but seeing it in a form which adapts a lot of modern big budget game tropes I don't enjoy is a bit depressing.
 
Sep 25, 2010
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This game oozed ambition, which remembers me of Soul Reaver (I think no other game has been as ambitious as Soul Reaver 1). However i somehow agree with those who say that the only exit is a reboot.. or a soft reboot a la game too far in the future/past that shows the past story very slowly and builds it up with masterfulness.. which without Henning is is unlkely, so yeah, reboot.

If I were SE, I'd make a trilogy. Not a single game more. A trilogy divided in these chapters:

1- Blood Omen: Reimagining of Kain's quest for the pillars AND the building of his empire (That is, instead of making the corruption of the pillars the end note, make it a mid note and go crazy from there)

2- Soul Reaver: Pretty much a remake of Soul Reaver 1 and 2.

3- Defiance: A game containing Defiance's story AND the final successor.

That's it, no bullshit, no super confusing /inter game/ time traveling, no long 7 part series, just a well made trilogy that at the same time tells the story again and gives closure to old fans. If it goes well (and it should) you can go crazy with spin offs, but focus on telling the main story first.
 
Dec 14, 2011
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Holy fucking shit. That was running on a 360? Really impressive.

And the game itself sounds fucking delicious, such a shame to not be able to play it. SE should've asked for funding help if that was the case...
 
Apr 7, 2006
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Looks like a cross of assassins creed, batman arkham asylum and prince of Persia 2008. The only thing to ponder would be how they'd handle boss battles, I don't think huge bosses battles are a trademark in the arkham games, but it would be interesting to see since they have a bit of POP 2008 in there as well. All in all, it looked really solid graphics were not too bad either apart from some samey enemies.
 
Nov 29, 2006
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Sigh. That looks kind of awesome, but I honestly can't get too angry at Square-Enix. As much as I love the Legacy of Kain games, they're not well positioned to succeed in the market. Much like Darksiders or Shenmue, they're pretty popular (able to sell a million or so copies), but not popular enough to justify their budgets, which tend to track more closely with bigger franchises. As good as it looks and as much money as they probably already spent, if they don't think it's going to be able to make a profit, it's better to treat it as a sunk cost, kill it, and move on to other projects, rather than throw good money after bad. What a goddamn shame.
 
Oct 30, 2014
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Loved the LoK series when I was younger. Such a shame that it quietly died off as it did... Amazing storytelling, voice-acting, setting, interesting characters... Oh well.
 
Aug 21, 2007
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Finally watched the full vid and I thought it was pretty great. Can definitely understand the points others have brought up, but I just really liked the balance that was struck between being a reboot but not completely throwing out the existing lore/universe of LoK as if it was nothing.

Also, has anyone figured out who the actors were behind the two main characters? The voice of the Soul Eater sounds really familiar to me but i cant't figure out who it is exactly.
 
Apr 11, 2008
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Some very interesting additions regarding Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun, thanks to a very helpful new source.

First of all: The Square Enix E3 2012 Teaser Trailer.





YouTube Link

From what my new source has explained, this was made externally by Square Enix's CG department, and may have been the first the world would have seen of the game. "Black Cloth" was the codename for the game during its development at Climax, probably in place until they cemented the final Dead Sun name.

My interpretation of the trailer: its the final right of passage of the Saradin vampire race, the moment where they are either burned to death by water, or master their power and survive as a wraith. The reference to Soul Reaver is very direct.

The next video is: The Pre Boss Battle Cutscene




YouTube Link

This video was created for the vertical slice demonstration, and showed the build up to a boss battle. Note the pregnant woman being guarded by the creature. Given that sterility was a theme of the game, I can't help but wonder her significance.

Next, a few more pieces of artwork. This piece shows a number of different locations that would have appeared in the game. These huge structures would have appeared in different places across Nosgoth:



And these show something unique: a city in which humans and vampires co-existed. Any conflict, battles, feeding or killing were harshly responded to by rule of law. It was a place that Gein would visit many times on his journey.







That's all at present.
 
Aug 31, 2010
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I wonder how much money was spent on the game and how they determined that it wasn't worth continuing development. I don't think this would have sold gangbusters but I doubt it would have bombed.
 
Mar 28, 2008
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I wonder how much money was spent on the game and how they determined that it wasn't worth continuing development. I don't think this would have sold gangbusters but I doubt it would have bombed.
Wasn't it only a short time that they were publicly dissatisfied with Tomb Raider selling only a few million or something?
 
"Fucking Leech!" The Game!

Disjointed thoughts:

-If this is the "vertical slice" demo of what they were looking to do, I can see why Square was hesitant. It's very clunky from the dialog to the action. I know these things get polished in development, but how much time had been put into it? It's like something good is there, but I don't know if they could have made it happen.

-I really don't like how the conversion to a Soul Reaver has been lessened to a ritual/rite of passage in the backcloth trailer. Raziel was a unique creature created for a purpose. Having anyone become some kind of "soul assassin" weakens the weight of it. He doesn't feel special and his powers feel tacked on instead of a part of him.

-Protag is way to pretty. I mean they put fancy scar lines on a very handsome man and then painted him blue and white. If he was a normal vampire in the world of Nosgoth, I could understand, but he's been bathed in water and brought back to life! There should be something monstrous about it. He should be unnatural, not just for the player but for Nosgoth.

-The shift between worlds was a cool effect and I loved that you could see the past, but the spirit world is way to bland compared to the other games. The spirit world is a dark warped reflection of the world around us in the original games, and this one is more like time travel.

-The consumption of souls should have been streamlined. Raziel was a soul vacuum 20 years ago, new guy had to run around like he's picking up power ups. Also shifting specifically just to eat his health power-up is clunky. This was the game series that fixed this issue and now it's front and center.

-There's so much missing here style wise. I couldn't imagine either the protag or the spirit haunting him being able to pull of the word "fatricide." If you can't do that then you need to go back to the drawing board. The art posted here is very nice, but it didn't seem to transition to the game. It needs to be more gothic, dark, and grandiose. It's a world where the sun is blocked out by an endless cloud of smoke, make it look that way! It should never be brighter than overcast. The boss trailer hints at what they could really pull off, so maybe it would have reached those goals in the end.

So my opinion? More! Better! It was a good try but it needed to steep more.

Gah, so frustrating! I want this series to live again! :X
 

John Harker

Definitely doesn't make things up as he goes along.
Feb 26, 2005
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Finally had a chance to actually watch.

For last gen, that looks incredibly impressive.
Certainly would be refreshing to play such a big game as a monster, too.

Shame. I mean, I've seen plenty of projects killed before they shipped but there is something about the direction of this title that I actually could see selling and making some money for them. Aw well.

Be interesting to see now how much of these concepts get carried over to the inevitable release this gen of the franchise. Given when this came out and considering the sales of Lords of Shadow 2 at the end of last gen... might have been a smart move in the long run. You wouldn't get a 2nd chance to reboot LoK.
 

Goron2000

best junior ever
Dec 8, 2008
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I work with someone who worked on this project at one point and spoke to him briefly about it.

1) The game had been in development for almost 3 years when squeenix shut it down
2) The project lead had no interest in Legacy of Kain and was quoted as saying "Soul Reaver was garbage". My coworker went on to say that the guy had terrible ideas and what they had at the end was a mish mash of poorly put together half ideas.
3) It was hot trash and needed a bullet put in it.

So i wouldn't feel too bad :)
 

Morrigan Stark

Arrogant Smirk
Jul 23, 2010
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I work with someone who worked on this project at one point and spoke to him briefly about it.

1) The game had been in development for almost 3 years when squeenix shut it down
2) The project lead had no interest in Legacy of Kain and was quoted as saying "Soul Reaver was garbage". My coworker went on to say that the guy had terrible ideas and what they had at the end was a mish mash of poorly put together half ideas.
3) It was hot trash and needed a bullet put in it.

So i wouldn't feel too bad :)
Though I'm normally wary of juniors coming with so-called "insider" knowledge (no offense), I have to say, that seems very believable, and even unsurprising, considering this footage. Heh.