Soul Reaver may have been the most overly ambitious game ever. (research thread)

RedSwirl

Junior Member







Screenshots like this make me wish I could play these games in their original render resolution but with a modern display resolution, sort of like how Chocolate DOOM let's you blow the image up to 1080p but maintains the 480p internal resolution. Typically this is what we DON'T want but for certain games I think it looks better than the full HD resolution when the upscaling is done right. I guess DOSBOX games are a good example. I just don't like how Soul Reaver looks fully rendered at modern resolutions. Maybe it works better if you can add a CRT effect on top. Has anybody made such an effect specifically targeted at old PC games? I know SweetFX can sort of do it but I don't know if it works for really old games.
 

Gusy

Member
I aprove of this bump!! Threads like this is what made me a GAF-addict.

This reminded me that I still need to get SR2 for PS2. Hope that it won't kill my wallet.
 
That whole "no loading times" thing was bs. The game just used long ass animations to hide them but you can still feel them.

It streamed a lot of data, too, but the point was that you were never really removed from control in the game by loading screens in the way the first game was burdened heavily by.

I still prefer Blood Omen to Soul Reaver, but the streaming was beautifully implemented. To see it executed so brilliantly on the Playstation was a remarkable achievement.
 

Jedi2016

Member
If I'm not mistaken, it was one of, if not the, first game to stream in data like that, to be able to move across such huge areas with no loading times. It was indeed a big deal, I remember playing the demo and being blown away. One of my favorite games, along with its sequel.
 

Morrigan Stark

Arrogant Smirk
I both want a new Legacy of Kain game SO badly...

... But I don't want a franchise that epic, that lore-filled, that razor-sharply focused on narrative, story, character development, and creativity to ever get saddled with the modern trappings of current gaming.

"Pre-order now to wield Raziel's Soul Reaver. Exclusively at Walmart!"
"Buy the Season Pass - "The Wheel of Fate" - to discover the fate of The Elder God!"
"Buy the Collector's Edition to access bonus story chapter with Mortanius!"
"Play the mobile game tie-in to unlock for exclusive Blood Omen 2 Kain skin!"

Add to that modern gaming AAA "gameplay":

- QTE finishers
- Automated combat with XP multipliers and "U SO BADASS!" notifications when doing a successful combo
- Markers telling you where to go
- "Open-world" (Ubisoft style, not Zelda style)
- "Spectral vision" to highlight elements of interest, see enemies through walls etc.
- Arbitrary stealth sections because why not, also because fuck you
- Hints popping up when taking too long to solve a puzzle
- XP bars and "skill trees"
- Collectible Nosgothian coins scattered all over the map, get all 10 on each map for extra XP!
- Climb this cathedral spire to highlight points of interest on the map

The games were far too good for this industry. I'd rather it fester in undeath than be resurrected into an abomination.

Indeed. So glad Dead Sun was cancelled.

Though given the choice - whether to play a corrupt and failing franchise or to challenge the Fates for another throw, a better throw, against one's destiny - what was a player to do?
:D

It streamed a lot of data, too, but the point was that you were never really removed from control in the game by loading screens in the way the first game was burdened heavily by.

I still prefer Blood Omen to Soul Reaver, but the streaming was beautifully implemented. To see it executed so brilliantly on the Playstation was a remarkable achievement.
Agreed on both counts. And yes, I believe it was the first to do so. The loading was definitely masked in those transition corridors between each area, but it was seamless and really beautifully done, not intrusive at all.
 

RootCause

Member
That's a lot of cutting. Never played it, but how do the fans feel about this game getting a remake with the cut material as extra content? I know it'll never happen, but is there interest in the series?
 
Great OP even if it's a little saddening due to the state of the series atm or what SR1 could of been.

The lack of Turiel and Raziel's clan are the only parts that are really noticeable in their absence however.
 

Overside

Banned
Add to that modern gaming AAA "gameplay":

- QTE finishers
- Automated combat with XP multipliers and "U SO BADASS!" notifications when doing a successful combo
- Markers telling you where to go
- "Open-world" (Ubisoft style, not Zelda style)
- "Spectral vision" to highlight elements of interest, see enemies through walls etc.
- Arbitrary stealth sections because why not, also because fuck you
- Hints popping up when taking too long to solve a puzzle
- XP bars and "skill trees"
- Collectible Nosgothian coins scattered all over the map, get all 10 on each map for extra XP!
- Climb this cathedral spire to highlight points of interest on the map



My soul just died a little on the inside. How far we've fallen.
 

ChadM

Neo Member
Though given the choice - whether to play a corrupt and failing franchise or to challenge the Fates for another throw, a better throw, against one's destiny - what was a player to do?

Throw a blu ray disk into the air enough times, suppose that one day the disk lands on its edge.
 
Great premise, story, and game. I just picked up the PSN version. Loved the PSone and Dreamcast versions back in the day. I'll grab the Steam versions of Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance next.
 

Shikamaru Ninja

任天堂 の 忍者
I'm not sure what to say about Soul Reaver. The original Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen blew me away with the brilliant narrative and characters, alongside an interesting adaptation of the overhead Zelda mechanic. With Soul Reaver, there was an incredible amount of hype, alongside one of the greatest introductions ever. But the game itself was a clumsy platformer with very repetitive puzzles. The world was empty and boring, and the opposite of what you want in a 3D adventure game. There were obviously some interesting mechanics, but everything else just wasn't there.

Soul Reaver 2 turned everything around by harking back to much of the characters and story line of Blood Omen, while focusing the gameplay with enough action that it mitigated some of the qualms I found in the first.
 

Morrigan Stark

Arrogant Smirk
I'm not sure what to say about Soul Reaver. The original Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen blew me away with the brilliant narrative and characters, alongside an interesting adaptation of the overhead Zelda mechanic. With Soul Reaver, there was an incredible amount of hype, alongside one of the greatest introductions ever. But the game itself was a clumsy platformer with very repetitive puzzles. The world was empty and boring, and the opposite of what you want in a 3D adventure game. There were obviously some interesting mechanics, but everything else just wasn't there.

Soul Reaver 2 turned everything around by harking back to much of the characters and story line of Blood Omen, while focusing the gameplay with enough action that it mitigated some of the qualms I found in the first.
I disagree, I prefer SR over SR2. The world wasn't empty, there were lots of cool secrets to find, and I really liked the Zelda/Metroid-like progression switched to 3D, especially since there were few hints and zero markers so you really had to explore and figure it out. Plus the architecture and art direction was amazing and it was just mesmerizing and engrossing to explore. Whereas the art direction in SR2 was of course still great (and the graphics improved due to the generation leap), the exploration wasn't there anymore, and the cut scenes were just way too long. Not MGS-long (fortunately) but they were quite lengthy and unskippable, which was very annoying if you somehow died or the game crashed (frequent on the Steam version, sadly) before you reached the next save point...

I also enjoyed the block puzzles, I don't care if people say they were repetitive. The ones in SR2 were generally improved though, and the reaver dungeons had amazing level design, I agree there. And I do agree that Blood Omen is the best one in the series. :)
 

Melchiah

Member
I'm not sure what to say about Soul Reaver. The original Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen blew me away with the brilliant narrative and characters, alongside an interesting adaptation of the overhead Zelda mechanic. With Soul Reaver, there was an incredible amount of hype, alongside one of the greatest introductions ever. But the game itself was a clumsy platformer with very repetitive puzzles. The world was empty and boring, and the opposite of what you want in a 3D adventure game. There were obviously some interesting mechanics, but everything else just wasn't there.

Soul Reaver 2 turned everything around by harking back to much of the characters and story line of Blood Omen, while focusing the gameplay with enough action that it mitigated some of the qualms I found in the first.

I disagree, I prefer SR over SR2. The world wasn't empty, there were lots of cool secrets to find, and I really liked the Zelda/Metroid-like progression switched to 3D, especially since there were few hints and zero markers so you really had to explore and figure it out. Plus the architecture and art direction was amazing and it was just mesmerizing and engrossing to explore. Whereas the art direction in SR2 was of course still great (and the graphics improved due to the generation leap), the exploration wasn't there anymore, and the cut scenes were just way too long. Not MGS-long (fortunately) but they were quite lengthy and unskippable, which was very annoying if you somehow died or the game crashed (frequent on the Steam version, sadly) before you reached the next save point...

I also enjoyed the block puzzles, I don't care if people say they were repetitive. The ones in SR2 were generally improved though, and the reaver dungeons had amazing level design, I agree there. And I do agree that Blood Omen is the best one in the series. :)

I hated the the block puzzles and platforming in SR, the latter particularly in Rahab's area, but I think SR2 was worse in other ways. The constant mob fights inside force fields were tiresome, and the boss fights were far better in SR. The premise was also much more interesting to me in SR, where you discovered how the world and your former brethren had succumbed to ruin during the millenia of Raziel's absence.
 
Oddly enough I bought this by complete accident as someone suggested I play Legend of Dragoon but I bought the entie series as I thought this was what he talking about.
 

Tizoc

Member
It never did. I can give you my JoyToKey config if you want. Only way I got proper controller controls out of it. I use a DS3 controller with MotionInJoy (to emulate a 360 controller lol) FWIW.

Hmm does that thing with DS4Win? I use a software to use my PS4 controller as if it's a 360 controller.
 
Everyone seems to have good memories about this game. What I remember is getting to the end and getting the "to be continued." ending.

I never replayed the game again and I never touched another Legacy of Kain game. It's not like I was even that mad about the ending. I just got to the end was like "really? thats the end?" and after that I was done.

Maybe if they did a complete remake of the SR\SR2 together I would get into it.
 

Garlador

Member
Did it ever sell that well?

Soul Reaver 2 remains one of my favorite gaming experiences to this day.

Soul Reaver sold over 1.5 million copies (excluding digital), while the franchise sold around 3.5 million, last numbers I checked. SR1 counted for nearly 43% of the franchise's sales.
 

Melchiah

Member
Everyone seems to have good memories about this game. What I remember is getting to the end and getting the "to be continued." ending.

I never replayed the game again and I never touched another Legacy of Kain game. It's not like I was even that mad about the ending. I just got to the end was like "really? thats the end?" and after that I was done.

Maybe if they did a complete remake of the SR\SR2 together I would get into it.

They'd need to remake Defiance as well for the whole story.
 

crimilde

Banned
Oh my, so glad this thread was bumped. Such a great read. And about my most beloved series ever. <3 The voice acting, the music, the atmosphere, the plot. God, so many fond memories.
I played all the games in the series except the original Blood Omen, but I will definitely get it for the Vita thanks to this thread.
 

Morrigan Stark

Arrogant Smirk
I hated the the block puzzles and platforming in SR, the latter particularly in Rahab's area, but I think SR2 was worse in other ways. The constant mob fights inside force fields were tiresome, and the boss fights were far better in SR. The premise was also much more interesting to me in SR, where you discovered how the world and your former brethren had succumbed to ruin during the millenia of Raziel's absence.
Yeah the constant combat was a bit annoying, especially since the combat was only serviceable. Defiance was a bit annoying with that too.

I actually enjoyed the puzzles in SR and SR2 though. ;_; I like how you interacted with the environments.

Hmm does that thing with DS4Win? I use a software to use my PS4 controller as if it's a 360 controller.
Probably.
Here's my config for Soul Reaver:
Code:
[General]
FileVersion=55
NumberOfJoysticks=2
NumberOfButtons=32
DisplayMode=3
UseDiagonalInput=0
UsePOV8Way=0
Threshold=300
Threshold2=20
KeySendMode=0
SoundFile=

[Joystick 1]
Axis1n=1, 25:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Button01=1, 58:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Button02=1, 44:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Button03=1, 41:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Button04=1, 46:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Button05=1, 43:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Button06=1, 53:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Button07=1, 0D:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Button08=1, 1B:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Axis1p=1, 27:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Axis2n=1, 26:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Axis2p=1, 28:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Axis3n=1, 60:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Axis3p=1, A3:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
POV1-1=1, 26:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
POV1-3=1, 27:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
POV1-5=1, 28:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
POV1-7=1, 25:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
Axis5p=1, A2:00:00:00, 0.000, 0, 0
 

Melchiah

Member
Yeah the constant combat was a bit annoying, especially since the combat was only serviceable. Defiance was a bit annoying with that too.

I actually enjoyed the puzzles in SR and SR2 though. ;_; I like how you interacted with the environments.

IIRC, there was even more fighting in close quarters in Defiance.

The timed block puzzles in SR's Silenced Cathedral were the worst. You had to recreate the wall murals with the blocks, and those arachnid bloodsuckers kept coming at regular intervals. It was made worse by the fact that you could only use the Soul Reaver to kill them there, and it only manifested when the health bar was full.
 

Morrigan Stark

Arrogant Smirk
IIRC, there was even more fighting in close quarters in Defiance.

The timed block puzzles in SR's Silenced Cathedral were the worst. You had to recreate the wall murals with the blocks, and those arachnid bloodsuckers kept coming at regular intervals. It was made worse by the fact that you could only use the Soul Reaver to kill them there, and it only manifested when the health bar was full.
You could impale or burn them like any other mob. I always tried to keep an impaling weapon around for exactly that reason. If I needed to cross a gate via spectral form I'd throw the weapon between the bars beforehand so I could have a melee weapon on the other side.
 

Melchiah

Member
You could impale or burn them like any other mob. I always tried to keep an impaling weapon around for exactly that reason. If I needed to cross a gate via spectral form I'd throw the weapon between the bars beforehand so I could have a melee weapon on the other side.

I know, but to my recollection some of those block puzzle rooms didn't have other means to kill them, unless you threw a weapon there before phasing through the bars.
 

iamfelps

Neo Member
Really nice thread OP! congrats!

Oh man, coming from this LTTP: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1236455 and reading all this make me wants to play this game again.

We should insist Square to make a remake including all these content in the game =D.

Well, gotta be realistic, the voice actor of the Elder God has already passed away, and a lot the other actors were already pretty old when they did Defiance.

Along with the fact that the team that worked on it is spread out, and that lots and lots of games were cancelled and rewritten to achieve that level of narrative, we can assume that it is reeeally hard for us to see a sequel to the story.

Although, a novel would fit in like a glove. It gives the necessary freedom to finish that complex narrative.
 

Cohonez

Neo Member
As long time fan I have nothing but uttermost respect for both Legacy of Kain series and the research @Mama Robotnik put for every thread regarding this game.

Will you be also doing similar "digging" for Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance as well? There are some elements cut ( Earth, Water and Spirit forges in SR2 for example) and I am wondering, how original stories for those installments would play out.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
An HD Remaster wouldn't do this game justice.

It would require a full remake.

There is a chance that the artistic vision of the original may get lost in translation completely or in parts while pursuing greater advanced shaders and creating new geometry everywhere... like with the SotC remaster: kickass new graphics, technically excellent, but it changes the tone of the game art in a way that is foreign to the game itself IMHO.
 

deriks

4-Time GIF/Meme God
It's not. Have you heard about Peter Molyneux? His games are always more ambitious than we can have.

But great thread, OP.
 

Cohonez

Neo Member
An HD Remaster wouldn't do this game justice.

It would require a full remake.

I did some time recently to think what would be the best way to reboot / remake the whole Legacy of Kain series successfully. If I will find the proper topic, I will write about all of the games, however for the first Soul Reaver I have such ideas:
+ do not change the world structure, score and the main story
+ modern quality graphics
+ more types of enemies (like eg. more insect-inspired forms of Zephonim) and more demanding enemies (which would make Glyph spells actually useful)
+ maybe re-think and re-vamp (no pun intended) Dumahs constrict ability
+ add Priestess, Undercity and Possession ability
+ add Turelim teritory, but not Turel
+ last parts of the game could be a bit different from original, so that Constrict and Possession abilities would have their proper use
+ no reaver upgrades (this is to be set for next installments)
+ possibly add subplots preseting more details about Nosgoth history or life, more stories on murals (eg indication, that Glyph Shrines are attempts of re-creating long-destroyed reaver forges), fate of Razelim clan subplot
 
I did some time recently to think what would be the best way to reboot / remake the whole Legacy of Kain series successfully. If I will find the proper topic, I will write about all of the games, however for the first Soul Reaver I have such ideas:
+ do not change the world structure, score and the main story
+ modern quality graphics
+ more types of enemies (like eg. more insect-inspired forms of Zephonim) and more demanding enemies (which would make Glyph spells actually useful)
+ maybe re-think and re-vamp (no pun intended) Dumahs constrict ability
+ add Priestess, Undercity and Possession ability
+ add Turelim teritory, but not Turel
+ last parts of the game could be a bit different from original, so that Constrict and Possession abilities would have their proper use
+ no reaver upgrades (this is to be set for next installments)
+ possibly add subplots preseting more details about Nosgoth history or life, more stories on murals (eg indication, that Glyph Shrines are attempts of re-creating long-destroyed reaver forges), fate of Razelim clan subplot

I have no doubt that there's a quality sequel/reboot/remake that can be made. I would support it.
 

The9BREAKER

Neo Member
What happened to the fremium title of Nosgoth it was a funky looking multiplayer game like UT... Did it get cancelled? I remember a friend was spending mad cash on the coins or whatever it was they had...
 
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