At a press event earlier today, Eidos Interactive showed off the Xbox version of Blood Omen 2. The game seemed to have much over its PS2 cousin, taking advantage of the Xbox's powerful GPU. Some new game features were also revealed, most notably some of Kain's more powerful abilities.
Most impressively, Kain now benefits from a modest amount of self-shadowing. Basically, this means that the contours of his character model will cast shadows on the surface of its body, adding to it immeasurable visual depth. Even at its current half-implemented state, the effect looked great. Further, all of the game's textures have benefited from an increase in clarity, making the environments much more pleasing to behold. And with a game that is so visually resplendent to begin with, all of this means great things. Crystal Dynamics also stated during the presentation that it intends to implement bump-mapping as well, though to what degree, exactly, is yet to be determined. At the very least, however, the developers present stated that elements that would benefit highly from the effect would definitely receive such a treatment--bodies of water, for example. Crystal D also stated that many smaller tweaks would be performed for the Xbox version, such as increased poly counts for the characters, and reworked particle effects.
Two of Kain's new special abilities--called "dark gifts"--were also revealed at the event. The first, called "speed," will allow Kain to move much more quickly than he's normally able to. To portray this, Kain's enemies move at half-speed, while he himself moves one and a half times faster than normal. While it was only partially implemented in the version we saw, we were able to get the basic idea. Also revealed, though not at all implemented, was the "rupture" ability. According to the developers present, the ability will cause Kain's enemies to explode in a most bloody manner. Doing so, however, will prevent Kain from drinking their blood to replenish his lost energy. It's a small price to pay, though...
In any event, Blood Omen 2 is looking great, and we look forward to providing you with further updates. The Xbox version of Blood Omen 2 is set to ship alongside its PS2 cousin. For more info on the game, check out our in-depth