Legacy of Kain: Defiance Impressions

The next game in the Legacy of Kain series will feature Raziel and Kain as playable characters.

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Legacy of Kain: Defiance
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The fifth game in the Legacy of Kain series will take a different approach. The development team at Crystal Dynamics wants Legacy of Kain: Defiance to appeal to a much broader audience than its predecessors, and as such it has put a stronger focus on combat and action. Indeed, even the storyline, which features both new and returning characters, has been scripted in such a way that it will entice those familiar with the series but won't confuse anyone playing a Legacy of Kain game for the first time.

Both Kain and Raziel (from the Soul Reaver series) will be playable in the game, and each character will have his own set of unique combinations and moves. However, both characters share a telekinesis ability that enables them to control enemies onscreen in several different ways. In one stage, we saw Kain fighting it out on a massive bridge with several guards. By using his telekinesis ability, Kain was able to pick up guards and throw them off the bridge or into walls. Similarly, in a different battle, Raziel picked up some vampiric enemies with his telekinesis and threw them onto some spikes jutting out from the wall. Of course, both characters also have the typical vampire abilities, such as the skill that lets Kain suck blood from the bodies of his enemies. Melee weapons will also be at your disposal. Kain and Raziel are both equipped with a sword that lets them string together a variety of different combinations, some of which are similar to those featured in Capcom's Devil May Cry games.

While the emphasis is definitely on action, there will still be puzzles in the game. Crystal Dynamics plans to use the spectral shift (where characters can teleport to an alternate reality) as the basis for many of the puzzles in the game.

Though it's in an early state, the game already looks quite good, with enormous environments and a solid amount of detail. The outdoor areas look much more natural now, and the indoor environments are filled with some incredible-looking architecture. It's also worth mentioning that the game seems to retain a brisk frame rate, even with the drastic increase in the number of enemies onscreen. Legacy of Kain: Defiance is scheduled for release on the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in November.

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