The Legacy of Kain series: known for its great story, superb voice acting, and the outstanding Kain himself. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain was the first game that featured Kain himself, voiced by Simon Templeman. It was released in 1996 for the Playstation, developed by Silicon Knights and published by Activision. Four years later, Crystal Dynamics takes over the license, making Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. In this some what of a sequel, you play as Raziel instead of Kain, and it takes place around 1000 years after the first Legacy of Kain game. Your whole purpose is to gather souls and attempt to get revenge on Kain for what he’s done to you. This was then re-released on the Dreamcast with improved cg scenes. Then Soul Reaver 2 was released in October of 2001, where the story continues right after the first Soul Reaver and it has improved graphics and all that other nifty stuff you’d expect in a sequel. Five months later, Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen 2 has been released. This takes place 200 years after the first Blood Omen, and you get to play as Kain once again. Kain was defeated in his last fight against the Sarafan Lord, and was put out for 200 years. He wakes up, and the world has changed. New technology, Vampires are now hiding underground, everything is now different to him. Your goal, is to basically take back what belongs to you… the world. The very first thing you’ll notice is how much the graphics in the game sucks. Yes, I’m serious. The graphics of Soul Reaver 2, a game half a year older, has far more superior graphics then Blood Omen 2. Not only that, but the Soul Reaver for Dreamcast has better cg scenes then this game. The graphics are comparable to something you would find on a later PlayStation game. The only thing that is impressive visually about this game is the art found on the walls, during the credits, and on the title screen. Just to go into more detail to explain why the graphics suck, there’s so much. During the cg scenes, Kain moves like he’s a piece of wood and has no joints. The in-game graphics are horrible. The models are very low-detailed. They have horrible looking faces, with ugly eyes. Most everyone has huge hands, and their fingers look like waving spikes. The textures are very muddy looking and ugly. One monster is supposed to look like his muscles are exposed as if his skin was torn off. But the texturing is just so horrible; he looks like a red piece of ugly. The stages also get very repetitive, using repeating textures and patterns. Nothing looks great at all. The sound is both great, and sucks, all at the same time. How? Simple. Simon Templeman’s work on Kain’s voice is just great. He speaks very clearly, and shows lots of talent while doing his thing. While everyone else’s voices on the other hand, are horrible. Most are annoying, suck, and the guards’ voices and grunts are very repetitive. The music is usually either very quiet or not even present at all. Although, when you can hear the music, it fits pretty well. The game play of Blood Omen 2 involves more on combat then Soul Reaver has. That might sound like a good thing, but it isn’t since the combat system gets very boring. There are the usual switch flipping and box pushing puzzles, but they’re a job compared to the puzzles of Soul Reaver. But the sad thing is, the puzzles were more fun then the combat, which was suppose to be the main focus point of this game. You have special abilities similar to Soul Reaver, and you gain more through out the game, Mega Man style. By defeating a boss, you basically gain their power and become stronger. And since Kain is a vampire, you have to suck blood to gain health. That’s alright, except that vampire fans will not like the fact that there is no throat biting, yet you suck blood telepathically. The game has many glitches, mainly clipping. It gets very annoying when you fallen enemy is halfway in a wall, and you can’t pick up their weapon they just dropped. One time, I jumped onto a moving platform and got stuck halfway through it somehow…. amazing. But the most annoying glitch is when I got stuck in the middle of the air during my jump, and then end up falling straight down towards the water for my instant death. Overall, Blood Omen 2 has no purpose in your video game collection. You can easily get it from $5-$9 USD at any used game store, so there is no point in renting it since you can buy it for the same price. I haven’t played the original Blood Omen; hence I’m not sure if it actually adds to the original story. But what I do know is that it shows Kain’s personality and adds to his character development very well, but that’s basically it. There’s no fun game play, no impressive visuals, and the sound isn’t that great either. Playing through the game a second time is out of the question for anybody since there are no great boss battles or memorable moments in the game. Only get this if you are a huge Legacy of Kain fan. Otherwise, don’t waste your time or money.
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