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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Eidos

 

Developer

Crystal Dynamics

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q4 2003

 

 

- The fighting system is freakin’ cool (especially the aerial combos)

- Excellent looking and sounding game

- Frequent save-points

 

 

- Repetition, repetition, repetition, and did I say repetition?

- You’re going to spend more time back-tracking than a politician with a pair of women’s underwear in his pocket.

- Hope you like puzzles

 

 

Review: Legacy of Kain - Defiance (XB)

Review: Blood Omen 2 (PS2)

Review: Blade II (PS2)

 

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Legacy of Kain: Defiance

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

My previous experience with the Kain series has been limited to watching someone else play the game (Legacy of Kain: Soulreaver) while getting ready to go out. Not that those 20 minutes of time weren’t an exciting thrill ride for everyone involved, but the game seemed more like a puzzle game interspersed with fighting than anything else. With Legacy of Kain: Defiance the trend doesn’t seem to have changed much – you pretty much run around linearly, fight some opponents then solve the puzzle that will give you access to that locked room or path.

 

legacy of kain          legacy of kain defiance

 

For the uninformed, LOKD is the latest game in the Kain series where you get to control both the vampire Kain (from Blood Omen) and the half-demon Raziel (Kain’s former vampire lieutenant). They represent true intertwined characters, one trying to escape destiny and the other trying to embrace destiny. Kain’s character is the epitome of the physical character; brute force and power are his primary tools. Raziel on the other hand has a slightly different skill set thanks to his ability to shift between the material and spectral realms; he can’t manipulate the world in the spectral realm but then he can’t be killed and the laws of physics don’t have the same effect on him there. Other than that, the differences between the two characters is minor, both characters have identical fighting styles, moves, and motives (one wants human blood, the other to devour the souls of the opponents…either way the end is death). The fighting system in this game is a definite positive. The system allows you to quickly move amongst opponents and even wail on an opponent in mid-air for some nasty air-combo action. Each character can also use formidable psychic powers to either shove an opponent down (great for those pesky out of reach archers) or in Kain’s case, yank an opponent and impale them on a spike or other protrusion.

 

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- Playstation 2 Game Reviews

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- Reviews of Games Developed by Crystal Dynamics

- Reviews of Games Published by Eidos

Most levels pretty much break down into: cool cut-scene, series of fights, mission, additional fights, gophering (go-fer this, go-fer that), fights, puzzle (which takes a while), then another cut-scene. The game is frightfully linear – and while that might be a necessary component for some gamers, with a target audience of 17+ this might not have been such a good idea.

 

The visuals themselves are excellent, all of the character designs and surroundings look great 

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and the camera placement is set to maximize all of the effects, especially in combat. Unfortunately the camera placement may help the game’s look, it doesn’t always do much good for gaming. Some levels and puzzles are downright frickin’ hard because you can’t tell depth perception or see something important from the angle that the camera gives you.

 

legacy of kain defiance          legacy of kain defiance

 

And despite the fact that you control two immortal characters, they tend to die a lot, but thanks to the nearby save points you usually don’t lose too much time. That being said, you will spend a whole lot of time looking for things. The “gophering” missions will infuriate some gamers to no end, especially when you’re controlling Raziel and you have to shift between the spectral and material worlds and you can’t find a body. Due to the lack of a mapping feature, you will find yourself spending a lot of time backtracking trying to find either the proper item or a new body for Raziel.

 

The sound for the game is a mixed bag, the music and sound effects are great when in the physical world, but you will look for the mute button rapidly once you enter the spectral world and have to listen to a track of a woman screaming. I know that it was designed to heighten the tension, but after a few hours it really doesn’t do anything for me.

 

Legacy of Kain: Defiance might be the kind of game that will appeal to fans of the series, but I found the game to be like putting a really nice wax on a Fiero – it looks great on the exterior, but it won’t be mistaken for a Ferrari.

 

- Tazman

(January 24, 2004)

 

"I swear to God, one day soon I'm gonna burn this whole place down."

    - Murphy (Sealab 2021)

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