Legacy of Kain: Defiance (Microsoft Xbox, 2003)
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|Following the events of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2, Raziel and Kain were trapped in the Serafan fortress. Separated by sudden events, Raziel was forced to retreat into the spectral realm, leaving Kain to escape from the Serafan on his own. Both must escape the predicament they find themselves in and fight back against those who would seek to use them as manipulations in a grander plot. From both heroes cry out shouts of defiance, and a thirst to find the revelations that have been buried in the world of Nosgoth.
Legacy of Kain: Defiance is a third-person action game with light puzzle-solving elements, combining concepts seen in both Blood Omen 2 and Soul Reaver 2. The story unfolds through chapters, focusing alternately on Kain and Raziel as they pursue their separate, though intertwined quests. Control of each character alternates between levels, however both are controlled from a behind-the-shoulder perspective. While both heroes are different, they are similar in movement, ability to attack, defend, jump and access special abilities.
Kain and Raziel no longer pick up weapons, instead both using a form of the Soul Reaver weapon (Kain uses the physical sword form, Raziel uses an energy blade). Each Soul Reaver can now be "charged" to unleash a special ability, determined by the current alignment of Soul Reaver at the time. Both Kain and Raziel lose energy at a constant rate and must feed to replenish life energy (Kain feeds on the blood of living creatures, Raziel feeds on the souls of living and non-living creatures). And both Kain and Raziel feature telekinetic abilities to manipulate objects at a distance.
The two are, however, different characters that play differently, each requiring use of his talents, to bypass obstacles (sometimes the same obstacle). Kain focuses on strong combat and destructive abilities. He is able able to power up the Soul Reaver weapon using properties of the Pillars of Nosgoth. Raziel is more subtle, able to use stealth and the phasing between material and spectral worlds in order to discover new paths. As in Soul Reaver, Raziel can phase into the spectral world at any time but must find a special location in order to phase back. Raziel powers up the Soul Reaver using elemental powers.
IGN gave the game 8.0 out of 10, praising the game's plotline for finally resolving many questions that previous installments had left unanswered, as well as being able to play as both Raziel and Kain and the new combat system revolving around various combos and spells unleashed by the Soul Reaver. The differences in their gameplay, with Kain's quests revolving around combat and Raziel's around puzzle solving, were also enjoyed. However, the poor collision system, auto-locking combat view and awkward camera controls were criticized for making combat difficult as the player would target enemies that could not be seen. The reviewer also noted the graphics for the Spectral Realm were distracting and made combat difficult.
TeamXbox gave the game a rating of 8 out of 10, noting the simultaneous similarities and differences in the controls for Raziel and Kain. However, the need to re-imbue the Soul Reaver with elemental powers that it had already gained in previous games was noted to be confusing and led to similar gameplay as in previous installments revolving around gaining a new Reaver power and using that power to move forward. The camera system was heavily criticized for being confusing and leading players to unwillingly backtrack when the camera angle shifts suddenly. The game's shift to combat and away from puzzle solving was also criticized. The graphics were noted to be high quality, but not as groundbreaking as previous games in the series.
|Game||Legacy of Kain: Defiance|
|Number of Players||1|
|ESRB Rating||M - Mature|
|ESRB Descriptor||Blood and Gore, Intense Violence|
|Game Series||Legacy of Kain Series|
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