Legacy of Kain Defiance

By on December 24, 2003

The legacy continues…into a fine game!


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First Impressions
My reaction is

The Legacy of Kain is a game that has spanned many years over many formats. From the original Blood Omen games for the PC, to the Soul Reaver episodes on the Playstation, each installment has left players with a number of questions and doubts. In Legacy of Kain: Defiance, the last game in the series, players get several of these questions answered.

Veteran players will instantly recognize the game’s main characters, but for new players, here’s the run down. You play as two characters throughout the game – Kain, one of the first leaders of a vampire army, and Raziel, one of his lieutenants who was later betrayed by Kain. The original story tells of how Kain was supposed to die in order to keep the magical balance in the city of Nosgoth. But when he refused, the balance was shattered, and the city fell to ruins.

Now, years after the events in Soul Reaver 2, Kain seeks to travel back in time to prevent the balance from being destroyed in any way that he can. Unknown to him, Raziel also has the same plan, and it will just be a matter of time before the two meet. The game switches between the two characters after each level, so that each character’s unique story can be told. Both Kain and Raziel have different abilities – while Kain is a powerful telekinetic, Raziel is a deadly assassin with the Soul Reaver blade. The story is excellent, and ties up a lot of loose ends from the previous games, with an unexpected twist at the end (I actually gasped).

Graphics are smooth and the levels are HUGE – it’s clear that a lot of effort has been put into designing the city of Nosgoth, both in its ruined and untouched state. Enemies are quite tough, and will take quite a bit of thrashing before they fall over, so expect some battles to take time. Gameplay is quick, and this allows you to take on a group of enemies with ease.

The game does lack some atmosphere, and several levels will go by without any background music, which would have been a perfect accompaniment to some of the larger and creepier locations. Nevertheless, the game manages to keep players going with its many puzzles and countless waves of enemies, not to mention the end-of-game battle between good and evil.

The Scorecard
Nothing quite like hurling enemies across the screen by just thinking!
Stunning level design and layouts.
Lacks atmosphere because of the poor or nonexistent background music.
A definite game for fans of the series.
A pity that it’s only a single player game.
A great and well thought out end to a spectacular series.


A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys hurling fireballs and tinkering with the latest gadgets. Follow him on Twitter as @theregos

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