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Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

Score: 100%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Adventure


Graphics & Sound:

You would have to have lived under a rock for quite some time now not to have heard of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. Soul Reaver came out for the PlayStation first, and it got rave reviews of its graphics. Well, I'm very pleased to say that the Dreamcast version looks even (ever-so-much) better than the PlayStation version. Soul Reaver is a feast for the eyes and ears, with graphics and sound which create a mood and submerge you in a twisted, decayed world of vengeance - where you have nothing left to lose...

Gameplay:

If you've played the Tomb Raider series and you think you're ready for more fiendish enemies, more creative use of block puzzles, and gratuitous use of a spear... or if you're just tired of a sex symbol main character and prefer to take control of a severely undead vampire with no jaw and a smaller waist than Lara Croft, then Soul Reaver is for you. You control Razeal, a destroyed vampiric ex-minion of Kain, sent on a mission of vengence to destroy the evil of his brothers. You start off weak (well, at least having the same weaknesses of your former self), but gain power(s) as you progress. One interesting twist is the use of parallel worlds. There is the Spirit Realm, and the Real Realm... you can travel back and forth between these realms - and have to to accomplish certain feats. This adds a unique dynamic to the strategy of the game. Also, you essentially cannot die in Soul Reaver. (This ties in well with the fact that for all intents and purposes, you are already dead... and were dead before you died... Nevermind... it's complicated.) If you are in the Real world and get injured, you will slip back into the Spirit world. If your are "killed" in the Spirit world, you will return to the starting point. It's kinda strange to play a game in which you can't die... nice, but strange.

Difficulty:

As I noted in GAMEPLAY, you can't die... not really, anyways. So the game should be easy, right? Nope, not necessarily. Even though you can't die, it will take skill to progress and finish the game. The game has a way of sort of "teaching you as you go." This helps the game to be more easily accessible to less experienced gamers. The difficulty level increases as the game goes on, but at a nice, even rate. Most gamers familiar with 3rd person adventures will be able to appreciate Soul Reaver's unique gameplay and enjoy the game as they learn how to use Razeal's many moves. Do be warned, however - there are some (very) frustrating parts when a task seems soooo simple... and simply isn't. And when you return to the starting point... AGAIN... you might wish he had just died... with a crunch.

Game Mechanics:

Soul Reaver is an interesting game, with some very unique play dynamics and a very dark and forboding storyline. There are a few minor control issues that are not even worth mentioning individually, but sufficed to say, there are times when he just doesn't do exactly what you want him to. However, considering the multitude of actions he can perform, this is easily excused. It's interesting to see a game in which your character cannot "die," but many gamers may prefer to "die" and get it over with, and then start in the place they just progressed to. If for no other reasons than the beauty and unique gameplay of Soul Reaver, 3rd Person fans shouldn't miss this one.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

Sega Dreamcast Space Channel 5 Sega Dreamcast Pen Pen TriIcelon

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated