previews\ May 18, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Legacy of Kain: Defiance - PS2 - Preview

E3 2003 - First Look


The Soul Reaver series introduced game players to the tormented life, to the thirst for vengeance that Raziel held close to what soul remained in his withered form. The Legacy of Kain unraveled the story of a true anti-hero, a demon spawned from darkness whose twisted life wove a path of carnage and horror in its wake.


Legacy of Kain: Defiance, a pending PlayStation2 and Xbox release from Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Interactive, demonstrated at E3 in Los Angeles, allows players the opportunity to play as either in a tale as rich as the previous releases.


This is not a game that will cater to the young or innocent. It is an evolving story that revolves around a violent world where two creatures are manipulated by darker forces, used a pawns in a game that remains just beyond their comprehension. However, both seem to sense the manipulations, and they are a wee bit angry about it. Enemies through the early releases in the series, maybe they will understand that their destinies are co-joined and only in fighting together will they be able to overcome that which would otherwise destroy them.


Then again, maybe not.


Legacy of Kain sports several new features: the graphics have been stepped up and the polygons have been doubled in the central characters, and have been pushed up fourfold in the environments to give the game a more-detailed and richer look. The game also sports a new dynamic lighting model and new combat system.


Players can use telekinetic powers to manipulate the environment. Those same powers also come in handy in lifting opponents off the ground and hurling them through obstacles, impaling them on wall spikes or tossing them from ledges and bridges. And yes, they fall into the abyss with prolonged screams of terror. The Spectral Realm and Material Plane are both pulled into this story as well, and the game contains the same rich storyline and narrative as previous games in the series.


Can Raziel and Kain unravel their destinies, battle the sinister and deadly forces manipulating them and find peace within themselves while – in the midst of the terror and chaos they create – bringing the world they know to peace. Maybe not this time, but they are getting ever closer.


Gameplay seems essentially the same as in previous releases, and the audio tracks are still exceptional. The look of the game has been bumped up, but not to the extent of overriding the intriguing and thrilling content.


Legacy of Kain: Defiance combines the elements essential to great games – solid gameplay, rich look and amazing storyline.

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