Blood Omen 2 - PC - Review
To get any confusion out of the way here is the
explanation of the difference between Soul Reaver and the Blood Omen series.
They both take place in the same universe, but Blood Omen series takes place
hundreds of years before Soul Reaver begins. Raziel, the character in Soul
Reaver, main reason for living is to take revenge upon Kain, while Kain goal is
to rule the land of Nosgoth.
It has been over two hundred years since Kain's humiliating defeat to the Sarafan Lord. After the fight Kain was left for the vultures to feast on. Kain's vampire companions found his battle worn body in a valley, and nurtured it back to health over the past two hundred years. Kain finally awakens to find the world he once knew has changed drastically, his body is severally weakened, he has little memory of his former self, his vampire army is extinct, and a group of people rule the land with an iron fist. Umah, the vampire that has taken care of him, tells Kain that he is located in Meridian, the capital of Nosgoth. She then tells him that the same people that defeated him two hundred years earlier, the Sarafan Lords, now rule the land and are bent on eradicating every vampire. She pleads for him to help the resistance, called The Cabal, to over take the Sarafan power. The goal is simple, kill the Sarafan Lord and his empire will collapse. The reason Kain is chosen for this task is that the Sarafan know every vampire in the region, but since they think that Kain is dead, he is the perfect person to roam the cities without being detected. Kain decides to help, but for his own personal goal, to rule Nosgoth!
The game is an Action/Adventure set in the third person perspective. The entire game revolves around a simple premise: flip a switch, walk through doors, move crates, do glyph puzzles, and kill people to obtain the vital blood Kain needs to live. Seeing how this is the twenty-first century, no one would think that a popular series such as Blood Omen would revolve around such mundane tasks, and it seriously effects the gameplay. It makes the game repetitive quickly, and players will get extremely bored. While it is fun to have an old fashion killing spree on the inhabitants of Meridian, that too can become dreary, because there are only so many different ways a person can be murdered for their blood. It is truly saddening that great game as this had to have such tedious objectives in the gameplay. Many developers today have conceived different ways to include puzzles that are interesting and does not distract the games action.
The bosses in the game provide a slight challenge, but once the player figures out the specific patterns, they are easy to overcome. Like in Soul Reaver, once Kain defeats an enemy he obtains a new dark gift to use in his quest. The gifts are fury, mist form, telekinesis, jump long distances, fury, and others. One of the more interesting gifts is the ability to "charm" the weak-minded humans to do his dirty work. Each gift can help out in any given situation and makes Kain an even more effective assassin.
One thing the developers had "dead on" is the games entire atmosphere. The graphics used really draw the players into the game. It feels like the players are in the dreary town of Meridian, where vampires can walk around looking for their next meal. The sound used in the game further draws the players into the world of Nosgoth. Players will hear the victims plead for their miserable life while attempting to run away, sucking of precious blood, and the overall music used in the game help set the tone for the events that are about to occur.
Blood Omen 2 is rated M for Mature for blood, gore, and violence.
The system requirements are a Pentium III (or equivalent) 450 MHz processor
Direct X 8.1 (included on disk)
Direct X compliant video card with 16 MB of VRAM
Direct X compliant sound card
850 MB of Hard Drive Space
Keyboard and Mouse
Who loves to play a game, get four steps to next save point and have the game crash? Well if you enjoy this, Blood Omen 2 on PC is just the game for you! Seriously, there have been times when I am deep in combat and I finally prevail and eliminate my enemies only to have the game crash on me. This is highly annoying, and still occurs even with the latest patches Eidos has released.
The transition from a controller to a keyboard is not done well at all. This game was obviously made for a controller. Even though you can customize the configuration, Kain still moves to slowly, strafing is a joke, and pressing multiple buttons to do one task is unpleasant.
It is also the year 2002, developers have created many different puzzle techniques, but Blood Omen 2 favors the antiquated "move boxes" and "flip the switch" routine. This is an unnecessary break in action and becomes monotonous quickly.
The town of Meridian is done really well, Crystal Dynamics used brilliant texture work in bringing the game to life. Even thought the game is visually stunning it is looks inferior to Soul Reaver 2, which was released several months ago.
The music used in the game sets the entire feel for the game. The sound is dismal and dreary and helps gives the atmosphere of a medieval town. The dialog is also well spoken, and everyone has an appropriate voice that fits the characters.
The game is real easy, push a crate here, flip a switch, and crank a wheel. The enemies you encounter are also very easy to defeat.
There are not many games where you are the "Anti-Hero" and it is very enjoyable to play as one. If the game didn't revolve around moving crates and switching levels, it would have been highly enjoyable.
When this game was first announced, many people though that this would be a revolutionizing game. What we get is a wicked cool character having to push crates around to continue in the level. Eidos could have done so much with this game to make it truly unforgettable. Blood Omen 2 ends up being a mediocre action game that lusts to be more.