Tuesday, 19 May 2009

LOK? Never heard of it?

I realize that not everybody is familiar with Legacy of Kain. My aim is thus to acquaint the newcomers seeking high quality vampire story with Kain´s legacy. The main strenght of this series (as well as its doom) is the complicated story. The players who are not familiar with the previous games may have no idea why things happen in the later games. The answer dwells within the past but alas, many players turn their back on the older games because of their outdated graphics. Ironically, the first two LOK games are considered as the best in the series. Are they worth trying out?

Kain, the main character, bit the neck of his first victim in 1996, when Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain came out. Seeminglly unimpressive 2D rpg game with a huge world of Nosgoth to explore had more in it than seemed. The dark story about vampirism viewed through the eyes of a nobleman Kain, murdered and resurrected as a vampire at the beginnning of the game, was the driving force of Blood Omen. Don´t look for the strict distinction between good and evil, in Legacy of Kain universe such division does not exist. Every character is flawed, starting with Kain, who struggles to accepts his new found vampirism to sadistic vampire Vorador, unable to forgive the fact that humans wiped out his race. Humans are not depicted without guilt either, establishing the Order of the Sarafan, which sworn to eradicate every last vampire in the world of Nosgoth without mercy. Although the view on the protagonist was from the top and despite having hack´n´slash battles, the game narrated the story very well. The voice acting is excellent, and it was always nice to hear Kain commenting on everything. Kain as a vampire had at his disposal abilities to turn into wolf, swarm of bats or mist. Countless number of items, spells and various types of weapons were at Kain´s disposal too. Sounds interesting?

The sequel came after three years, in 1999. Soul Reaver gave a different perspective on the story of Kain. Following his decision to accept his vampiric gift, he damned the land maintained by the Pillars and established a new empire. Thus the era of the vampires began. With the help of his Lieutenants, Kain became the ruler of Nosgoth. However, with the Pillars left to decay, the land lost its health, turning Nosgoth into a wasteland. The story focuses on one of Kain´s Lieutenants this time, no longer on Kain, who became the antagonist. Raziel was thrown into the abyss because of his gift to fly, or so it seemed. The main inovation of the game came with Raziel´s unique nature as a wraith, capable to move between the realm of the dead and the living. Reborn as an angel of death, Soul Reaver is a story about Raziel´s revenge. In order to procede, Raziel must defeat and devour soul of his brethren, only then can he confront his creator, Kain. The vast and open enviroments with no loading times, the atmospheric music, shifting between the realms to solve puzzles, defeating giant bosses, these are the features that the game became well known for. Fully in 3D, and often considered as a rival to Tomb Raider, Soul Reaver is an action-adventure that none fan of vampire stories shall pass.

No comments:

Post a Comment