Friday, 28 June 2013

An old Soul Reaver preview and review from PSM

I dug through my old Czech PlayStations magazines and decided to scan everything LOK related. The articles are very interesting since they contain very early images and information which never got into the game itself. I will post more stuff soon.

This first set of pages is from PSM no. 12, which includes a Soul Reaver review. Apart from getting Raziel´s name wrong ("Ralziel"), it features a lot of very early screnshots of areas and template enemies. It even features the test room and early Glyph icons. The review also mentions imbuing the Soul Reaver with elements of water, fire, sun light or souls of your enemies.

The "clawed" title

Early shots of Melchiah, Dumah, Ruined City and the Lighthouse

Early Rahab, the test room with glyphs and Blood Omen comparison

More shots of early enemies

Shot of Abyss and some strange star ornament in the Cathedral

Zephon and Glyphs

Undercity Lair screen on top left

Here is the preview from PSM no. 11. It mentions that Raziel constructed his wings right before Kain got his own, or that Raziel will face Kain three times and Kain having the strength of eight bosses. It also describes that by imbuing the Soul Reaver into fire, ice, water, etc., it can destroy specific enemies.




 Notice the picture of fledgling Turelim with glowing red eyes


 Early vampire and Undercity screenshots



Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun revealed *UPDATE*

Divine Shadow uncovered yet another great find about Legacy of Kain. By doing research he discovered that a single-player Legacy of Kain game was being made from 2010 till 2012 and got cancelled by Square Enix, because they believed it could not reach the expected sales amount. Legacy of Kain Dead Sun would have taken place in Nosgoth´s far future, much further after the SR1 desolate wasteland. Revolving around the story of blue skinned vampires which could shift between planes and reave souls, it would have Gein as the main protagonist, a Saradin vampire. According to Divine Shadow, the gameplay would be very much like SR1, with open world and exploration as its focus. It would have featured brutal fights and also frequent spectral realm shifting. It would focus heavily on the story of the Saradin vampires and their order, and also uncover secrets of the Elder God. (Source: Neogaf post by Divine Shadow).

UPDATE: Nosgoth´s community manager, George Kellion, provided an insight into Dead Sun and some additional artwork. He also confirmed that mp game Nosgoth will not reuse the same assets as Dead Sun nor it will share its story.



All images in this article have been originally posted by Divine Shadow

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Defiance Overhaul Texture pack by the Hylden

The Hylden made an amazing texture overhaul of Defiance, adding additional details to characters/environments/particles. Below are few examples of his awesome work. You can download the texture packs by clicking the link above (google drive). You will need TexMod to run this.

The pack includes new textures for all the main characters, Sarafan warriors, areas and also a Reshade. It also enhances several environmental textures in the Sarafan Stronghold, Reaver particle effects and spells, Earth Reaver platforms and jump and bat beacons.

UPDATE: The link in this article was linking to the old Eidos forums, which has been fixed now. 


 






Friday, 7 June 2013

Nosgoth in active development, says SE Community Manager George Kelion

Square Enix sent an official statement to VG247, explaining the recent rumours regarding the mysterious new Legacy of Kain title called Nosgoth. He explains that even though “Nosgoth exists and is in active development, but is not a traditional Legacy of Kain action-adventure game”. I am really worried by his words that "The community should not be thinking of Nosgoth in terms of a single-player experience.” which basically confirms that it is multiplayer game only (the recent finding of BCMPGame.exe in AMD drivers log confirms this as well). Also, he said that the game won´t be announced at this year´s E3. He also confirmed that it is not being developed at Crystal Dynamics.

You can follow Kelion´s twitter account, where he was asked by fans about the new game (Thanks for the link, Corlagon!) or read the Eidos forums, where he communicates with the fans.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Newest AMD patch logs include War for Nosgoth *UPDATE*

The new Pillars logo
LOK fan Corlagon unearthed, that War for Nosgoth is mentioned in the files of the latest AMD patch. The list includes many recent games like DmC, Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, Far Cry 3, Resident Evil 6, etc. The game on the list is entitled as "BCMPGame.exe" and it supposedly means "Black Cloth MP game" (thanks to Corlagon figuring it out). E3 is just around corner and perhaps we learn more about War for Nosgoth there.

UPDATE1: The game was spotted in Steam database under the name Nosgoth. It mentions Psyonix Comp and the app itself was added 4 months ago under codename: Black Cloth. Twenty days ago they changed the name to Nosgoth and logo was added. The profile it seems is being constantly updated. Interestingly enough, Psyonix had previously worked on a vampire themed game called Vampire Hunter: The Dark Prophecy, which was cancelled for unknown reason.

UPDATE2: Kevin Riepl (made music for Gears of War) states on his LinkedIn profile, that he was working on Nosgoth for Square Enix/Psyonix. You can see his portfolio also on IMDB.

UPDATE3: Kevin Riepl renamed the title "Nosgoth" to "Unannounced Title =) (VG) Square Enix/Psyonix", the same case as with the story board artist Richard Buxton earlier this year (he completely removed the picture and any reference to it).

UPDATE4: Nixxes, the company which ported all previous Legacy of Kain titles in the past, has posted two unnanounced titles on its page. Could one of them refer to War for Nosgoth?

I think as of this point of time we can deduce, that the game indeed exists and it might be announced very soon. In an article about Psyonix´ game, Gamasutra mentions their background:

"Founded in 2001, Psyonix is an independent game development studio focused on original IP creation and cross-platform Unreal Engine based productions. Located in San Diego, the studio has contributed to a number of blockbuster titles including XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Mass Effect 3, Bulletstorm, and Gears of War.  Clients include EA, Epic Games, Microsoft, Sony, 2K Games, and Square Enix." (Cited from GamaSutra)

Psyonix specializes in using Unreal Engine, so this new Nosgoth game must use it as well. They only did one small title for PSN themselves, as they are more specialized in providing outsourcing for bigger developers such as Epic, Microsoft, 2K, etc. (Source: Psyonix official site).





Thursday, 2 May 2013

Soul Reaver Walkthrough part 3 & 4 out

After a long pause, I have returned to continue my Soul Reaver walkthrough. Part 3 continues right where part 2 left off, after obtaining the wraithblade and heading east to the Silenced Cathedral. As the area itself is so huge, there are only two sidequests present - the first eldritch energy upgrade located in Necropolis and the second is getting a health piece after solving a block puzzle in the Cathedral. I also switched from widescreen picture to 4:3, since the picture was too stretched. Part 4 contains acquiring the Stone Glyph and uncovering the secret of the Sarafan Tomb.

Part 3 - Silenced Cathedral


For those who missed the previous parts you can watch them here:

Part 2 - Confrontation



Part 1 - Quest for Melchiah


Sunday, 14 April 2013

Blog news and Raziel model editing

It has been a while since I updated my blog, so decided to post a short update on what is new. For an easier navigation on the blog, I put up pictures with links onto the right side. Since the soundtrack page has been buried under newest articles, now you can access it with ease. The "Why was Legacy of Kain cancelled?" article is now featured there as well.

I have also started to work on improving Raziel´s model from Defiance. Below you can see the original model on the left and the edited model with SR2 textures on him on the right. I have slightly modified his head as you can see below. The hair bump on his head is now much less exaggerated, I have fixed his long ears and made them less sticking out. Not all of his textures are fully replaced, as this in still work-in-progres.


 


Saturday, 9 February 2013

Square Enix registers War for Nosgoth domain name

According to Siliconera.com and many other sites such as NeoGaf, Square Enix had recently registered a new domain name titled warfornosgoth.com, which implies there might be indeed a game in the works. This would explain the constant "no comment" about the questions of the franchise´s resurrection. It is unknown as to what plans has S-E with this domain, but this means the series has not been forgotten just yet.

UPDATE: According  new OXM article, it seems that in 2011 artist Richard Buxton made a Legacy of Kain-ish storyboard and when asked about the piece, he replied he can´t comment on that. Is that another hint that something is going on?

UPDATE 2: Buxton took down the storyboard image along with description altogether...

Here is what the storyboard could possibly represent:

Friday, 25 January 2013

Amy Henning interview from EGM

Amy Henning shared her info from her years working in Silicon Knights and Crystal Dynamics. The full transcript was taken from the magazine by Laura Organa Solo and is found here.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

New Soul Revenant wallpapers from Jake

Hey LOK fans, hope you spent your holidays well. Here is a small present by Jake from Soul Revenant - a first set of wallpapers. Who would have thought chased by Melchiah could have been even more scarier! The other brethren will be posted as well. You can vote in the poll to decide which brother do you want to see next for wallpaper. In the meantime, enjoy Melchiah.



Previous poll results
In the last poll, 39% of voters stated that they bought the Steam versions of Legacy of Kain, 30% owns GOG versions only, 20% of voters owns retail games, 9% owns both GOG and Steam versions. Glad you still support Legacy of Kain even after all those years.





Thursday, 20 December 2012

Steam Holiday Sale and end of the year (or the world?)

Steam started its annual holiday sale today. Legacy of Kain series are on sale too, so you can buy the whole pack for 11,97e. Strangely, the LOK series are not part of the Square Enix collection pack, which on the other hand has older Tomb Raider titles. Which games will you or have you bought so far? Enjoy the holidays and I hope you will play some good games!

In the previous poll, 67% of people who voted like the new Defiance texture pack, so I am glad you tried it out. Be sure to vote on the new poll too. I personally own pc versions of SR1 and 2 on gog, Defiance on a dvd from game magazine. I got also SR on Steam as a gift (thanks Merty!), but don´t plan to buy them there as well. I have all of the games on PlayStation. What about you? Feel free to leave a comment on where you got your LOK games from.

My ps1/2 LoK collection

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Legacy of Kain is on Steam! (UPDATE)

Steam is within my reach!
On November 28th, Tomb Raider 1 - 5 have been released on Steam, following their earlier release on GOG. Each of them is availabe for 10 euros. User Celebrimnar posted in the TR2 forum section on Steam a link to the roster of upcoming games to release on Steam, and Legacy of Kain is on it! No Blood Omen though, most likely because problems with Activision, which so far prohibits it for being published on GOG as well. Legacy of Kain titles should be available on Steam shortly.

UPDATE: As expected, LoK games are now availabe, although no BO2 and BO1.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Exhumed Reviews

As part of reminiscing of Lobotomy and their games, I have dug up and translated few articles from old Slovak and Czech magazines. The very first review is from, now non-existent, game magazine RIKI, so I hope you enjoy it.




When I grabbed Exhumed and saw the box, I´ve thought: another Doom shooter clone (or Duke shooter?). Enough already. Graphics typically Duke like, no 3D models. It looks like  an Egyptian environment... Hm. After ten minutes of playing: Jesus Christ, curse all the spiders! It´s only the first level and I am having small troubles. Difficulty can´t be changed and is pretty decent. Level is too big, you can´t save, the enemies are tough... Hmmm, but I like the music... After two days of playing: O, great Re, Tefnut, Geb-earth and Nut-sky, o Usire, Eset, Nebthet and Sutech, o, Horus, o Hathor, forgive me, that I, am only an earthly worm, which dared to doubt even for a moment about a game, which is a celebration of your immortality, celebration of eternal sands of Sahara, where every grain represents one human soul, ruled over by you. Forgive me, and you, o, highest god of sun Re, return even this morning  from your journey in the underworld, so that the rising sun would persuade me that in your great power you can still forgive.

Enough of chat, I will inform you how fantastic Exhumed trully is, though it might not seem like that at first. I won´t start with technical execution, graphics or sounds, but I´ll spit out immediately the most important and gigantic thing which Exhumed has: atmosphere. Atmosphere of this game is something so perfect, heavy, emotionally impactful and colourful, that words are not enough to describe it. You will be walking inside thousand years old temples full of mumies, and mostly  fantastic decorations, vases, paintings, hieroglyphs. That all with a regard for a monumental architecture, which makes you feel, even though you are the main hero, for which the faith of mankind depends on, even though you will be fearfully kiling enemies with your weapons, you will still feel small and unimportant. Even though you are cutting with a machette the strings of the original inhabitants, the buildings remain. Remains also gold, paintings and the old culture, which is indestructible. The majestic columns benevolently gaze over at doings of some man with knowledge, that he will leave soon and will leave them to rest maybe for another thousands of years. That´s all for the atmosphere. Graphics, as I mentioned, are very compelling, mostly in decorations. You can have resolution of 320x200 and 640x480.

In the next paragraph, I will deal with music - music in Exhumed is a gem, which has no comparison - I have tried to remember any game, which had such brilliant connection between atmosphere and what´s happening on screen, with what´s coming from the speakers. Beautiful egyptian motives, old instruments, mysterious sounds, all together tied together with vangelis art of combination of sounds and melodies. Some of the music is made with maximum emphasis on the before mentioned atmosphere. The track begins with desert wind, croaking of crows (or are they vultures?), then there is a gong, followed by a sound of a freed stone rolling down an old staircase, short brumming of monks, and finally after that, a short melody. The whole thing is just fantastic and even it doesn´t reach the eeriness of Boceeli´s Rapsodia - who likes this kinda of style, will be drooling so much and for very long (I am for example connected to an artificial nourishment, because my organism can´t efficiently manage water - everything is being transformed into slobber, which is dripping slowly, very slowly down my chin to the carpet. And why is that? Because I have CD of Exhumed stuck in my drive and listening to music!).

Gameplaywise Exhumed is up to standarts as well. Alas, there are only seven weapons, but are (certain ones) very original. From a traditional revolver, M60, flamethrower and grenades there are also two others which fascinated me; firstly it´s a snake staff, from which a cobra flies out after shooting,  seeking out the nearest enemy (if it doesn´t find anything, it will bite you too), and the second one is the genius bracelet of god Ra, which can summon a storm cloud with a lightning, killing any enemy in one hit. Enemies are also atmospheric: from some sort of henchmen of god Ra, to mumies, to some sort of fire dragons. All of the enemies are pretty tough and so don´t expect a pistol would kill anybody in one hit. The game´s system is also pretty interesting - you finally CANNOT shoot underwater, you can fill your oxygen from plants, to which it´s bound to and the deal with saving - it doesn´t exist. You have to find a gold scarab and when you are killed, you are starting by it. At the beginning you have three lives, over time you will get more (or more likely you will lose all of them). Hehe, when I think about that at the beginning I had no idea what to write, it´s hilarious. I think, that I have described this unique game, which just like Quake builds upon atmosphere and mystery. The game does this brilliantly. Gong."

Lion

(Originaly published in Slovak in RIKI, no. 29, excerpt taken from www.oldgames.sk)

More reviews of Exhumed coming soon (including my own).

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Lobotomy Software History Video - Exhumed

My friend SegaFanbois put together a very informative and interesting video about Lobotomy Software and their great, mostly overlooked game, Exhumed. The video explains their background, how they were making ports for other companies and their desire to make a game on their own, which resulted in creating the Slave Driver engine. This engine powered Exhumed for pc, Sega Saturn and PlayStation. While the pc version was developed as first, it was a straight corridor Doom like game, in which the player progressed on the map to the next level. However, the console versions have completely different levels and Zelda like gameplay. Unlike any fps shooter at that time, there are rpg elements present like improving the health bar and amount of "shooting energy" (instead of bullets) and gathering different artifacts such as the sandals for improved jump, breathing mask for longer underwater swimming, and secret areas to find in each level. It also features non-linear progress, where players can choose where to go next on the map selection screen. Exhumed remains to this day one of my favourite fps games alongside Half-Life and still remains highly playable and enjoyable. Did I mention it has an amazing soundtrack? If you never heard about Exhumed yet and you like innovative shooters, this game is for you!

Exhumed Soundtrack
Lobotomy Software fan blog
Like Lobotomy Software fan page on Facebook 




Getting all the team dolls is really a challenge but gives you dolphin and vulture abilities!


Finding the secret areas is fun and rewarding


Amun bombs serve as grenades and are very usefull

Monday, 5 November 2012

Defiance Texture Pack Update - Download

Hey there! I have updated the Texture Pack for Defiance me and Jake have released a while ago. I have refined Raziel´s current SR2 textures (the symbol on the cowl is from the Dreamcast Raziel model). The pack also includes the original white costume for Ariel (with an alternate face texture) and an alternate outfit and face for Mortanius. I have replaced Kain´s face texture to bring it closer to the SR1 render of Kain and fixed up colour of his accessories. I will update the pack with some more fixes later. You can see the changes in the comparison screenshots below.

Let me know if you like the pack or have any suggestions in the comments, thanks!

UPDATE: Thanks to Hylden´s help, Raziel´s wings are now fixed and have no white outline anymore. Thanks, Hylden!

Legacy of Kain: Defiance - Texture Pack download

The moderator from Eidos Forums, the Hylden, also made some really nice self-painted textures for Kain, Raziel, fixed up the reavers and other stuff, so check out his version too.







Friday, 12 October 2012

Amy Henning talks Soul Reaver

In the article Behind the Classics found on the official PlayStation blog, Amy Henning looked back at her vampiric heritage, Soul Reaver. She elaborated more about the game´s original concept:

"The Shifter concept was the genesis of the game that would become Soul Reaver; the core ideas were all there. The hero was an undead creature, able to shift between the spectral and material realms, and glide on the tattered remains of his wing-like coattails. We conceived the spirit realm as a twisted, expressionistic version of the physical world. The hero was bent on revenge after being betrayed and cast down by his creator – like Raziel, he was a dark savior figure, chosen to restore balance to a blighted, dystopian world."

and also commented on the cut ending of the game:

"To hit the August ’99 release date, we had to cut the last few levels of the game, and end on a cliffhanger that set up Soul Reaver 2. Originally, Raziel was going to hunt down and destroy all of his former brothers as well as Kain – and then, using his newly-acquired abilities, he would’ve activated the long-dormant pipes of the Silenced Cathedral to wipe out the remaining vampires of Nosgoth with a sonic blast. Only then would he realize that he’d been the Elder God’s pawn all along, that the purging of the vampires had devastating consequences, and that the only way to set things right would be to use Moebius’ time-streaming device to go back in time and alter history (in the sequel).
So the story would have arrived at a similar place, just by a different route. In the end, as much as I hated its bluntness, Soul Reaver’s “To Be Continued” ending probably turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I think it opened up more interesting story options for the sequels."

Cited from the original article by Sid Shuman

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Soul Reaver - The Complete Soundtrack v5

The fifth version of the SR1 OST is finally done and available for download! This version is available in Ogg Vorbis. The soundtrack is divided into three parts, which can be downloaded and extracted separately. I have uploaded both versions, so you can choose which one to download.

Thanks for downloading and enjoy the awesome Soul Reaver music!

Please bear in mind, that the SR1 OST which is hosted on NR is outdated and I recommend downloading this version instead.

Note: This version is out of date. Please download the latest version 7 here.