Have you ever played a game that literally made your hands sweat? Not sweat from overplay, but from nerves? Well, Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver did just that to me. This game is a dark mystery of mayhem that gets harder and scarier as you go along. Just imagine Tomb Raider, except your character isn’t some sexy chick but a hideous vampire named Raziel.
Even more curious is that Raziel isn’t a bloodsucker, but prefers to feed on the souls of his victims. Raziel is immortal, which means he cannot die, so instead you are sent back to the beginning. Not only do you kill your victims, but you also have to feed on their souls.
There is a deep story line, which I’m not going to get into and spoil most of the fun, which adds to the terror and excitement. What is great about Legacy Of Kain is that for every piece of the maze or path you conquer, a cool narration is played. These are vital to the continuing saga and lead you to your next destination. The sequences are as good as any cartoon you’ll see on the big or small screen.
The animation is amazing, but the game play blew my mind. The shadows, hazy areas, and waterworks add to what is an already dark and moody journey. The game play is fantastic because you don’t just kill your way to the end; you’ve got to solve puzzles by moving large blocks into areas that match and switch back and forth between the spiritual and physical world. Sounds heavy, right? It is. And it really takes some time to get used to the whole idea. At first I couldn’t even wrap my head around the two different worlds, but play on and you’ll see that it’s useful to go back and forth.
This is one of those games that you’d be lucky to get through without buying some book for a map or solutions. I found areas that I spent days on, just losing my mind because I couldn’t figure out why I was getting nowhere. Not to mention that you actually have to kill some creeping bosses to move forward, and you don’t just go in with brute force and chop them to bits. You have to come up with a solution because most bosses are unfazed by puny physical attacks.
The Legacy Of Kain would make for a great cartoon series, let alone a video game. This is the sort of game I dreamed about as a kid and only a decade later am I seeing. Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver is the most exciting and challenging game I’ve played for Dreamcast to date.