When Sony was at its peak in the 90’s with the PlayStation launching in 1995 at £299, you would have thought that Sony were mad to go into an industry where Nintendo and SEGA were dominating the industry with Mario and Sonic, their respected mascots were the system sellers of the early 90’s. PlayStation totally changed the ballgame within the gaming industry with classic first-party titles such as Gran Turismo to Tekken 3, which are extremely popular with PlayStation fans alike. However, California based Crystal Dynamics along with Eidos Interactive in 1999 came up with one of the most underrated adventure games of all time, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.
Soul Reaver is the sequel to the previous Legacy of Kain title Blood Omen which was released 3yrs before this Legacy of Kain title. The whole plot of the game involves Raziel who is trying to find Lord Kain, who has ruled an empire of the dead. Kain is the one who tears Raziel’s wings and tried to burn him by throwing him into an acid lake. Raziel filled with rage returns to Nosgoth to defeat and dethrone Kain.
The main strengths in Soul Reaver are its gameplay and voice acting. The intro at the start of the game added in with the industrial band Information Society is an intro you wouldn’t be sitting through easily; instead, it leaves you with chills down your spine waiting for everything to unravel once you start playing. At over 50 hours of gameplay, it’s as replayable as many of the modern games which rely on multiplayer to get the best out of your gaming experience. My only niggle with the gameplay is that the camera angles are awkward which leaves you frustrated when reaching the climatic stages when facing Kain. Finally, the voice acting on Soul Reaver is unlike anything you’ll experience on any game. Every word has a weight of expectation which leaves you wanting more out of Kain and Raziel in their battle to rule Nosgoth.
So Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is unquestionably an underrated gem. The tightly-knit plot added in with great gameplay and above-average graphics, Soul Reaver deserves its place in gaming history as a game that broke new barriers in the industry for story-telling and gameplay. Sometimes being ambitious works!