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Blood Omen 2: Legacy of Kain Game Review

Updated on November 18, 2013
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Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain Review and Game Analysis

Blood Omen 2 is the fourth installment of the Legacy of Kain Series and it brings us back to our title character, Kain, after two sequels of Soul Reaver that featured Raziel as the protagonist. Kain returns in all his cynical glory and exactly like he was in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain all the way back in 1996. And you have to like Kain's twisted personality, his wicked humor, cutting wit and his merciless sense of justice. However, regarding the game itself there are some mixed opinions and many do not agree that this part of Legacy of Kain did the series justice.

However, these opinions are subjective and this game does have its stand-alone appeal, which makes it unique in the series. You don't need much (or any) background information to enjoy this game - and its system offers more freedom than other Legacy of Kain installments.

Blood Omen 2 - The Legacy of Kain was released on March 26th 2002 for the US market and on March 29th for the UK. It was published by Eidos, developed by Crystal Dynamics and came out for PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube and PC. The game's story was written by Steve Ross and Bret Robbins and its music was made by Jim Hedges. Blood Omen 2 was produced by Sam Newman and directed by Glen A. Schofield.

Without further introduction we move on to discuss various aspects of this game and continue on as Kain in order to uncover more answers to many questions this intriguing series has posed!

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Graphics of Blood Omen 2

The graphics and the overall visual appeal of this game is good, but it does not come close to its predecessor, Soul Reaver 2, that came out just the year before. However, you will be all in all satisfied with it. The stages look smoothly done and some of them are huge and impressively detailed. The entire game has this bleak, gloomy atmosphere, enhanced by the effects of descending mists and fading lights here and there - and this looks really appealing to the eye.

Kain's character design is the one we already had in Blood Omen back in 1996, just reworked and refined, and now looking better than ever. He is the "young" Kain again, and doesn't have that somewhat scary design he dons in Soul Reaver, both parts. During the game, he changes his attire several times, and his costumes resemble those he wore in Blood Omen, which is a really smart move by the designers as it strikes the nostalgic wire in fans of the Legacy of Kain series. Kudos goes to the person who thought of that little detail.

The artwork of Blood Omen 2 is also really good, but definitely not as outstanding as the artwork of Soul Reaver 2. The visuals of this game therefore seem a little rushed in comparison.

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Blood Omen 2 gameplay experience

Unlike Soul Reaver 2 that favored elaborate puzzles, Blood Omen 2 is by its definition and execution an action adventure game. As such, it offers a lot of combat, action and some simpler puzzles (pull that lever, spin that wheel, move on) that seem to be there just for the sake of being there.

The combat is really very well done and there are some pretty great moves Kain learns in this part of the game and that he didn't have in his arsenal the first time around. You can attack your foes with only your claws, you can engage them with swords, spears, bats, clubs, and virtually anything you can find lying around the stage. You can grab your enemies by their necks, pick them up and then do a special finishing move that differs depending on the type of weapon you currently have. Fun. You can suck the blood of your enemies telekinetically over greater distances, but this stops being fun very early on in the game, although you won't be able to deny that feeling of power every time you do it.

You will, however, dread the puzzles. At some parts, you will find a few that are more elaborate and better thought out, but generally the puzzles will be annoyingly simple and repetitive.

Another downside is the glitchy collision detection. There will be instances where you cannot pick up and object or hit an enemy when you logically should be able to, and this will anger you. Fortunately, this does not happen too much throughout the game and so it isn't that horrible.

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Blood Omen 2 music and voice acting

Remember the fantastic music score from both Soul Reaver and the Sould Reaver 2? Well, this time around we will have to settle for a little bit less. Perhaps the major flaw of Blood Omen 2 is the fact that the music is somehow too quiet in the background and does not have the ambiental feel that sends chills down your spine like the atmospheric scores of previous Legacy of Kain games. Still, a few tracks approaching the end of the game are actually really good and we have to wonder why they didn't create do more of that throughout the entire game and not just the end.

Voice acting, on the other hand, does no slack. Kain is again portrayed by the talented Simon Templeman who is yet again brilliant at pinning down what Kain is - a wicked, arrogant vampire. His co-stars are also up to par.

Overall, we cannot complain about the audio of Blood Omen 2. Despite the fact that it does not rise to the level of its predecessor, it definitely still rates above average in this aspect when compared to other games.

Overall impression and replay value

Blood Omen 2 - Legacy of Kain is a solid action adventure game. It takes us chronologically back before the time of action of Soul Reaver, and we have the opportunity to get more answers about Kain and his part of the plot. Though it does not give us much plot-wise, and looks a bit spin-offish, it does tie some loose ends and that automatically makes it important in order to connect certain dots in preparation for the spectacular finale of the Legacy of Kain series.

The main issue of Blood Omen 2 is the fact that the bar was raised just a tiny bit too high for the makers of the game to make a masterpiece that will live up to "great expectations" - and to do all that in just one year. Soul Reaver 2 was a complete success - Blood Omen 2 - Not so much.

This does not mean you should not play it - simply that after fifteen to twenty hours you spent playing it in order to beat it, you will probably not be all too inspired to replay it.

Blood Omen 2 - Legacy of Kain remains a gem for the fans of the series who will definitely wan it in their collections. For a casual gamer, this game can and will be a good solid action adventure with the added bonus of a highly likable main character - an atypical arrogant quasi-hero - Kain!

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To conclude

Legacy of Kain Blood Omen 2 is a solid game with an interesting concept, though fans of the series may regard it as inferior to the rest of the mentioned installments. However, this particular game offers more freedom and a higher level of interactivity, unlike its predecessors and sequel.

Story-wise, this game is perhaps a bit inferior, but it is still more than interesting to learn about Kain's past.


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