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The Legacy of Kain Series: Blood Omen 2

Who cares if it's not the classic Legacy of Kain stuff?

The Good
Honestly, when I started playing Blood Omen 2, I thought "OMG, who the hell made the key map for this game?". It was impossible to play on the keyboard, and I was lazy about reallocating the keys. So I decided to use a joypad... what a difference!

Blood Omen 2 made my day with its combats! It is the only game in the whole series in which blocking attacks is an important thing! There are those who say that the attacks are repetitive. For Christ sake, in Soul Reaver 1 and 2 all you had to do is punch, punch, punch, all the time, to get the enemies killed! At least in Defiance you have other options, like playing "badminton" with your enemies, what makes its combats slightly better than in Blood Omen 2. But in trade, Defiance has that annoying camera that forces you to take giant turns only because the direction of this or that platform changed during your jump!

There's something cool introduced in Blood Omen 2 that became worse in Defiance: Kain's leap. In Blood Omen 2 you can choose the distance and direction of your leap, and that was a feature underexploited in game, although excellent. In Defiance, they had fixed those absolutely arbitrary red circles! I think that it was a challenge to the possible realism of the game. I imagine Kain think to himself "man, if I only had one of those red circles around here, I could be in the other side in no time! I really miss the time when I was self-sufficient, like in Blood Omen 2"!

More about the combats: the dark gifts Fury, Berserk and Immolate gave me part of the most stress-relief moments ever granted by a game (much like the head-shots in Counter Strike). You're there, taking all the pain you can get from your enemy, and suddenly, a la Rocky Balboa, you just finish him with a bunch of really hard blasts! Immolate made it less funny, once the enemy get to suffer less, >:) .

Of course it was a two-edged sword, once you could just keep blocking until your bar was full, and then kill the guy with just one strike. But it depends on the player...

The thing of having many ways of killing is something really fun. You can punch them to death, burn them away once and for all, get silently close to them and kill them in several ways, etc. Defiance is also good in this aspect, no doubt about it.

The Bad
As mentioned before, whoever made key map for this game must be fired! The game is quite unplayable with the keyboard. Everyone knows that console ports usually suck, but hey, what about a little effort of making it easier for us keyboard users, eh? Good thing I had a joypad around...

The story is kind of apocrypha, but it fits in the whole series plot. And don't even start with the "WTF is Vorador doing there?" crap, there are reasonable explanations. It is the same that happens to Phantasy Star III: the story is apocrypha and the graphics are different from the rest of the series, so hardcore fans hate it. In both cases, blame it on the development team (which is not the same from the rest of the series), but I still respect their work.

The puzzles are too weak (actually, none of the series' games is better than Soul Reaver in this aspect), and some Kain's dark gifts are underexploited (like the domination thing: what's the point of dominating one's mind if all you can do is to make him pull levers?). In fact, the puzzles doesn't even qualify for it, once you don't need to think to solve them.

The Bottom Line
In the end, what saves Blood Omen 2 is the fun I had with it. It doesn't matter if the story is torn, if Kain looks like he'd just left a beauty contest, if the game is easier than dying by a head shot. The game is as fun as hell (at least for me), and even if it had not the "Legacy of Kain" trademark, I would like it (some would say that if it wasn't a LoK game, it would be good, but not me).

by chirinea (46950) on April 3rd, 2007

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