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Legacy of Kain: Defiance Reviews (Xbox)

ESRB Rating
Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

There are no reviews for the Xbox release of this game. You can use the links below to write your own review or read reviews for the other platforms of this game.

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting). 3.8
AI How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be 3.1
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 3.1
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 3.8
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 3.4
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.4
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed
(required for every game entry that isn't a compilation or special edition)
Overall User Score (9 votes) 3.5

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
GamePro (US) (Nov 11, 2003)
Kain and Raziel trade puzzles for action in Defiance, and everyone's better off for it. Crystal Dynamics? two vampiric leading men come together in the crown jewel of the Legacy of Kain franchise. Defiance is a sure step in a new direction, but it looks like this journey could stand a few more steps.
Game Chronicles (Feb 16, 2004)
The Legacy of Kain series has the uncanny ability to draw in a huge crowd of blood lusting gamers then leaving them totally hanging with epic cliffhanger endings. They did it with Soul Reaver and once again with Soul Reaver 2, driving the gaming public into a fever pitch. Having written strategy guides for both of those games I was the unlikely recipient of more than two-thousand fan messages asking me what was in store for Raziel after the time paradox ending of his last adventure.
XBox Solution (XBS) (Nov 20, 2003)
Legacy of Kain: Defiance is an amazing game from start to finish; what has previously held it above all others is its engaging story and nothing has changed in that aspect. The sound effects in the game are a nicely done, and the voice acting comes together to create an almost complete audio package. Kain and Raziels characters are nicely designed and animated with attention paid to the minor details and the environments are large and beautiful, in a dark gothic way. For what Defiance brings to the table it is well worth a buy, and will not disappoint the hardcore Legacy of Kain fan. For new comers to the series, do not worry you will not be left out, the plot can be enjoyed from its current location without needing the back story. All in all it's defiantly worth a purchase, get ready to slaughter the humans and confront your enemy!
GameZone (Dec 07, 2003)
I’ve always had a fascination for vampire lore and there are seldom many games that allow you to settle into their dark supernatural realm the way the Blood Omen games have done in the past. Through the dark ruler Kain’s eyes, we have seen his great greed and bloodlust. As for the Soul Reaver games, we have seen a fallen vampire known as Raziel attempt to redeem his own eternally damned soul by trying to set things right. Now, in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, these two immortals will clash again. So go ahead, get your tickets to this dark opera because the music this one makes is really that good.
Armchair Empire, The (Dec 20, 2003)
Even with its spots of tarnish, Legacy of Kain: Defiance manages to prove itself as a solid action game. The action is fast and furious (although “punctuated” with periods of running around), the graphics are impressive and the voice acting is very good. For Kain/Raziel fans this one should be on their “To Play” list.
Xbox Exclusive (Apr 15, 2004)
Although it lacks some refinement and could use a good polish, Legacy of Kain: Defiance is a game worthy of the popular series. Excellent gameplay, beautiful graphics, and amazing sound make for an awesome experience. It's definitely worth buying, but if you don't want to purchase it, at least give it a rental play…you won't regret it.
Lawrence (Nov 26, 2003)
Defiance has it's moments of boredom and frustration but the moments of fun and brilliance far outweigh the former. If you were disappointed by Castlevania like you should be, Defiance is your superior alternative this year.
GamersMark (Nov 02, 2003)
Legacy of Kain: Defiance, aside from its story and dialog, isn’t all that great. Please don’t take my negative comments toward the gameplay to mean that the game wasn’t enjoyable at all, because it certainly was. The problem lies in its lack of variety, not in the initial design itself. It’s a shame really, since as a seasoned gamer, I can see how making certain changes gameplay wise would have made this into a great game. So, just like its predecessors, we once again have a title that should be purchased more on merits of its story, instead of its gameplay. While this may seem disappointing, I think one thing that needs to be taken into account, is that stories this interesting and engrossing, in a videogame, are few and far between. Though the overall gameplay may not be anything to gawk over, I honestly feel this game should in the least be praised for what it accomplishes in the areas of writing and voice acting.
While the strong visual and aural components are a nice bonus, the action / adventure gameplay is indeed the selling point for Defiance. The combat system is deeper and stronger than the previous two installments, and a somewhat touchy camera isn’t enough to spoil the experience. Granted, the replayability may be a little suspect, but the initial 15-20 hour play time combined with the gripping plot, strong action and exploration elements should extend the Legacy of Kain series beyond its cult following, allowing it to reach a more mainstream audience.
Jag är medveten om att Legacy of Kain: Defiance inte är ett spel för alla. Den kalla berättelsen där ingen är ens i närheten av god, den ödsliga världen och det höga på gränsen till högtravande språket. Det aningen stela spelsystemet. Men samtidigt är det här en vampyrsaga när den är som bäst; mörk, episk, brutal och ackompanjerad av fantastisk grafik och musik, och Defiance är det starkaste spelet i serien.
TeamXbox (Nov 27, 2003)
Defiance is by no means a flop to a great series, but it isn’t exactly a step forward. While it is nice that gamers can control both Kain and Raziel for the first time ever, the compromise of the control scheme takes some of the unique aspects away from what fans have experienced in the previous games. The graphics are above average, but I still expected more from Crystal Dynamics due to their rich past and other masterpieces. The audio this time is right on, as it always has been, and though gameplay has changed, the enthralling story is still intact and better than ever. Gamers who enjoy the series will have fun playing through the new installment and furthering their descent into the world of Nosgoth, while those not familiar with the previous games will probably not have much interest in starting now.
GameCell UK (Feb 08, 2004)
All in all, I really liked Defiance; it plays well and although the story won't set the world alight or tread any new territory, but it does pull a surprise or two, and it is enjoyable to follow to see what happens next. Switching between planes as Raziel is still cool, and the added feature of two characters to play with mixes things up nicely. The game mechanics haven't really changed much since the first Soul Reaver game; so take that into consideration if you weren't really a fan of them previously. Obviously if you're a fan of the series, you'll lap this up, and I seriously doubt you will be disappointed. I certainly wasn't.
80 (Feb 11, 2004)
Overall Legacy of Kain: Defiance is a worthy addition to an already fantastic series. The idea of playing both Kain and Raziel is brilliant and importantly it works incredibly well, and although the game and its puzzles has not evolved as much as it might have, anyone who is a fan of gothic action adventuring cannot afford to miss this one.
MS Xbox World (Feb 12, 2004)
This game makes a good rental if you don’t really like buying games you are only going to play through once. But if you love the Legacy of Kain series, this is a must buy game. I give this game a nice big eight out of ten. True this game has great superficial qualities, like graphics and audio, but the replayability just hurts the score as does the controller issues.
IGN (Nov 12, 2003)
Finally a Kain sequel genuinely worthy of the original.
With about 20 hours of gameplay, Legacy of Kain: Defiance is not one of the deepest games around, but it is very challenging and that 20 hours can easily double when or if you hit trouble areas. After beating the game, there really isn't anything to do afterwards, meaning you will just throw the game aside after completion. A one-time run through is probably the most you will do if you don't get frustrated that much and just stop playing it. Overall, I say Legacy of Kain is more rental worthy than it is for a purchase. If you are a huge fan of the series, I suggest you come out and pick this one up. If you are not or if you are new to the series, rent the game first and see what you think about it, but for you fans, Defiance is the best game in the series.
75 (Jan 29, 2004)
Bien conscient des problèmes techniques ou de gameplay qui émaillent le jeu, je ne puis malgré tout me résigner à descendre ce titre. Car il faut voir que si problèmes il y a, ceux-ci demeurent mineurs au regard de l'aventure passionnante qui nous attend. Les combats sont dynamiques, la construction du jeu est bien pensée, le jeu jouit d'une réalisation graphique somptueuse (malgré les quelques bugs et autres ralentissements) et le scénario est encore une fois travaillé jusque dans les moindres détails. Voici donc un soft qui aurait mérité des phases de tests plus approfondies ou du moins une sortie un peu plus tardive pour résoudre plusieurs soucis de jouabilité mais sorti de là, quel jeu !!
Game Over Online (Dec 15, 2003)
Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but in the case of Raziel and Kain, that meal will probably come with a seething side order of contempt. The two anti-heroes of the Legacy of Kain and Soul Reaver series have tracked their enemies (and each other) across Nosgoth and even time itself, seeking retribution for the crimes committed against them. But this is much more than a simple vampire story. Eidos has crafted four stories that have dealt with death, betrayal and manipulation on a heightened metaphysical level. Their latest title continues the intellectual and physical bloodletting with Legacy of Kain: Defiance.
XboxAddict (Nov 30, 2003)
So all in all it stacks up to be a decent game. For Kain fans out there this game has been a long time in the making and has finally been delivered to us. If you played any previous Legacy of Kain games, then this is one you will have to pick up. For anyone else out there, if you are looking for an action game that is easy to get into and has a compelling plot, this isn’t a bad one to try out. Eidos, thank you for finally delivering on this. Though it isn’t the greatest game out there, it finally lays to rest my questions about the fate of Kain and Raziel. I can now sleep a content man!
Deeko (Nov 14, 2003)
Unless you're a diehard fan of the series, Legacy of Kain and its incredible storyline are best left alone. It's not the worst game ever made and it does have its moments, but on the whole, this is easily the lowest point in the series evolution.
AceGamez (Feb 22, 2004)
Legacy of Kain: Defiance, despite its faults, is one of the most accomplished titles in the series (second only to the original Blood Omen) and is the best of the series in recent times. This game is a must play title if you are an ardent follower of the series, as it ties up all of the story threads and has a real ending. However, in doing so it has sacrificed a lot of the innovation that gave the first Legacy of Kain title such wow factor, this is not so much a game set in a world (with no load times) than it is an above average mainstream level based action adventure. And as such Legacy of Kain: Defiance presents little replay value, although, sometimes being bad, no matter for how short a time, can feel real good.
GameSpot (Nov 12, 2003)
Legacy of Kain: Defiance has an outstanding premise, but it's ultimately a disappointment.
GameSpy (Nov 23, 2003)
The Legacy of Kain series has always been about talking heads, and Defiance is no different. It just also happens to have a "Skip Cinematic" feature. Oh, and a nicely revamped combat system. Yes, believe it or not, you'll have fun fighting in Defiance, and feel lucky, because it happens quite often. But if you've been following the series, you'll also know that it's quite heavily reliant on aimless wandering and boring box puzzles. Sadly, this much hasn't changed. Developer Crystal Dynamics got half of it right, but does a great half make a good whole? Don't ask me, I'm not a mathematician -- a numerologist, maybe, but not a mathematician.
GameDaily (Feb 23, 2004)
In the end, Legacy of Kain: Defiance is a game filled with great parts that would have made for a fantastic sum, if not for the parts that hold it back from normalcy. Yes, there are some good parts - the voice acting, the story presentation - and they do deserve mention, but not more so than what keeps the game from being fun- no difference in characters, repetitive gameplay. In the end, only those who are diehard fans of the series should approach this title, least they have to forfeit a soul or blood to tango with this rather lacking game.