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The most powerful weapon in Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen. The Soul Reaver is a magical two-handed sword, said to have been forged in the bowels of Hell itself. The blade devours the very souls of its victims, robbing them of any chance at an eternity of rest in the afterlife.



Soul Reaver is also the second chapter in the Legacy of Kain series. As Raziel, Kain's first disciple and thus second-in-command of the vampiric ranks of Nosgoth, you have grown bat-like wings, surpassing your master's evolutions, and therefore are put to death; cast into the watery abyss for an eternity of suffering. After a millenia, you awaken to find your physical body ravaged, barely recognizeable, in the vortex at the bottom of the ocean of water that burned you for so long. Thus begins your quest for vengeance.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is an excellent game. When I first started to play it, I was vaguely aware of this, and put it down for other, newer games. After looking to Soul Reaver 2 and Blood Omen 2 for entertainment, I decided to go back to the original for some back story. This how I came to recognize what makes the game so great: the feel. The overall gothic/vampire aura is strongly felt through the script, voice acting, architecture, textures, character skins/animations, and music.

I really enjoy the script. The vocabulary and choice of words is stunningly fitting, and will sometimes have you running for a dictionary... Maybe not running, but you might consider consulting it to get all of what they're saying. Like this out take:
I am Raziel, first-born of his lieutenants. I stood with Kain and my brethren at the dawn of the empire. I have served him a millennium. Over time, we became less human and more, divine. Kain would enter the state of change and emerge with a new gift. Some years after the master, our evolution would follow. Until I had the honor of surpassing my Lord.

The voice acting is also well done. The vocabulary the actors use doesn't sound alien, unfamiliar, or uncomfortable; the words flow naturally and with confidence.

The architecture is also very gothic. It all has a middle-ages feel, and the textures have a faded look which compliments the fact that you are returning to a decrepit, time-warn place/time. The character models and skins produce thought-out characters that are intimidating. This is especially true in the case of Raziel, the main character. Animation in the characters is also notable. They all have a kind of saunter that fits their look and makes them really convincing undead.

Humans in the game are portrayed as extremely insignificant. You barely make contact with them, and when you do, they are extremely skittish. You do not even have to kill them to reave their souls. This makes Raziel look more powerful and his quest all the more goulish.

Finally, the music adds something as well. The tracks are all some of the best fitting in a video game I've heard yet. This is partly due to the fact that they are all extremely organic. They also add a lot of energy to the music.

All these elements combine to create an superb game with a feel the likes of which intrigues me to no end. I highly suggest a rental, especially if you are looking to try the sequel (or Blood Omen 2, for that matter), because this one ends with a HUGE cliffhanger.

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