Saturday, March 10, 2012

Game C1 : Blood Omen - Introduction

The development for Blood Omen : The Legacy of Kain was kind of hellish (which suits well the setting for the game). Game developer Silicon Knights (who would later create the cult survival-horror Eternal Darkness for the Gamecube) went through nearly 6 years of work to completion, even working without a destination console before settling for the Playstation and release it in 1996 (and ported to Windows a year later).

The goal was to create "a cerebral role-playing game where you had to use your head as well as your reflexes" (sic) with an adult gothic vampire setting. They talked a lot about the character of Kain, who was supposed to be "the first true anti-hero" of video-games (I haven't verified the claim, but I'm pretty sure it's not true). Maybe not the first, but certainly one of the biggest bad guys you ever had to control in a game. He dreams only of vengeance, sucks the blood of innocents (from three feet away, which is a bit weird) and is overall a pretty big bastard.

I'm not sure about the three pole-dancing skeletons behind him, though.
The game fetched good reviews and made a big success, getting a cult following over the years. It would go on to create a series of four sequels (interestingly enough, the IP went to a following of lawsuits between Silicon Knights and publisher Crystal Dynamics who went on to produce the series), organized in two "trilogies".

The games Blood Omen and Blood Omen 2 would follow Kain in his course of becoming the meaniest baddass around, while Soul Reaver and Soul Reaver 2 would follow antagonist Raziel in his quest to defeat the said Kain. The two trilogies culminate in PS2 title Legacy of Kain : Defiance where I'm pretty sure they end up being pals and walking to the setting sun while eating donuts.

And it's pretty obvious Raziel is the nicer guy.
The intertwining stories and evolved storytelling (as well as the action-RPG gameplay) is what drove me to the series, which I've never really played before, and that's strange. It's got vampires, quest for redemption and as far as I know, pretty solid games overall, even if the Blood Omen subseries is considered a bit of lower quality than the Soul Reaver one. I'm pretty excited by the idea I might stumble on a great series I've missed.

To be honest, though, what I remember most of the first game was jerky camera (which is a first for a top-down perspective), killing loading times and roaming peasants that weren't worried by the vicinity of a blood-sucking vampire. We'll see if it's worth digging through these little things and if the story is really as appealing as it sounds.

Considering I allowed myself the right to Virtual Console, I'll play the PSN version of the game, which is the exact same game that was released for Playstation, hoping the fact the game is on hard drive will lower a bit the loading times.

Let's suck some bloooooood!


  1. I seem to recall playing one of these games on the pc, but I can't be sure which one. I look forward to reading more!

  2. How would you suck someone's blood from 3 feet away? Is it some kind of "hemokinesis" or something? ;)

    1. You can be a vampire and be hygienic at the same time...