Thursday, May 17, 2012

Game C2 : Soul Reaver - Introduction

Usually, in the videogame industry (or in any industry for that matter), when two companies ally to create an Intellectual property, and that it becomes successful, it's not long before they throw at each other's throats in order to gain full control over said IP. It's exactly what happened about The Legacy of Kain. The first game was created by Silicon Knights (who would later create Eternal Darkness or the Metal Gear Solid Remake, Twin Snakes, for the Gamecube) and published by Crystal Dynamics (makers of Gex, Pandemonium and all the last Tomb Raider games). After a chaotic release, Blood Omen proved to be quite successful, and the two companies started a battle to see who would keep the rights. What happened next is usually what happens in this situation : the big one won. Crystal Dynamics would retain the rights to the Legacy of Kain franchise, as long as they let the "Legacy of Kain created by Silicon Knights" line in subsequent games of the series.

Pictured : Crystal Dynamics CEO about to seal the deal.

Silicon Knights scrapped their own sequel to Blood Omen, who was supposed to evolve directly from the first game appearance, and Crystal Dynamics then worked on their own sequel, Soul Reaver, where Kain was supposed to be the bad guy, and where the hero was Raziel, one of Kain's lieutenants, seeking revenge from his former master. The whole top-down view was scrapped as well, going for a full-3D Tomb Raider lookalike, with fangs instead of boobs. It would be released on Playstation and Windows in 1999, then ported to Dreamcast in 2000.

So it's funny the developers chose to give the life bar the form of the Dreamcast logo.

The development of this game was chaotic as well, and it meant the last parts of the game have been cut short due to delays. This would not refrain the game from being insanely successful, appearing in a lot of "Best Playstation games of all time" lists, and selling a lot of copies. The success to the game was supposedly helped by the release of a lot of horror-themed movies around the same time, namely The Sixth Sense, The Blair Witch Project or The Mummy. Crystal Dynamics put a lot of money in advertising campaigns as well, and the game had its own comic tie-in. 

So it's time to go back to the grim lands of Nosgoth. I'm really excited about this one, because it's the first game of my list that I have never played before. I just hope I won't experience the same problems I had with Legacy of Kain. If I do have another problem with the PSN version, I swear to all that is sacred that I won't ever buy another Playstation Classic on the PSN. I sure hope this one works correctly! I'll keep you posted.


  1. I never played this or Legacy of Kain, so I won't have nearly as much feedback as with Link - but I'll still be watching to see your posts on this. :)

  2. Great to know it :) You were a great support through Link, and I hope this one'll interest you as well!

  3. Keep us updated - this was my introduction to the LoK series and by far the most atmospheric and ambitious game in the series after blood omen