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Previews
 Written by Steve Graff  on August 28, 2003

First Impressions: Raziel chases Kain through time for some more wacky adventures.


Eidos has built a strong platform with the Tomb Raider Series and now with the Legacy of Kain series. To date all the Legacy of Kain games have done an excellent job at keeping its fan's attentions. With each new title we are given more of the grandiose tale of Nosgoth and its tyrannical overlord, Kain. Each title took us deeper into the very heart and soul of the people and vampires that inhabited Nosgoth, and how their lives were forever changed by a single decision.

Lets take a step back in Nosgoths history to the final confrontation between Raziel and Kain in Soul Reaver. When we last saw Kain he had been defeated at the hands of Raziel but not to the point of death. Before being subdued, Kain managed to escape from Raziels grips by fleeing into a time portal. Raziel, being the relentless soul that he is, gave chase and ended up in a strange realm, different from that of the spiritual and material realms. Upon entering this realm, Raziel was met by Moebius, a sorcerer character from Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen. Upon meeting with Moebius, Raziel is told that Kain has the power to jump back and forth through time, a power that he gained a long time ago and had purposely withheld so that he could lure Raziel into the past for his own mysterious purpose. As to what part Raziel plays in the grand scheme of things is still unknown. After learning about Kains new abilities Raziel makes an alliance with Moebius, to destroy Kain and his treacherous ways once and for all, this is where Soul Reaver 2 begins. As the game goes on Raziel will learn that it takes a lot more to be able to change the past. In the beginning Raziel will believe that the future can be simply changed by making a simple little adjustments in history. As the game progresses he will find out that it actually takes a huge adjustment to change the future through the past. Raziel will also come to the realization that the real Nosgoth is not at all what he thought it was and that others have manipulated him into believing false truths.

Soul Reaver 2 will take the player through a great deal of Nosgoths past. The player will be able to see Nosgoth when it was flourishing with greatness and when it began to sink into a pit of despair. While travelling through time Raziel will be witness to the events that led up to the fall of Nosgoth. Raziel will also meet the key players and learn more about the secrets of Nosgoth.

Much of Nosgoth's environment will be fresh and new and make good use of the PS2's power. Fans of the series though will be able to recognize many landmarks from the Blood Omen and Soul Reaver. The cool thing though will be that player can witness how the same environments slowly change throughout the various time periods in Nosgoths history.

The puzzles this time around will not lead Raziel to glyphs like in the first title. In Soul Reaver 2 the puzzles will unlock new powers of the soul reaver itself, which Raziel wields. The powers of the soul reaver will be elemental based. For example they will have to do with earth, wind, water, and fire. At the beginning of the game though Raziel will posses all his abilities he had in the previous game, such as swimming, climbing, and flying.

The graphics have been radically improved. The textures are smoother, the animation is more fluid, and the backgrounds are simply stunning. Soul Reaver 2 will be draining every last bit of power from the PS2. The environments will be huge and let the player explore every inch of Nosgoth. Raziels model will be increased to 3000 polygons from the PSOne's measly 500. The game will also run at a smooth 60fps.

Final Thoughts
Soul Reaver 2 is shaping up to being a blockbuster title on the PS2, as did the first title. The blood flowing through this game is sweet, thick and rich. Soul Reaver 2 will definitely be biting into our back pockets and sucking our wallets dry.


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