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Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Score: 99%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/ Action

Graphics & Sound:
Many games take a long time to reach completion. Many games are 'hyped' beyond any hope of living up to the promises. Generally, the longer a game takes, the bigger the chance of it being outdated when it finally hits the market. This is conventional wisdom.

Good. Now take everything you know about the 'conventional' wisdom of video games and toss it. Crystal Dynamics and Eidos have shown that if you actually work hard on a video game during its long development time, the results can be exciting, instead of disappointing. The graphics are beautiful, the music sets the mood, the textures are very pretty, and the load time is usually unnoticeable, once inside the game. This is due to Soul Reaver using a streaming routine.

This game kicks some serious vampire patootie. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver allows you to make your way through breathtakingly beautiful gothic, other-worldly caverns, fighting soul-taking vampires and worse, while trying to adjust to your new abilities and weaknesses. Now, sunlight and fire don't hurt you, but water of any kind does... As you journey through temporal world, touching water or taking too much damage forces you back into the spectral world. The transition between dimensions is also phenomenal. Just watch as your surroundings 'morph' between the spectral and temporal realms. Too cool!

You have a host of actions you can perform. You can upgrade your 'spear' weapon as you progress, you can suck the souls of your foes once you have defeated them, you can glide around using your destroyed wings. Just jump in and try out your powers... if you start getting weak, suck in a few delicious souls. Yummy!

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is a little difficult to play, but is fun enough to keep you coming back for more. The main thing is getting to the different types of moves you can make in the game, from jumping to gliding, to attacking, eating souls, etc. Once you get used to the different actions possible, it's a beautiful hack and slash through a gothic, medieval world, overrun with nightmarish creatures.

Game Mechanics:
This one is mechanics candy, as well as eye candy. You have the ability to grab weapons off of the walls to attack your enemies. You can burn them, lure them into sunlight, pick them up and impale them on spikes, run them through and impale them on your spear, you can move huge stone blocks almost effortlessly... and the 'morphing' engine is beautiful. Then you have the 'streaming' engine... which keeps you from seeing the load times. Even the detail put into eating souls and the handling of the life meters in the spectral and temporal worlds - all point to a well developed, extremely functional game.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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