Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
  1. The trouble comes when Defiance pads its levels with repetitive encounters and identical areas.
  2. Despite its flaws (mostly remnants of four-year code still at the core of this engine) LOK: Defiance is a polished, challenging, entertaining and adult interactive experience to die for. I can’t recommend this game high enough, especially for those that quit playing the series out of frustration (and will find in Defiance all the answers that left them scratching their heads).
  3. Feeds off an incredible storyline, but is hampered by somewhat linear gameplay.
  4. Whether you start as Kain in a towering Nosgoth citadel or as Raziel in the other-worldly Elder God Caverns, you'll find environments lush, solid and atmospheric. [Playstation 2 Max]
  5. 80
    One of the best stories in the series and without a doubt, one of the best combat systems in an action-adventure series.
  6. For fans of the series this game is a must, it's the game that both "Soul Reaver 2" and "Blood Omen 2" should have been.
  7. The combat-focused gameplay is far superior to the box-and-switch puzzles of past titles. [Jan 2004, p.126]
  8. 75
    You'll have fun fighting in Defiance, and feel lucky, because it happens quite often. But if you've been following the series, you'll also know that it's quite heavily reliant on aimless wandering and boring box puzzles.
  9. Similar gameplay for both characters, aimless objectives and technical issues strangle and mar what would otherwise be a solid addition to an excellent series. Despite that, however, the plot is still well done and answers a number of questions that fans have been looking forward to.
  10. Although it isn't the best third-person action game on the market, it's easily the best Legacy of Kain game in the series.
  11. More like a puzzle game interspersed with fighting than anything else.
  12. 70
    Though it certainly isn't without its flaws, Defiance stands as a solid title that fans of "Devil May Cry" and even the recent "Castlevania: Lament of Innocence" should have plenty of fun with.
  13. It's a bit annoying that the game's major flaws -- slightly monotonous combat, dodgy 3D camera and very monotonous loading times -- haven't been addressed for some time now -- but that doesn't remove from the core qualities of what is still a very fun little game.
  14. Unfortunately, this new presentation isn't fully realized, leading to awkward camera angles and needlessly confusing gameplay.
  15. Far and away, Legacy of Kain: Defiance's most heinous offense is the way it shamelessly doles out its own sloppy seconds, thirds, and fourths in place of actually creating tasks and challenges that would be interesting or engaging.
  16. 90
    Defiance shines with pure entertainment value, with crisp and gorgeous visuals and squishy sounds that invoke the feeling of steel crushing flesh.
  17. 80
    Once you have access to multiple Forges (they're connected by magic portals), it's easy to get lost in the endless curving hallways.
  18. Fans should rejoice at having the chance to play both Kain and Raziel, with faster deeper combat leading to the story resolution many have longed for. It's not perfect, but Defiance is easily the best of the series.
  19. The actual gameplay is so appallingly unimaginative, so awfully monotonous that by the end of it, I was wondering why they even bothered making a game out of it. [Jan 2004, p.124]
  20. It delivers an amazing game experience. This is the best entry yet in the series, and if they choose to continue it I would hope they use this game as the template for future entries.
  21. Solid gameplay meets incredible presentation. If you have any doubt that Crystal Dynamics can rock "Tomb Raider," play this and your fears will evaporate. [Holiday 2003, p.74]
  22. We can't help but have a soft spot for Defiance, if only because it not only looks impressive, but it kept us captivated right up to yet another tense climax; a rare combination for most recent games. [Christmas 2003, p.121]
  23. Perhaps a little more variety with the fighting, less of the annoying ‘trapping the player in a glowing circle until he has killed all enemies’ gameplay elements and more opportunity for clever exterminations like pushing enemies off ledges with telekinesis would have worked better, but it still remains a good game.
  24. You get the impression the only person who cares about Kain's legacy any more is the writer. The turgid battling lets an average game down. [Jan 2004, p.107]
  25. 88
    The idea of playing as both Kain and Raziel is great and their intertwining journeys bring the game to a spectacular close.
  26. The story is nothing short of fantastic and it’s worth noting that this being the last Kain game under the direction of Amy Hennig (who is off to create games for Jak and Daxter developer Naughty Dog), she has really gone out with a bang.
  27. There’s a good chance that this will be the final chapter in the series (as the ending suggests), and if it is, there’s probably no better way to close up the story and give the fans what they were looking for: closure.
  28. The game features an addictive quality and in some levels will really grab you until they are completed.
  29. Blending elements of both action and adventure, Legacy of Kain: Defiance offers plenty of fast-paced combat between solving puzzles.
  30. The rewards to be reaped are well worth ignoring the occasional glitch or repetitive section, as haunting musical tracks, and some wonderfully Geiger-esque environments make this game one of the best presented on the console, even if it sometimes lacks a little bite.
  31. One of those rare games where the story, characters and performances eclipse the gameplay by a wide margin.
  32. A game that will really appeal to those who love the story and the characters. It stands on it's own as a semi-solid title, but to get the most out of it, you need to really care about the story and it's progression of the series.
  33. 83
    The innovative platform elements, brutal combat, and puzzle-solving are a thrill for the soul. [Jan 2004, p.58]
  34. Nosgoth is a captivating place to exist in, decadent and elegant, shadowy and mysterious. [Jan 2004, p.56]

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