Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 31
  2. Negative: 2 out of 31
  1. My favorite of the series. On the PSone, the game was an acquaintance. On the Dreamcast a one night stand. But Defiance is a full-fledged romance. Finally, the storyline satisfies completely and I will not spoil it for you. But I will say that if you are a fan of the series, this is the one you’ve been waiting for.
  2. 90
    Defiance shines with pure entertainment value, with crisp and gorgeous visuals and squishy sounds that invoke the feeling of steel crushing flesh.
  3. The game plays like a dream, too. Control is spot on, and never presents itself as a problem.
  4. The story is excellent, the visuals amazing, and when combined with the professional voice work, improved combat, and new telekinetic powers, you won’t find a more captivating or exciting action game on your Xbox.
  5. The game is both dark and brutally bloody but the action is always intense and there is much to see in this world that the heavily violent content can quickly be dismissed.
  6. The action is fast and furious (although “punctuated” with periods of running around), the graphics are impressive and the voice acting is very good.
  7. The best of the series. Beefing up the combat system and allowing control of both Raziel and Kain helps it stand out from its siblings.
  8. 80
    One of the best stories in the series and without a doubt, one of the best combat systems in an action-adventure series.
  9. Far from perfect: a few choice annoyances ensure this. But in terms of enjoyment, there is a sizeable chunk of hours to play through, with or without the story sequences.
  10. While it is nice that gamers can control both Kain and Raziel for the first time ever, the compromise of the control scheme takes some of the unique aspects away from what fans have experienced in the previous games.
  11. While it is nice that gamers can control both Kain and Raziel for the first time ever, the compromise of the control scheme takes some of the unique aspects away from what fans have experienced in the previous games.
  12. It's an intelligently written clash of the titans. [Jan 2004, p.149]
  13. Defiance's story and visuals really shine through. The combat may be repetitive, but it's solid and fun and the well-paced plot does a great job of tying the knot with the long paths of Kain and Raziel. [Jan 2004, p.80]
  14. It’s definitely rough around the edges, but such things are forgivable when the core is exciting and challenging.
  15. The combat system is deeper and stronger than the previous two installments, and a somewhat touchy camera isn’t enough to spoil the experience.
  16. If you played any previous Legacy of Kain games, then this is one you will have to pick up.
  17. 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.
  18. One of those rare games where the story, characters and performances eclipse the gameplay by a wide margin.
  19. Nosgoth is a captivating place to exist in, decadent and elegant, shadowy and mysterious. [Jan 2004, p.56]
  20. 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.
  21. 72
    There is something about the way Kain walks, the way he fights, and the way he looks at things that conveys the elegant grace only contained in the lithe movements of a predator.
  22. The twisty story is compelling enough to pull you through the game like a rabbit tied to a rush-hour train. [Mar 2004, p.92]
  23. The trouble comes when Defiance pads its levels with repetitive encounters and identical areas.
  24. 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]
  25. 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.
  26. 70
    What begins as a fun and exciting journey though the lives of Kain and Raziel becomes an uninspired and rather repetitive adventure.
  27. 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.
  28. Unfortunately, this new presentation isn't fully realized, leading to awkward camera angles and needlessly confusing gameplay.
  29. Both in gameplay styles and level design the game feels like you're playing the quest of a singular entity suffering from multiple personality disorder. Only a true fan could love such a challenged title.
  30. 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]
  31. An uninspired action adventure game that rehashes the same old elements that we've seen throughout the series. There is little combat and what is offered is limited by a few moves and combos which are all practically divulged at the outset.

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