Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
  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. It's an intelligently written clash of the titans. [Jan 2004, p.149]
  12. 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]
  13. It’s definitely rough around the edges, but such things are forgivable when the core is exciting and challenging.
  14. The combat system is deeper and stronger than the previous two installments, and a somewhat touchy camera isn’t enough to spoil the experience.
  15. If you played any previous Legacy of Kain games, then this is one you will have to pick up.
  16. Nosgoth is a captivating place to exist in, decadent and elegant, shadowy and mysterious. [Jan 2004, p.56]
  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. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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]
  22. The trouble comes when Defiance pads its levels with repetitive encounters and identical areas.
  23. 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]
  24. 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.
  25. 70
    What begins as a fun and exciting journey though the lives of Kain and Raziel becomes an uninspired and rather repetitive adventure.
  26. 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.
  27. Unfortunately, this new presentation isn't fully realized, leading to awkward camera angles and needlessly confusing gameplay.
  28. 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.
  29. 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]
  30. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 3 out of 12
  1. Nov 19, 2014
    I thought this game would be great, after all Blood Omen 2 and Soul Reaver 1 and 2 were fantastic games that I keep coming back to. Boy was II thought this game would be great, after all Blood Omen 2 and Soul Reaver 1 and 2 were fantastic games that I keep coming back to. Boy was I wrong! In Defiance you spend most of your time in the same boring circular room solving inane, boring puzzles and fighting lame enemies. It was also frustrating that Kane had apparently lost all of the really interesting power he had in BO2. The *only* reason to play this game is for the story.

    Lets just hope that some day they'll make a final LoK game that finishes the story and more closely resembles BO2. Don't hold your breath though, it seems as though this franchise is dead now.
    Full Review »
  2. Frostbolt
    Jan 29, 2006
    I have been gaming for the longest of times, and never did I encounter the LoK series which truly now makes me quite bewildered, because I have been gaming for the longest of times, and never did I encounter the LoK series which truly now makes me quite bewildered, because Defiance really is an astonishing game. I sort of want to go out and buy a PSX now just so I can play the older games of the series, that is how great this game is. I read up on the previous installments of the series and the story is certainly one of the best i've heard, and Defiance finishes up real nice. Defiance is a basic button-masher, eye-candy, puzzle game, but the three elements are brought together so damn well that this game seems gold. The level designs were by far the most unique and beautiful to come along in a long time, and the combat has enough variation to never become dull, including plenty of cool upgrades to your arsenal for both Raziel and Kain.The puzzles don't require all that much thought, but certainly at times form into some tricky and clever obstacles to overcome. The boss fights, though few and a little too easy, are brilliantly executed. You'll find a good 15 hours in Defiance, but if you go for every tome, and upgrade, and talisman, and with some of the puzzles taking up time than at most you'll get a good 20 hours. Overall this game is very worthy of a 9, just at times the camera angles do go all flip-flop and it is hard to refocus it. If your looking for an experience that non have yet conjured and some very fun Ninja Gaiden sort of button-mashing, than i'm sure Legacy of Kain: Defiance is just what you'll want. PS: Vorador's Mansion is simply the best level ever created =). Full Review »
  3. AaronA.
    Apr 10, 2004
    I havent played any of the other blood omens but i am very familiar with the soul reaver games and all i can say is that this game gives you aI havent played any of the other blood omens but i am very familiar with the soul reaver games and all i can say is that this game gives you a feeling of power and an amasing storyline that i havent experienced since onimusha 2. as kain u feel invincible and it is such a great feeling when u finally nail a boss or drink the blood of a rival. on the other hand as raziel the story grabs hold of you and the graphics of the underworld are truely breathtaking, combine this with brilliant crisp graphics a great storyline and fighting system and the best sound effects i have ever herd in a game. I LOVE THIS GAME! ps. take no notice of the guys on here giving it a score of 0 coz they are just being immature and i can tell u now that the camera isnt a problem when ur enjoying yourself this much! Full Review »