Legacy of Kain: Defiance Image
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critic Reviews What's this?

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8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 73 Ratings

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  • Summary: The next chapter in the epic Legacy of Kain series is a cutting-edge action/adventure game featuring more action than ever before. Take control of two powerful and highly evolved vampires: Kain, an all-powerful demigod, and Raziel, a demonic angel of death. Each equipped with a legendaryThe next chapter in the epic Legacy of Kain series is a cutting-edge action/adventure game featuring more action than ever before. Take control of two powerful and highly evolved vampires: Kain, an all-powerful demigod, and Raziel, a demonic angel of death. Each equipped with a legendary sword, Kain and Raziel must battle through a world loaded with conflict and intrigue as they attempt to unravel their destinies and defeat the dark forces that seek to condemn their world to eternal damnation. [Eidos Interactive] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. GameNow
    83
    The innovative platform elements, brutal combat, and puzzle-solving are a thrill for the soul. [Jan 2004, p.58]
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 70
    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.
  7. 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.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. JuanCarlosG.
    Jan 14, 2004
    10
    Simply, its the perfect conclusion for a perfect game.
  2. LauraOrganaSolo
    Nov 21, 2003
    10
    Legacy of Kain: Defiance is the fifth game in a series of highly story-focused games that technically fall under the category of action, Legacy of Kain: Defiance is the fifth game in a series of highly story-focused games that technically fall under the category of action, although the plot and character development are superior to those found in big-name RPGs. If you've never played a Legacy of Kain game before, no problem: the game itself contains some supplementary material in the form of the gorgeous FMV openers for Soul Reaver 1 and Soul Reaver 2 and the manual explains everything that has led up to the game thusfar. Don't bother playing it if you cannot be troubled to use your brain, though (as opposed to your combo button-mashing reflexes honed on games like Devil May Cry), as the core of Defiance -- of the series itself -- is its excellent story. In Defiance, control alternates between the series' two protagonists, Kain and Raziel in the world of Nosgoth. Kain is an ancient vampire that has been trying undo history ever since his destiny was thwarted and rewritten by unseen forces, way back in the first game in 1996. Raziel, his "first-born son," is having a hard enough time uncovering and understand his destiny, much less change it. As with the other Legacy of Kain games, it is unclear just who the true enemy of Nosgoth is, as two ancient races have been vieing for supremacy long before humanity can even recall. Graphics Character Rendering: 10/10 Initially, I was disappointed when I heard there would be no FMV sequences but after playing for less than a couple minutes, it was easy to concede and agree that FMVs would be almost redundant. These are some of the most awesome in-game graphics, particularly in regards to the realism in fabric, hair, and body movements. World/Scenery: 10/10 I thought the landscape was breath-taking in Soul Reaver 2 but Defiance is even more amazing. Whether in a snowy winter in a stark fortress or on an autumn romp in a cemetary, all of the settings are realistic and delicious. Trampling through piles of raked leaves causes them to fly up around you, water ripples when you step in it (in Raziel's case, anyway), and the architecture is breath-taking. Sound Voice Acting: 10/10 The LoK games have always had some of the greatest audio elements and Defiance does not disappoint. No matter how much the camera angles, graphics, or combat bother in this game or any of the other four, I am positive that it is universally agreed that the Legacy of Kain series has some of the highest quality voice acting around. The entire cast brings all of the characters to life, from the protagonists to the ever-embittered Vorador, melencholy Janos, devious Moebius, even the vampire hunters and undead. Effects: 9/10 Once again, great. While many of the sounds are reused from Soul Reaver 2, this is in no way a bad thing; I don't think it would make sense for the Reavers to sound different and I don't see anything wrong with water splooshing the same way it did before. There were some minor things that I missed from Soul Reaver 2, though, such as the delightfully realistic crunch of snow underfoot or echoes in some of the more cavernous areas. I love the new and old (particularly Air and Fire) Reaver sound effects, although I miss the tormented scream/roar heard in Soul Reaver 2 and Blood Omen 1 when the non-elemental Soul Reaver is fully charged. The new atmosphere of the spectral realm is intriguing and fitting but was a bit too obtrusive, almost over-done. I liked the previous background sound of the spectral plane just fine, with the music the same as in the material realm but distorted and eerie. The moaning and crying and whatnot make it much more hellish however and less like limbo or the shadow plane than in SR1 and SR2. Music: 7/10 Kurt Harland and Jim Hedges have been composing the music for the LoK games for quite some time now and I was pleased to see their names on Defiance as well. Sadly, there are very few new compositions in Defiance. Throughout the majority of the game, you will mostly hear interesting remixes from Soul Reaver 1 and Soul Reaver 2. This wouldn't bother me at all, as I enjoyed the soundtracks for both of those games except that there aren't really all that many tracks. Still, the remixes are enjoyable and well-timed and the occasional emergence of special characters' themes were a treat. Story Plot: 10/10 I love it. THIS is where the heart of all the Legacy of Kain games lie and like the previous games, Defiance is hard to tear yourself away from. It is thought-provoking and philosophically challenging, mature without being dry or boring, witty, and just damn entertaining. The characters' monologues make the game more of a fun interactive movie (or perhaps a book with audio and video would be more accurate), something that I wish more games would try. Comparing it to a movie is not to say the cutscenes drag on, it's just that the writing and directing are that good: it's a great experience. Characters: 10/10 Whether you've been playing the games since Blood Omen: The Legacy of Kain since 1996 or just started with last year's Blood Omen 2, you are bound to be satisfied with the characterizations. Kain is at his best: the willful, spoiled nobleman of Blood Omen 1 is long-gone and in its place is a MUCH older, much wiser, and much more cunning man. If you thought he was just a jealous tyrant in Soul Reaver 1, you've been wrong all this time. Raziel is just as headstrong and stubborn as he was in the Soul Reaver games and and I can't say I wasn't pleased to see that Dad still has to help him out after all these years. =P Best of all are the appearences of old favorites: Moebius, the Elder God, and Ariel all have a part to play and even a couple from whom we haven't heard from in several games make some great cameos. Gameplay Our two playable characters, Kain and Raziel, wield different forms of the partially sentient Reaver, which some say is a character in its own right. As the story progresses, both recieve upgrades to their respective Reavers, granting them new attacks, abilitis, and access to previously barred paths. Combat: 10/10 There are some games that just don't have any point to them but the combat system and while Defiance isn't one of them, it does make use of a combo system influenced and inspired by those games. Much like the Devil May Cry games, Defiance's combat system revolves around a few basic moves that can be chained together in a nearly infinite number of combinations. Both characters can make use of a telekenisis system that is innovative and fun; combined with the various different attacks and Reaver abilities, combat is a blast. Camera: 7/10 The much-discussed camera system for Defiance is very different from that of previous titles. Although it allows for a very cinematic view of everything, it occasionally doesn't move in the desired direction, causing combat to be hidden by the scenery unless one makes use of the camera control stick. This also fixes any problems that might crop up with perspective. I personally didn't have very many issues with the camera but it seems like a lot of others did. It's not that hard to tweak the L3 stick a bit and get the camera to pan a bit or just move a the character a little so the camera adjusts itself. Miscellaneous: I really liked having an inventory for the first time since Blood Omen 1 but I wish the items had had little explanations in the same way instead of just the names. The experience system was a something fun that we've never had in an LoK system before, but it didn't really play a very large part. One of my favorite parts about Soul Reaver 2 were the fabulous extras unlocked when the game was completed. Many fans expressed similar views and Crystal Dynamics heard them and has given us another riotous collection of outtakes from the recording sections, concept art, and cutscenes. Final Words I enjoyed Defiance immensely. It has gotten some unnecessarily harsh criticism, but only because people seemed to have failed to understand the camera control or experimented with the combos. In the end, I'd say Defiance is worth owning. If you're considering buying it now, do so. I was not at all sorry for spending $50 on it: indeed, I thought it was worth every cent. If you're low on cash now, no problem, give it a couple months and pick it up for $30 or $40. Either way, give it a try. You might find yourself not only pleasantly surprised but deeply intrigued, and totally yanked into the deep plot that makes this series so great. Final Score: 10/10 Expand
  3. MarcM.
    Dec 5, 2003
    10
    This game will have you crying under the covers and calling for you mummy.
  4. JayC.
    Jan 20, 2004
    9
    I made this face: o_0 in pure disbelief after an hour of playing this game. Now that I've owned it for a month, I must say this is the I made this face: o_0 in pure disbelief after an hour of playing this game. Now that I've owned it for a month, I must say this is the best Legacy of Kain game. Blood Omen was the best, followed by Soul Reaver, but this one blows them away. I'm a huge fan of the combat. Although I wish it were more difficult, Crystal Dynamics did an awesome job of making me feel like I'm a bada$$ vampire out to kick butt. You play as both heroes of the story, Kain and Raziel which is genius. The interesting thing is that they have the same controls, however the moves are different and they really show the individual characters' styles. Raziel feels flippy, rolly, almost ninja like, while controlling Kain feels like controlling an all powerful-vampire that towers over his opponents. The combos I've pulled off on this game beat devil may cry tenfold. Not just in number of hits, but in how good they look. In devil may cry, I used to run past enemies, in LOK:D I fight every last one- Launching them in the air, smacking them away over a cliff, but catching them with telekinesis before they fall over, and sucking them back to my sword so i can drink their blood... looks sooo sweet. The one complaint I have is that I had to riddle my brain to think to the other LOK games to make sense of this one. This will be difficult for gamers that haven't played the previous titles. Although, it doesn't hinder gameplay, it's an awesome story, and newcomers to teh series will be lost. I hope this encourages them to play the previous games as well, and not give up on LOK:D. Expand
  5. May 6, 2020
    9
    Своё знакомство с серией Legacy of Kain я начал с Soul Reaver 2. Игра мне понравилась, решил попробовать Soul Reaver. Но толи игра устарелаСвоё знакомство с серией Legacy of Kain я начал с Soul Reaver 2. Игра мне понравилась, решил попробовать Soul Reaver. Но толи игра устарела толи еще из-за чего, но игра не зашла. Тогда установил Blood Omen 2, тоже не зацепило.
    И вот вышла Defiance. Я иллюзий не испытывал, ведь бывает так, что у людей получается одна игра и все. Но какое же было мое удивление, когда я увидел как надо правильно сплетать два геймплея.
    Да за Каина проходить немного скучновато, обычное рубилово, но вот за Разиеля! Игра преображается, тут и слешер, и головоломки, и перемещение между двумя мирами, и множество мечей которые влияют на прохождение, бой и решение квестов.
    Разработчики не только не угробили, но и усовершенствовали геймплей предыдущей игры.
    Сюжет. Многие ругали сюжет. Но, на мой взгляд, он хорошо вплетен в канву и продолжает сюжет предыдущих игр.
    Игру прошел дважды, маловато. Жаль продолжения ждать не приходится!
    Expand
  6. NinjaMafia
    Nov 16, 2003
    8
    I got Defiance about two days ago, and yes, I have already beaten it. Thats is one of the main problems with it. Wjhile it may be fun while I got Defiance about two days ago, and yes, I have already beaten it. Thats is one of the main problems with it. Wjhile it may be fun while it lasts, there isn't a lot of things to keep pulling you back into the game. Okay lets start with the gameplay. Defiance was supposed to boast a better combat system than the other LOK, and it deliverde, somewhat. The action is better with TK(telekinesis) and a few extra moves. However, the combat can still get a bit repetitive from here and there. luckily(or unluckily) they threw in some puzzles to break from the action a bit. However, the puzzles tend to be the exact same thing over and over agfain. However, they did present the same thing over and over again in a way that made it feel different. Overall, the gameplay is only okay. This game is more puzzle than action. The graphics in this game are pretty astounding.The characters are all highly detailed, the lighting is spot on, and the framerate is smooth, most of the time. The characters fcdid seem to move arbitrarily at times and the collision detection was bad from here to there and such. Overall the graphics are highly impressive. The sound in the game is a mixed bag. The music is almost non-existent, and the sound affects are muted. However, the voice acting is some of the best I have ever heard in a video game. Now on to the games strongest point, it's story. This game has the best story of the year. However, people would probally be lost if they haven't played every LOK game. There ewas one major plot twist that I saw coming from a mile away that kind of dampered this games story, however, it is all really well told and thought out. Okay here is the basic premise of it. You start out as kain trying to find and kill mobius, for obvious reasons(if you've played the LOK games you would know). However, when you find mobies he weakens you with his staff. He tells you that Raziel is in some other time period because Kain was looking for Raziel, kind of. We jump to Raziel trying to escape the elder god and the underworld. This is only the basic premise, there are a lot of big twiasts in the story. You learn about what Raziel is exactly. Why Raziel; must not ressure cct Janos, etc. Overall, if it weren't for this games awesome story this would have gotten a 7, or maybe I ewwould have kept it as an eight, i'm not sure. the gamelay is pretty fun for a while, however, towards the end of the game you will feel like you are doing the samwe thing over and over again. Well, I don't expect alot of people to like this game, but me, I like it, I like it a lot. Expand
  7. ParkerR.
    Apr 25, 2004
    8
    I think that this game gets really confusing and I want to quit.

See all 16 User Reviews

Awards & Rankings

85
84
#84 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2003