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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 18 March 2002
Moody, brooding and rather amoral, the original Soul Reaver was amongst the most atmospheric games to feature on the Playstation. For one reason or another SR1 was cut and the ending dramatically altered, leaving Kain, the final enemy, to escape through a time portal into the past, with a rather frustrating "to be continued"...
...which is how SR2 is possible- a sequel which SR fans will hope to tie up loose ends and bring the epic story of the land of Nosgoth to a satisfactory conclusion.
For those who never played Soul Reaver 1, the plot followed Raziel- a vampire betrayed by his master Kain- in his personal quest for vengeance and retribution. Kain escaped into the past however, leaving Raziel to follow him in SR2. Gameplay-wise SR2 is nearly identical to SR1, with puzzle-solving interspersed with hand-to-hand combat. None of the puzzles are devastatingly demanding, although occassionally you will be left wondering what exactly you are meant to be doing rather than how to do it. The combat has become significantly more involving, and the enemies are no longer a mere irritation; some areas will force you into combat against very tough opponents to proceed.
The graphics are a treat, with some beautifully done effects- reflections on polished floors are spot on, as are the rain, snow and water effects and the wispy clouds in the night sky. Raziel travels through Nosgoth's landscape in 4 time eras in addition to the spirit realm, and the subtle changes between each are just right. If you thought the decaying world of SR1 was done well, just wait until you see the blighted, devastated and dieing land of Nosgoth's future... you will be shocked.
Following from a tradition of Legacy of Kain games, SR2 has probably the very best voice-acting of any PS2 game. Crystal Dynamics are one of very few game developers to employ professional voice-artists- and as a result the voice overs aren't the usual detritus you will groan in embarrassment at.
However, what drives SR2 most fundamentally is not graphics or sound or even the gameplay, but the storyline. Unlike some other PS2 titles, the game was written around the story, not vice versa. Hence the story is very rewarding if you take the time to follow it. A great strength, this might also be the games greatest problem. The Legacy of Kain series spans 4 games including the two Blood Omen titles. For those new to the series it could be very confusing, particularly with SR2's convoluted plotline of manipulation, fate and despair. For just a few quid extra, newcomers would be advised to buy SR1 (which was a truly awesome game) as well.
The other faults with SR2: object interactivity is fairly minimal, and during combat the camera is very unhelpful (sometimes you can't actually see your opponent). There's also a bit too much running about (SR1 had teleports), perhaps a deliberate fault to compensate for the considerably shorter length of the sequel. There are also no boss characters (other than at the very end- and they're not actually a challenge at all). And annoyingly, a final conclusion to the tale of Nosgoth is NOT reached at the end of the game.
It's a shame that minor points stop me giving SR2 a perfect 5-stars, but Crystal Dynamics have cunningly paved a route for SR3, where hopefully they will be ironed out and a proper conclusion to the saga reached.
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on 13 January 2003
After playing SR1 on the PSOne, I thought it was the best game on that console, and my opinion on that has not changed, although Silent Hill came close. Because I bought SR1 when it first came out, I had a very long wait for this sequel, but it turned out to be more than worth it. The game is gorgeous to look at with the stunning quality of the graphics,and although you end up doing a lot of running around due to the lack of the warp gates as in SR1, a lot of the enemies can be bypassed if you are quick enough, so you don't end up fighting your way endlessly and tediously along the same path again and again.
The controls are fairly tight, and while the camera angles are not as good as SR1, they are more than adequate, a rarity in most games of this type.
The game is annoyingly short, (I completed it in 2 days), but the things that lift this game above any other are the quality of the voice acting, and a storyline that you actually need to think about. You'll want to finish the next section just to get to the next cut scene and hear the golden voice of Raziel's voice actor!
The storyline is so complex, and of course including the input from Blood Omen 1 and 2 as well, that one wonders how they are going to tie them all together. It certainly isn't a straightforward plot, add in a time travel factor, and things get very complicated, you'll spend a goodly amount of time trying to fit the pieces together, (luckily a timeline is included with SR2!)
Some people have been annoyed that the game was left open ended with a 'to be continued' message, but not I, as long as the games keep up this level of quality, I would love to see more of them. Roll on SR3!
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on 16 September 2001
This is a truly great game. The control scheme has been worked ot perfection as have the puzzles. The puzzles are all challenging and engaging and is one of the few games where you can't wait to reach the next puzzle.
This isn't all though, you'll just love the combat, Crystal dynamics have made this inexplicicably good. The jumping has been improved too and if you press R2 while in mid air it will go into a Matrix style effect.
The graphics in the game are gourgeous and probably some of the best on Sony's machine. There easily up there with the likes of Jak and Daxter and Gran Turismo3.
The sound is amazing too, the voices and music are both amazing as is the wonderful sound effects.
If your looking for a vampire story in a gothic story with the best puzzles and combat around. Not to mention excellent graphics and sound. This is for you!
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on 7 January 2002
After falling in love with the first game, SR2 is the only reason why I got a PlayStation 2. After feeling content about the ending of the first game (although apprarantly they missed it out, hence the sequal), I couldn't wait to get my hands on it.
Although puzzels are few, they are simple (yes, I spent a few hours on one puzzel and all I had to do was turn around!). Graphics are brilliant. Totally worthy of the PS2 console. Gamespan isn't very long. This is the one major downside of the game. I didn't expect it to say 'The End' in the place it did, I felt bitterly disapointed. I mean, I completed it within 4 days!
The plot isn't bad. Confusing for someone with a short attention span, but it does make you think afterwards (probably just to make sense of it all!). There are no bosses, unfortuantly, but hopefully this will mean an even better sequal.
Graphics: 9/10
Plot: 8/10
Game-life: 5/10
The bonus footage (sound track to BOTH games, behind the scenes voice recordings etc) is something to watch when you've completed the game.
Overall: 10/10
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on 8 January 2016
Good game alright graphics for its time levels are big enough to get lost in especially when you change to the spectral realm and many things change,very tomb raidery in parts requiring annoying jumps to ledges and such,pretty fun fighting system clunky heavy moves but seems to work well.
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on 27 November 2001
My wife bought this on Friday, it's now Monday. the game has already been completed, with myself and our friend in attendance and lending the occasional hand.
Total Playing Time = <10 hours
This is so much less of a game than it's predecessor. It is, admittedly, beautiful and brilliantly written like a super-stylish fantasy film but that is its problem. Somewhere along the way the Crystal Dynamics team have got carried away with the looks and story of the game and made the fatal flaw of taking out most of the play.
The puzzles are simplistic in general with one elemental temple simply consisting of ONE ROOM! There is little use of Raziel's abilities in the game, block-sliding is virtually non-existent. Block flipping and the time-stopping ability of the warp into the spirit realm doesn't even see the light of day in this release.
The control system has been improved overall but the lock-on system for fighting is pointless as it's much more effective to run freestyle around the enemies slashing wildly.
The claims made above about 30 new moves and spells is extravagant to say the least ,as there are NO new spells, simply the standard soul-reaver with 4 different elemental imbues, plus the material soul-reaver from Blood Omen.
Overall this game was stunning to watch and play through with a wondefully crafted plot but is incredibly short , contains less than it's forbearer in terms of gameplay and has no replay value whatsoever. After waiting this long for Crystal Dynamics to finish what should have been the original Soul Reaver I am sorely disappointed with the finished article (nice one guys, release half a game eh, and the other half on a different platform?).
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on 30 October 2004
i had to buy this game after i played soul reaver legacy of kain on playstation 1, and i was not let down. The graphics are exelent the story line is extremely interesting and in-depth. The game play is really good when i first got it i played it for 2 days nonstop and since then have played it twice again.
my advice get this game (and if possible blood omen 2 and legacy of kain defiance)
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on 18 March 2013
Also the first Legacy of Kain i have played, i recommend the ps2 version over the PC, because of the more good controls over Raziel. The story is amazing, the enviorements are great, also the music is so good (especially the menu music). The puzzles are engaging (the first game to make me look for a walktrough). If you liked the classic Tomb Raider series you will like this game. Just i love this game so much, and i want you the buyer to feel that this game is not one of those games, that you pass and forget !
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on 17 November 2013
Sucessor of the "Legacy of Kain:Soul Reaver", this action adventure game continues the revenge of Raziel, pursuing through time, Kain, his murderer and former master.
Better graphics and level design, better combat, better puzzles and better story, between time, physical and the ethereal planes, are some of the many reasons to, once again, accompany Raziel in his adventures.(its not mandatory, but I advise you to buy the previous game to fully apreciate this one).
If you like me, love action adventure games and vampire revenge stories, you must buy this game !
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on 6 January 2002
Soul Reaver 2 was a great game, with great visuals and a great plot. The extras on the disc were great too. But all the pluses have a few bad things dropped in. There is a lot of backtracking, The fighting got a bit samey for me, and i somehow felt that dropping in all the old characters was just to please the fans. I Really follow the series closely having played Blood omen and Soul reaver but there was just somthing missing for me. On a plus note to go with those i made before, the game builds upon eveyones character like raziel and Kain who become almost 'allies' and the dodgy endig sequence that once again leaves space for a sequence. That last bit was well done, and it seems there is a bigger enemy that Raziel must face... Overall, good solid gameplay, just not as good as Blood Omen or Soul reaver in my opinion
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