Today, I’m going to be providing you with a basically useless review of the Legacy of Kain video game series. There are spoilers, but after you read this, you won’t need to play the games. Verisimilitude, friends: that’s why you come here.
There are four games:
1. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, in which you meet the main protagonist, Kain, who lives in Nosgoth. Kain is murdered, vampirized, and goes on a quest to avenge…himself. Along the way, the overly complicated plot weaves in some nonsense about a vampire dog that lives in the woods, a time bender, twin axes called Havoc and Malice, a princess’ birthday party gone awry, and a toymaker. At the end, Kain is given the choice to save himself, or die and save the world. Guess which he chooses.
2. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, in which you meet Kain’s vampire son, Raziel. Raziel grows wings, and in a fit of pique, Dad (still alive, still a vampire) throws him down a swirling vortex. Raziel wakes up in a pit next to a talking Eye, vows vengeance, finds a sword called the Soul Reaver. There is no ending to this game. It just segues into…
3. Soul Reaver II, in which the plot devolves further. Raziel is still trying to kill Kain. Along the way, the poor kid learns some hard truths about himself, soliloquizes self-righteously whenever he sees Kain, and continues to be generally unsuccessful in everything. Also, the Soul Reaver melds to his arm, which he doesn’t like. At the end, Raziel is back in his pit, leaving both you and him to wonder WTF.
4. Blood Omen II: Something of Kain, in which you are a strangely young, Sexy Kain, bare alabaster chest aglow for all the world to see. There is a female vampire — but true to trope, she is merely leading Sexy Kain along for her own purposes. During the pivotal scene in which Sexy Kain discovers her treachery, the audio desyncs. Plotwise, I have no idea what this game contributes to the series, because a coherent plot has no premium in Nosgoth.
5. Legacy of Kain: Defiance, in which the developers battle valiantly to stitch together the unraveled plotline, but find it impossible. Kain is taunted by the time bender, Raziel is taunted by the Eye, and both of them taunt one another with an overabundance of bombast that probably made the rather excellent voice actors (including Rene Auberjonois, whom some of you may know as Odo from Deep Space Nine) blush with frustration. Later, Raziel literally tears Kain’s undead heart out of his chest, and then regrets it. Raziel sacrifices himself to give Kain the Soul Reaver, Kain has a final battle with the Eye, which results in neither of them dying or being injured, and then ruminates on the bitterness of hope. Unlife is tough on a vampire. Fade to black.
Oh, that’s five games. Actually, there’s also a sixth on the way – Nosgoth. They’ve dispensed with plot completely and it’s just massive multi-player slaughter. Back to roots, gents, back to roots.
I give this series as a whole a 13/12 for confusing-ass plots, a 37.83 for pretty good voice acting, 22 1/3.3% for memorable quotes, and a big fat hug for accompanying me through my entire adult life until now.