elcome back to another exciting segment where we take a glimpse into some of the most exciting and iconic games that have made a mark in history, and some of the hidden gems of the retro era.
The story behind the Soul Reaver series was kind of eluded even before it began, the game takes place a few thousand years after Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain which was a PlayStation RPG that came out 21 years ago and in the same world as the Soul Reaver series.
Soul Reaver places you in the role of Raziel you were a vampire lieutenant in the service of Kain, who is the protagonist the name sake of the original game. You have a grudge to bear against Kain, in the first game he tore off your wings and you would have evolved wings, gained new abilities before the master, and he tore off your wings and had you thrown into an abyss, and that is generally not very good for vampires. So years later you woke up in this ruined blue form without a jaw or clothes or anything like that, and you had the ability to suddenly to devour souls of vampires, or humans and what have you instead of sucking blood. So luckily you don't have to know the complete back story of the Soul Reaver series in order to enjoy Soul Reaver 2, the game eludes to past events throughout its length there's a frequency of great looking in game story sequences and CG Cinemas that kind of brings you up to speed on past events, bring you up to speed on current events and what anything they leave out there's a text based time line that you can read to fill in some of the necessary gaps.
Since story is such an important element to Soul Reaver 2 its really no big surprise that sound is very important to it as well, it is one of the best sounding games ever made. The voice work is done by such notable voice actors such as Michael Bell, Tony Jay, and Simon Templeman who reprise their roles as Raziel, the elder god, and Kain the are also joined by the actor who played Oddo in Deep Space 9 who plays a character that is kind of both new and old to this series at the same time. The music in the game and sound effects are really impressive as well, the sound track is up there with Danny Elfman film score, it is so good, and the sound effects differed depending on the dimensions of the room that you are in, if you’re walking along a small hall way your foot steps will make kind of an echo noise, you walk into a large room you can just hear the sound open up, it is really a great effect.
As complicated as the story might sound it's really compelling, it pushes you forward to unlock new areas and to find out the answers to the questions that the game has, you will jump, climb, move blocks and solve puzzles similar to how Lara Croft would, but unlike Lara you have these magical and vampire abilities such as the ability to glide along using your tattered wings or to shift into the spectral realm which is kind of like a distorted dimension where spirits dwell, and whenever you take too much damage you shift into the spectral realm so that you can absorb more souls to come back or you can shift there yourself because you want to bypass an obstacle in the material plane. In the spectral realm you have this nifty ability to pass through certain barriers like gates which is an ability that you picked up during the original Soul Reaver.
The combat in Soul Reaver 2 is different as well, you can summon the Soul Reaver at any time when opposed to only when you are at full health, there are some consequences to that the Soul Reaver now sucks the life out of your fallen opponents leaving nothing for you if you summoned it, and if you use it too much it starts to devour your own self's soul energy as well, so it is really a powerful weapon that you only use when you really need it otherwise you will just use hand to hand combat or you might use weapons axes and spears things like that, so that after you defeat them you can suck up there soul energy.
Soul Reaver 2 is also really great to look at as well, you at first it kind of looks like a high resolution than the original, but the more time you spend with it you'll notice these neat little effects, such as each environment looks noticeably different and each one is populated by different creatures such as frogs in the swamp, and rats in the temple and the Abby, and this kind of contributes to bringing each environment to life. The games lightning effects and water effects are really stunning and the elaborate architecture that you saw in the first Soul Reaver is also present and is in Soul Reaver 2.
It’s true that the game is probably isn't as impressive visually on the PlayStation 2 than the original was on the PlayStation and it’s all so probably true that it doesn't take advantage of the hardware quite usefully as some games have so far but the game actually has a near perfect game camera which is a complete rarity and something that we have probably only seen once or twice outside of Banjo Kazooie so that really helps to make up for quite a bit. Soul Reaver 2 is a bit shorter than the original game it takes about 12 to 14 hours to complete as opposed to Soul Reavers 18 to 20 hours. There are some DVD style extras such as a voice work outtakes and behind the scenes of sort of segments, but it doesn't make up for the games short length.