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Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (PS)

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      07.07.2010 21:38
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      KK-Slither Says ~ Highly Recommended.

      Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

      Back in 1999 Crystal Dynamics released Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, a sequel to Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain which was developed by Silicon Knights. After a messy legal battle Silicon Knights lost the rights to Crystal Dynamics and so development and in turn style shifted. Soul Reaver is a 3D action-adventure game and although I say that it's a rather unfair label, with complex (at times head scratching) puzzles, huge exploration and touches of platforming elements Soul Reaver is a game with plenty of dimensions running through it.

      The story sees Vampire lieutenant Raziel tossed into a whirlpool by his master Kain as punishment for taking the evolutionary step of growing wings before him, a punishment that should have killed Raziel. A creature named the Elder has another fate in mind for Raziel however and resurrects him then tasks him with eliminating Kain and his minions. The plot to the Legacy of Kain games can only be described as EPIC... I know that's an over used term on the internet but considering there are a total of six games in the series in total all connected together by the presence of Kain. This means there's one very important thing to remember, if you do enjoy this game and join the critics (and myself) in praising the plot you will not get all the answers from this game or indeed many of the games as the stories are directly linked.

      Exploration is a big part of Soul Reaver's gameplay with ledges to jump (or glide) to, blocks to push and a clever mechanic which allows Raziel to switch between the physical and spectral planes. By doing this you effectively have two versions of every area in the game which is crucial to utilize when trying to solve some of the game's puzzles, on that subject it's worth saying again that these aren't the simple "here's a lever" puzzles and are in some cases are very clever. There is combat in Soul Reaver but not as much as you might expect, be that as it may the developers also put some thought into the combat system, you see you're fighting vampires and as we all know vampires aren't like people, you can beat on them all you want but if you want to kill them then you'll have to either impale, incinerate or expose them to sunlight or water. The souls of dead enemies can be devoured by Raziel to replenish health which is very useful considering that Raziel's health depletes slowly over time.

      When playing Soul Reaver it won't be long before you realise that the environment is huge (yes if you've played Morrowind or Two Worlds then this isn't that huge but remember this is PS1) and not only that but unlike other games there is no loading of other areas as the game uses a "fog of war" style mechanic for areas in the distance allowing the environment to be constantly streamed from the CD, while the "fog of war" thing may sound bad it really isn't as the fog actually adds to the gothic atmosphere. Graphics wise this is very impressive for a Playstion game with nice realistic lighting and fluid animation, when Raziel picks up a torch it looks like he picks up a torch, when he jumps to another platform it looks like he's jumping, when he logs onto the SSBlastoff blog... (well maybe not that but you get the idea).

      Sound has no real issues, it really comes down to taste as far as the music is concerned, I found for the most part that music is suitable for the setting and quite original (I can't think of too many games with a distinctive almost archaic while at the same time modern feel at the same time... yes it's a paradox... I know) so enjoyable enough. Voice acting is done very well and is on par with anything you'll find on the market today, Soul Reaver proves that with a good script and competent actors who take the idea of a game being a story seriously means you can produce high quality western voice acting.

      Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is a game with class in abundance and plenty of reasons to like it, at first the sheer scale can be a little overwhelming with a sense of a lack of any real direction, once past this initial phase however you'll find a game that deserves to be in any list of must haves for the Playstation. Definitely a slow starting game that requires a lot of patience (and time if you plan on seeing as much of the story as possible... six games...) but persevere and you won't be disappointed.



      At A Glance.
      Gameplay ~ 8/10
      Story ~ 9/10
      Graphics ~ 9/10
      Sound ~ 8/10
      Replay Value ~ 4/10

      Final Score: 39/50

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        23.06.2009 12:56

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        Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is not simply a game. It is a complete universe, vast and intricate. The game focuses on atmosphere and, most importantly, story. The game and its follow-ups create such a fantastically complicated story within a believable universe that it is impossible not to become entranced by its complexity; follow Raziel as he hunts for his revenge against his evolved brethren, and Lord Kain, where he finds that nothing is as it seems, and he is a simple pawn in the machinations of millenia old rivarlries of epic proportions. Couple this with incredible voices for interesting characters, Soul Reaver, and all that comes afterwards, is beyond doubt the game that has had me chained to my tv more than any other. If you get the chance, immerse yoursfelf in this great and worthy monument of a game, and it shall not disapoint!

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        10.10.2003 07:03
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        And what a Tramp it is! This game is HUGE! Vampires, Monsters, Cruel Fate and Betrayal. And that was the first cut scene. Even after hours of play, and to remind you this came out in 1999, I still can get lost. And I mean LOST! I never seem to mind though, the scenery is incredible, the sound track is top notch and they never really let you die in the game. Your dead already, a vampire, what's the point? So get in there and start hacking monsters, YOU WUSS! By the way, 1999 is ancient history in video gaming. They made this game for both the SEGA Dreamcast and the SONY Playstation. The Legacy Of Kain : Soul Reaver's prime should be long gone by now with greater graphics and new and improved potentials coming on strong, every second, fueled by the hipsters of HYPE, Nintendo and Sony. The Legacy Of Kain : Soul Reaver may have long passed into the classics section of your local used video game store. In fact they brought out Soul Reaver 2 and this is still the best. The magic is here, there is simply a special quality about this game that surpasses all the others in this series. Like a good fantasy book by Andre Norton, or Roger Zelanzy. The histrionics, the soapy story line, the heart, the overly dramatic actors voices, and everything that made this game so great, did not get any better than right here. So while your kids are off discovering the latest and greatest gee whiz! titles on the rack. Pull this one out of the bargain bin and give it a whirl. I laugh whenever they say the heroes name "Raziel". Remember that Saturday Night Live sketch? The kids in the garage doing the public access Goth show? The big jock brother stomping in to beat up his twerp little brother who's wearing makeup? Anyway... Just make sure you find a walkthrough online to keep you from running around in c
        ircles for hours at a time in total frustration. When games get this big you are always trying to remember what it was they told you to do next. I mean it took you a half an hour to get there, you should have written it down before you left! So here's a walkthrough link. (Warning! No FAQ's I have read give you everything in this game, that alone should clue you in.) http://www.gamefaqs.com/console/psx/game/23993.html So in closing... Caution! This game has a few bugs, most do, this one is mostly chapter based. SAVE! I repeat, SAVE! Often, before and after each goal is achieved. The wonderful programers (bless them) made this simple and easy. Going into a cave? SAVE! Just been introduced to a hulking, spewing, threatening monster? SAVE! SAVE! SAVE! Soul Reaver should give anyone that plays it some idea what the fascination and excitement really elaborate video games spawn. Or at least it gives you the equivalent of a really half decent fantasy book you can read over and over again and find something new and different about everytime you play. Because believe me, I still am finding stuff. About the same time I get lost, AGAIN! Have a Great "Nosgoth" Day, and watch out for that Wraith!

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          02.02.2003 18:26
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          If you played Blood Omen, then you’ll know that the dark overlord Kain tamed the human race with his legions of vampires. As time advanced, Kain and his elite began evolving into new forms with new powers, but when lieutenant Raziel was given wings ahead of his boss, Kain hurled him into a lethal whirlpool. We now move into classic Tomb Raider territory, complete with moving blocks, climbing and leaping over gaps. The main differences being the ability to shift between worlds and the inability of vanquishing your enemies by conventional techniques. At the start, you can only achieve this by using fire, sunlight and water as weapons, or stabbing your foes with sharp projectiles. Later you gain access to Kain’s powerful light sword that does a lot of damage…trust me! Like all games so far of it’s type it suffers from the half in half out of walls problem, and the camera angles frequently point the wrong way. Although this games has some down sides, the controls and gameplay are great and the game has many levels so it will keep you entertained for hours on end. The unorthodox combat and world swapping makes this game an entertaining game, but sorry to say that it is no were as good as the original title. You can buy this game in most places for under a fiver, so you can’t go wrong.

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            04.03.2002 22:15
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            Right, so there was this game called Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain released a couple of years back on PlayStation. It was a top-down, graphically-challenged RPG affair with average gameplay and a choice of two endings – a “good” ending and an “evil” ending. Eidos – those clever Tomb Raider folks – have given us a game based on what would happen to the Blood Omen world should players have chosen the “evil” ending. The relevance of taking another look at Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is two-fold. First: PS2 is set to gain two sequels based on the Kain world. First up we’ll get Soul Reaver 2, then later we’ll find ourselves playing Blood Omen 2. Confused? Yes, that’s because it’s confusing. Second, and probably more important, with PS2 will come a whole new batch of 3D extravaganzas and Soul Reaver, like Tomb Raider before it and Shadowman after it, will act as a template for the next generation of adventure titles. There’s a manure pile of terrible adventure games out there and it’s about time Mr Crap Games Producer realised how it’s meant to be done. Let the lesson commence… The plot: our hero, Raziel, is banished from his land of bizarre, vampire/demon things because he accidentally evolved and grew wings. Silly boy. After spending a vast and uncountable number of years in an hellish “spectral” world, he finally decides to stop feeling sorry for himself and take revenge on those who banished him. Soul Reaver’s eye-candy is tastier than a chocolate-covered Britney Spears. Raziel himself can exist in the “real” world and the “spectral” world and both are beautifully realised, with dark shadows, ghostly lighting and ethereal mist all adding to a wonderfully brooding, David Cronenberg-style atmosphere. The characters are equally dazzling. From the plentiful but no less vicious ar
            my of standard, evil denizens to the huge and terrifying boss-denizens, Soul Reaver’s inhabitants are a moving, hunting, murderous work of art. But is the gameplay merely Tomb Raider with demons? While superficially Soul Reaver appears as your everyday, common or garden adventure game, barely sixty seconds of play reveals a much deeper beast altogether. As already mentioned, Raziel exists on two separate planes – the real and the spectral. Using teleports, Raziel can travel between the two realms whenever he likes, although since he is actually dead he needs to supply his continuously depleting energy levels to stay in the real world. And he does this by killing other demons and absorbing their life-force. This rarely gets dull as the combat system in Soul Reaver is excellent. You pummel your enemies until they are stunned and then, with a wicked smile upon your lips, you can either plunge your spear through their hearts, use your torch to set them alight or pick them up and throw them either into water or into direct sunlight – thus killing them, thus allowing you to absorb their life-force. Larger enemies are dispatched using spells which you collect along the way. As an explore em’ up, Soul Reaver’s two separate realms really come into their own. You see, the different realms are essentially the same space only with subtle differences. For example, in the real world a large pool of water (which Raziel cannot cross) becomes a pool of harmless mist in the spectral world (which he can cross). Also, ledges may be extended from one realm to another, prompting you to continually search every aspect of the game in case you’ve missed something in one realm that you couldn’t reach in the other. If it has any faults it’s that the similarity of the terrain can be confusing, leading you to forget where that important teleport you need to get to actually is.
            Also, the camera can be a real nightmare when you’re trying to fight a bad guy or line up a tricky jump. But Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver still has more depth, playability and downright entertainment value than 90% of other games out there. It’s exceptionally polished and effortlessly impressive. Now then, Mr Crap Games Producer, I’d like you to write me a paper detailing precisely what you have learnt here today, then go out and never, ever make a bad adventure game again. I’ll be watching… spear in hand.

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              27.11.2000 19:00
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              'Sort of' a follow up to the original Legacy of Kain game (in that it uses some of the same characters and the same world, but is actually a very different type of game), Soul Reaver takes a leaf out of the Tomb Raider book and gives it a gothic horror makeover. Taking control of Raziel, a vampire reborn as a soul reaver after being hurled to his doom by the evil Kain, the world you encounter is not the one that you remember. Chaos and desolation rule, and you take it upon yourself to seek vengeance against your vampire brothers who so cruelly betrayed you. What follows is a third-person platforms and combat romp across a huge play area. Raziel jumps and climbs much like many other game characters in similar titles, but his vampiric abilities allow him a few quirks - he can glide on his wings, for instance. What differs this game from Tomb Raider is the combat - whereas the fighting in Tomb Raider felt 'tacked on', combat is a neccessity in Soul Reaver as you need to consume the souls of the living in order to remain in their world. Run out of energy and you'll be banished to the demon dimension, a place which looks very like our own world but is twisted even further out of shape and inhabited by deadly creatures. Soul Reaver has a lot going for it. The graphics are excellent, and Raziel's controls feel a bit more wieldy than Lara's, if still a little stiff at times. Combat is excellent, with a wide variety of chops and impalement moves, while the 'keep facing your enemy' button ensures you don't get frustrated by the limitations of the third-person perspective. The camera is generally good, there's plenty of variety in the bad guys, and (best of all) there aren't any loading times - the levels spool from disc as you play so you never have to face that 'loading - please wait' screen again. It's a fairly hefty challenge with plenty of levels, although it&
              #39;s only really the bosses who provide any kind of serious competition when it comes to fighting. There are enough secrets and extras to keep you fighting at it, though. The worst thing about the game is the ending! I won't spoil it by telling you what happens, but needless to say it was a bit of a disappointment after playing through it for so long. With the game now available on Platinum it's a solid budget buy - certainly pick it up over any of the Tomb Raiders (apart from the first one). I'm looking forward to seeing the sequel!

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              09.11.2000 02:52
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              This game should be good but id don’t like it, it has very very good graphics and amazingly good sounds but it gives me no game play what so ever, If you are at all thinking of buying this game in the near future please play it at a friends house for a couple of hours, other wise you will be stuck with a boring game that you might not like. I bought this game and after playing it for less than 1 hour I took it back to the shop where I got it from and got a good game instead. My advice for this game, try before you buy because you should like it but you might not!

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              25.10.2000 04:54

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              SOUL REAVER It's been nearly a year since Soul Reaver- the sequel to 1996's top adventure Blood Omen- was released and it looks as stunning as ever. The Grand Canyons lined with decaying temples, castles and shrines that litter the world of Nosgoth all ooze with an imaginative warmth rarely seen on any console. A scrambled climb up to one of the many peaks will expose a fantastical land, cloaked in fog and caked in drama! It's a shame that the gameplay can't keep up with the graphics. Things still feel dull. The story throughout is enthralling enough to hold your attention, with a great script and keen villians, but the grandly desgined castles and caverns are lacking in hordes of creatures you'd expect to find. There simply isn't enough action. When the undead do finally rise, the fights are grim and bloody, only serving to remind you of what Soul Reaver could have been like. The puzzles are brilliant though, with the ability to skip between the sprit world and the human world soon becoming a testing game of stragety. And as the is pursued, Raziel learns new skils (gliding, swimming and wall climbing) that do captivate but never hold the attention. Faults aside, this is a game that sparkles with atmosphere and lush detail. If you want a good-looking adventure and untaxing adventure, plop this in the drive and enjoy,

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              19.10.2000 01:33
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              there is no way you could be sane and like this game! this is only for the satanically inclined. it is all things that make your nightmares! things that go bang in the night, apart from fat men falling out of bed! if games about wrestling can be called 'good' then this is down right amazing. do not buy this game unless you wish to fight deamons and other nasty man eating beasties. you play raziel, a vampire who accidentally grew wings which didn't half get his boss a bit abgry, so he got chucked in a pit, not that bad, with water in it, also not that bad, unless you're a vampire cus it burns like, well burny things. so then he gets resurected and he becomes a soul reaver and kills all his lod mates who have now become horrible ugly fat slimy things, yes they are, newcastle fans!

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              09.10.2000 01:53
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              In this excellent role playing game, you play the part of a mysterious creature who is banished to the underworld for a reason that is not made apparant in the story. There, a mysterious force decides that your death was unjustly and decides to give you a second chance-with one catch. You have to feed on your enemys souls in order to stay alive and strong or else you will return to the underworld. So off you trot, killing a few annoying bad guys on the way. It takes a bit of getting used to as if you touch the water or do not feed on souls often enoguh you return to the underworld but when you do figure out what to do this game is very enjoyable. There are a lot of nice features which include being able to launch long sharp objects at approaching enemys and slam their head on spikes. I would rate this as a very good quality game!

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              24.08.2000 21:24
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              Im sorry to disagree with any Raziel fans out there because this game never grabbed me. Im well into this genre of game but Soul Reaver was at the bottom of my pile within a week. The game controls are everything but operational with Raziel walking about only in perfectly straight lines. The camera only turns to show you the approaching deadly zombie goon at the last moment rendering you helpless. I dont even get the story line. Dont get me wrong - this game is not as bad as Duke Nukem: Time2Kill. The idea of 'reaving souls' is actually quite cool but it leaves much to be desired. Eidos interactive should have concentrated on the next Tomb Raider instead. Wait for the PS2 version of Legacy of Kain instead of buying this one.

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              13.08.2000 16:17

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              I traded a couple of games to get a hold of a copy of this game and I was not disappointed. The graphics and sound add greatly to the game and once I had mastered the controls I found it to be a bit like Tomb Raider which isn’t a bad thing. It is a very hard game and I recommend you download the walkthru from the Internet. I would advise you try before you buy, as it is not to everyone’s liking. It is available 2nd hand but I have seen it only a few times so it must go pretty quick.

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              31.07.2000 06:15
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              "slay me, baby" the vampires you encounter during your travels through the land of Legacy of Kain: Soul reaver are practically crying out to be killed. And you’re going to have to do it often in order to survive. There are two realities to be explored in this game. The spectral realm and the material realm each co-exists in the same place and time and you are needed to navigate both in order to move on in the game. The spectral realm is a distorted, vile version of the material realm where the souls of demons reside and reality is slightly different there(You know, being dead and all you belong in the spectral realm with all the other souls).Where you face a small crack in the wall in the material realm, in the spectral realm it can be a wide gaping hole allowing you to pass through. Likewise, a low series of pillars in the material realm can be a series of higher ones in the spectral, allowing you to reach a certain area. In the spectral realm you cannot manipulate objects like boxes and switches, but as mentioned earlier you may be able to reach preciously unreachable things. You can switch from the material to spectral realm at any moment, but in order to switch from the spectral to material realm you must have a full compliment of energy, which you get from absorbing the souls of the dead or from destroying soul scavagers and taking their souls. In Soul Reaver you can not die, being dead already. If you are in the material realm and your energy dies out (it degrades over time, and is also lowered by enemy attacks) then you go to the spectral realm. Die there, and you are sent back to your grave. The game is not over, you just get your energy restored and you need to trek all the way back to your previous position (the teleport system which is discovered as you progress stops this from getting annoying but you don't get kill much anyway). As mentioned earlier, in the material realm your energy is continuously sapped and in order to re
              gain it you must slay your foes and then proceed to absorb their souls before they disappear. The undead aren’t the only things you encounter during your travels, as there are humans too. You see, Nosgoth (the land in which the game is set) was once a rich place full of human life, until Kain came. Kain gave life to 6 beings, one of whom is Raziel (you’re character) and they in turn each created large furnaces to block out the sun and then created their own clan of vampires. The whole mission of the game is for you, raziel, to take revenge upon your former master Kain after he destroyed your undead body all those years ago after you evolved to have wings. you see, you evolved before Kain and that is unacceptable. During this mission, you encounter the remaining humans. This is a high point of the game. You can choose to kill them, if you wish, but they shall attack you at first sight. The first few humans you encounter attack you but are pretty weak. If you destroy them, they do get tougher later on but are nothing to really worry about. However, it is also fun to ignore them attacking you. By gaining their trust they shall later help you defeat your foes, and it will make your trip to their hidden city (if you find it) a bit more easier. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be praised as a saviour? Of course, you could choose the killing option if you’d prefer to be feared as a tyrant. It all depends on your state of mind. You can always get away with killing a few though ;) as you progress through the game, and as you destroy each one of your 5 brothers you will earn a new skill, allowing you access to new areas. An ability to withstand water, to swim, and to climb walls are examples of this. You can also find glyphs scattered across Nosgoth which, once attained, allow you to cast a vampire destroying spell. Finding all of these is an extra thing to get going for, as is finding the pieces of life that allow you to stock
              up on more life energy. Fighting is great in Soul reaver. All your enemies are vampires of varying types, and all of the classic things can kill them (unless they’ve evolved to withstand it. For example the water dwelling vampires). In order to polish them off in style, you may impale them on spears, impale them on wall spikes, set them on fire, throw them into sunlight/water, and so on. I can tell you that this is much, much fun indeed. There are very few problems with this game. The main one is that’s it’s too short, and the replay value doesn’t quite make up for this at all really. But other than that this is a fantastic game which I highly recommend. With graphics to die for and sounds to make you scream (well not quite, but they’re very good) the atmosphere in this game is kept up throughout.

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              15.07.2000 17:22
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              Soul Reaver is a very original and spooky game which looks almost as well on Playstation as on Dreamcast. However, this game is not included in the Dreamcast listings, although I have suggested it, so here are cheats for the Dreamcast version. I hope someone finds them here! They need to be entered quickly, so if they don't work at first you may need to keep trying until they do. R= Right. L= Left. U= Up. D= Down. B= B Button. A= A Button. Y= Y Button. X= X Button. SHIFT DIMENSIONS AT ANY TIME To shift from the material plane to the spectral plane at any time and any place you want, press U, U, D, D, R, R, L, B, R, L, D. You still need full energy to cross over. HEALTH AND MAGIC: REFILL HEALTH D, B, U, L, U, L. RAISE HEALTH COIL TO NEXT LEVEL R, A, L, Y, U, D. RAISE HEALTH COIL TO MAXIMUM R, B, D, U, D, U. REFILL MAGIC R, R, L, Y, R, D. RAISE MAGIC TO MAXIMUM Y, R, D, R, U, Y, L. ABILITIES: (YOU NORMALLY ONLY GET THESE AFTER DEFEATING BOSSES) PASS THROUGH BARRIERS D, B, B, L, R, Y, U. SOUL REAVER ABILITY D, Y, X, R, R, D, D, L, R, D, R. CRAWLING CRACKED WALLS Y, D, X, R, U, D. FORCE PROJECTILE L, R, B, L, R, L. SWIM U, B, D, R, B, L, U. CONSTRICT D, U, R, R, B, U, U, D. THE SOUL REAVER: FORGE SOUL REAVER WITH FIRE D, U, R, U, D, L, B, R, D. RED REAVER Y, R, D, B, U. YELLOW REAVER A, R, U, U, Y, L, L, R, U. RED AND BLACK REAVER A, B, R, Y, L, L, R, U. SPELLS: FORCE GLYPH D, L, Y, D, U. STONE GLYPH D, B, U, L, D, R, R. SOUND GLYPH R, R, D, B, U, U, D. WATER GLYPH D, B, U, D, R. FIRE GLYPH U, U, R, U, Y, X, R.
              SUNLIGHT GLYPH L, B, L, R, R, U, U, L. That's all the cheats I've got, so I hope they come in useful to someone. ____

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              12.07.2000 23:41

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              Having played the first game this was definitely an improvement. The graphics and gameplay were greatly increased between the two games. Soul Reaver is now fully 3d. The game starts off where the last game ended. Kain was offered the choice of dying and saving the world or staying alive and damning it. Kain chose to stay alive. You play Raziel, Kains second in command. Killed because you grew wings before Kain. The spirit of the earth offers you the chance for revenge if you will rid the world of all vampires. The only problems that I had with this game where the camera views and travelling through some of the levels. Camera views can quickly move around making you lose bearings and do things like fall of cliffs. Also the levels can sometimes be difficult due to the skills you posess like walking through metal gates. You can quite easily become stuck and have no where to go. Other than that a superb game. I'd recommend this if you played the first one Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain.

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