There’s no better time to bring back Legacy of Kain

The Legacy of Kain collection has been unfortunate. Doomed. A number of makes an attempt to reanimate its wrecked corpse have been met with failure. The curse of Kain has, reportedly, taken studios and careers down with it. However then, perhaps that is smart; the twin protagonists of the collection – Kain and Raziel – have been by no means recognized for his or her luck, have been they? Fated to bounce by way of life and loss of life as Nosgoth blooms and fades round them, their attachment to the world of the dwelling was at all times tenuous, at greatest.

Apt it’s, then, that we might be a resurrection of the model. This week’s information that Sq. Enix has unceremoniously shat off all of its less-desirable IP (that’s my studying of it) signifies that Raziel and Kain have a brand new God now; the faceless, uber-corporate fits at Embracer. At first look, you’d be forgiven for pondering the funding firm could be happy merely pumping out a LoK-flavoured battle royal (hey, bear in mind Nosgoth?) However, on nearer inspection, it truly seems like there may but be hope for all of us desirous to know what occurs after 2003’s remaining chapter within the saga up to now, Defiance.

“[Embracer has] been significantly impressed by the studios’ wealthy portfolio of unique IP, housing manufacturers with confirmed international potential akin to Tomb Raider and Deus Ex, in addition to demonstrating the power to create AAA video games with massive and rising fan bases,” the corporate has mentioned in a press launch. “Embracer sees a possibility to put money into these franchises, in addition to the extra acquired IPs akin to Legacy of Kain, Thief, and different unique franchises.”

Are you able to title a extra 90’s design?

The actual fact that the corporate name-checked the esteemed of darkish fantasy action-adventure collection is a rattling sight greater than we’ve seen from Sq. Enix over the previous twenty years, at this level. Instantly, out of nowhere, it seems like some sleeping deity’s eyes have shot open and a booming voice from the depths calls out and says ‘Raziel… the wheel of destiny is popping once more.’

For a collection that’s famously made us sit and take into consideration fatalism and man’s wrestle without spending a dime will, I do assume it’s humorous that Legacy of Kain’s unique creators (Silicon Knights), most well-known author (Amy Hennig), and caretaker developer (Eidos) has completely no say over what occurs to the sport. It’s humorous, in the identical kind-of approach that Milton is humorous; steeped in irony and tinged with a slight bitterness. Essentially the most widely-acclaimed title of the collection, Soul Reaver, sits at a formidable 91 on Metacritic – for context, that is the next ranking than PSOne stablemates Last Fantasy VIII, Resident Evil 2 and Wipeout 3. There’s loads of love for this collection on the market, even at present… so why has it been left within the mud for therefore lengthy?

Maybe Sq. Enix was spooked, years in the past, when the doomed by Legacy of Kain: Useless Solar – made by Climax Studios for Sq. Enix Europe – disappeared with out a hint, with the corporate later begrudingly admitting that the title “simply wasn’t the best recreation, on the proper time”. You’d assume a recreation specializing in each a vampire and a human – wrapped in an limitless quest for revenge – developed by the oldsters behind Silent Hill: Shattered Reminiscences would have been good round 2010, no? A darkish, edgy open world would have been the right chaser for all of the grim-dark shooters that proliferated round then.

Useless Solar was simply by no means meant to be.

However Sq. Enix solid the nearly-completed challenge into the abyss, like Kain solid Raziel into the Lake of the Useless firstly of Soul Reaver. Since then – except for a cynical, unpopular multiplayer-only recreation kitbashed collectively from belongings of Useless Solar – the collection has lay dormant. Useless. Whether or not the collection will emerge from the depths of growth hell, disoriented and blinking, adjusting its imaginative and prescient to a world the place NFTs and microtransactions are the norm, stays to be seen. However I select to learn Embracer’s acknowledgement of its forgotten goth son as a press release of intent – not simply of possession.

The successes of Star Wars: Fallen Order, God of Conflict, The Final of Us, and even the Arkane-flavoured immersive sims like Prey and Dishonored show that there’s an urge for food for darkish, brooding video games steeped in ambiance and overwrought writing. The way in which all of us, collectively, take fats gulps of gothic-tinged lore out of FromSoft’s brimming chalice proves that we’re hungry for action-adventure video games with well-thought worlds, who’s identification is as essential as any fundamental character. We’re prepared, Embracer, to return to Nosgoth. Actually, there’s most likely by no means been a greater time.

From Soul Reaver onwards, the collection was recognized for its central gimmick of letting Raziel shift between realms – it was a mechanic that took the story’s obsession with breadth and depth and realised it in gameplay. The story spans epochs, and Raziel has the ‘present’ of with the ability to shift between corporeal and bodily kinds. On the PS1, this was handled in a technically-impressive approach, even on extra rudimentary tech. Assume how that will work no… check out, say, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Aside.

Within the arms of a competant developer, modern tech would permit gamers to traverse a semi-open world that had not solely scope, however depth. The tales you might inform – about Nosgoth and its perpetual struggles – with SSDs powering your world… it’s sufficient to make you salivate. The business is crying out for a recreation that redefines our relationship with open world titles, in a lot the identical approach Breath of the Wild did on Swap, and the distinctive setting of Nosgoth – and the deep veins of Legacy of Kain lore – is the right vessel for such an experiment.

Will we ever see the Pillars of Nosgoth once more?

The will to see the Pillars stand on the middle of this cyclical world as soon as extra is wishful pondering on my half, most likely – I’m simply hungry for that gothic-industrial, Shakespearean vibe that the video games at all times wore like a well-fitting leather-based jacket. If I had my approach, the staff that labored so onerous on Marvel’s Guaridans of the Galaxy would give attention to Nosgoth, look at the legacy that Kain’s selfishness and Raziel’s single-mindedness left on the world – and the poor bastards that must reside with these penalties, years down the road. Given the circumstances, it’d all really feel fairly apt.

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