Soul Reaver 2
Review of Soul Reaver 2
Raziel is once again in pursuit of Kain, stirred on by the ever present and shady Time Streamer Moebius. Kain is but an enigma as well though and Raziel will have to discover for himself what his fate is as the half Vampire beast that he has become. Why does fate play with him so, and what is his connection to Nosgoth, the pillars, Moebius and even Kain? This story is full of endless questions and only through trusting no one and battling on by your wits alone will you begin to discover the answers that Raziel so badly needs to know.
Come now into the era of Vampires, deceit, and darkness as we spiral into the ancient and unforgiving world of Nosgoth.
I went into Soul Reaver 2 with certain apprehension I must admit. I had played the demo version of the game months back and it seemed clumsy and didn’t seem to give the spark I was hoping for. Let me tell you though, playing this game in its finished form very pleasantly surprised me.
The story element makes up a large part of the experience in this game, so I’ll bring it up first. Quite often the player will be interrupted by cut scenes, which are in real-time using in-game graphics, which further the story. I love these scenes. With a story as complex and full of curves as this one, the scenes do make for a much deeper and more enjoyable experience.
The controls are a mix here. The dual shock controller is put to very well use. The button combinations are easy to learn and seemed to be well placed for their specific functions. I did however not care too much for the “Lock-on” feature for battle. It seemed sluggish and when attacked by more than one enemy, it could mean a good beating from the bad guys. I preferred to basically take a running slash at my foes and with little exception this technique seemed to work rather well.
There is little else to this game. Yes, there are different types of weapons you may pick up and use, and your Reaver can be imbued with different elements (fire, light, etc.) but they merely serve as aids in puzzles and area activation. Ah puzzles, there are a few. The puzzles in Soul Reaver 2 I found to be a good balance, although more would have been fine. Most were straight forward and could be had with just some thought, others were a little more tricky, but all made sense; no oddball—put green rock in left hand while facing North type stuff here.
The game played well and I found myself having a hard time stopping every night. It really draws you in with its simple yet fun gameplay mechanics and intense and convoluted story. One thing though, the game needs more save points.
Oh the beauty. This game is one gem to look at. Fully rendered in 3D goodness, with absolutely no load times. Of course it pays a small price. I did notice slowdown from time to time, but this did not affect the overall flow of the game and did nothing to hinder my monster killing. Also there was a seam or two in certain areas, but you really had to look for them. The textures and colors are done brilliantly. I found myself just panning the camera around admiring the environment, it looks that good.
Of special note I would like to mention the cut scenes again. I was literally mesmerized by them. If you get this game you will know why. The lip-syncing, on Kain most of all, is the best I have ever seen as of yet. The mouths and actions are virtually flawless. It’s as if you could lower the volume and read their lips, well that is, if you can read lips.
This ties in with the audio. The voice-overs again are just as well done as the lip-syncing. These two elements share a standard of excellence that I wish more games would adopt. The story told in Soul Reaver 2 is ten times better when this attention to detail is so obvious.
The atmospheric sounds while you play are eerie, to be sure. The scream the Soul Reaver emits, the groan of monsters and the yelling of humans as they spot you and charge to kill are all very nicely done and complement the feel of the game tremendously.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Soul Reaver 2' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Robert Gibson © Absolute PlayStation
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