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, possibly that is sensible; the twin protagonists of the collection – Kain and Raziel – have been by no means identified for his or her luck, have been they? Fated to bop by way of life and dying as Nosgoth blooms and fades round them, their attachment to the world of the dwelling was all the time tenuous, at finest.

Apt it’s, then, that we may very well be taking a look at 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 considering the funding firm could be happy merely pumping out a LoK-flavoured battle royal (hey, bear in mind Nosgoth?) However, on nearer inspection, it really appears to be like like there may but be hope for all of us eager to know what occurs after 2003’s closing chapter within the saga up to now, Defiance.

“[Embracer has] been notably impressed by the studios’ wealthy portfolio of authentic IP, housing manufacturers with confirmed world potential corresponding 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 release. “Embracer sees a possibility to spend money on these franchises, in addition to the extra acquired IPs corresponding to Legacy of Kain, Thief, and different authentic franchises.”

Are you able to identify 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 20 years, at this level. Immediately, out of nowhere, it looks 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 battle without spending a dime will, I do suppose it’s humorous that Legacy of Kain’s authentic 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 means that Milton is humorous; steeped in irony and tinged with a slight bitterness. Probably the most widely-acclaimed title of the collection, Soul Reaver, sits at a powerful 91 on Metacritic – for context, that is the next score than PSOne stablemates Ultimate Fantasy VIII, Resident Evil 2 and Wipeout 3. There’s numerous love for this collection on the market, even right this moment… 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: Lifeless 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 fitting recreation, on the proper time”. You’d suppose a recreation specializing in each a vampire and a human – wrapped in an countless quest for revenge – developed by the oldsters behind Silent Hill: Shattered Recollections would have been good round 2010, no? A darkish, edgy open world would have been the proper chaser for all of the grim-dark shooters that proliferated round then.

Lifeless Solar was simply by no means meant to be.

However Sq. Enix solid the nearly-completed venture into the abyss, like Kain solid Raziel into the Lake of the Lifeless at first of Soul Reaver. Since then – apart from a cynical, unpopular multiplayer-only recreation kitbashed collectively from belongings of Lifeless Solar – the collection has lay dormant. Lifeless. 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 an announcement of intent – not simply of possession.

The successes of Star Wars: Fallen Order, God of Warfare, 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 environment and overwrought writing. The best way 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 id is as vital as any primary character. We’re prepared, Embracer, to return to Nosgoth. In truth, there’s most likely by no means been a greater time.

From Soul Reaver onwards, the collection was identified 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 having the ability to shift between corporeal and bodily varieties. On the PS1, this was handled in a technically-impressive means, even on extra rudimentary tech. Assume how that might work no… check out, say, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Aside.

Within the palms of a competant developer, up to date tech would enable gamers to traverse a semi-open world that had not solely scope, however depth. The tales you would 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 means Breath of the Wild did on Change, and the distinctive setting of Nosgoth – and the deep veins of Legacy of Kain lore – is the proper vessel for such an experiment.

Will we ever see the Pillars of Nosgoth once more?

The need to see the Pillars stand on the middle of this cyclical world as soon as extra is wishful considering on my half, most likely – I’m simply hungry for that gothic-industrial, Shakespearean vibe that the video games all the time wore like a well-fitting leather-based jacket. If I had my means, the group that labored so arduous on Marvel’s Guaridans of the Galaxy would deal with Nosgoth, study 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 slightly apt.

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