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Legacy of Kain: Sour Reaver 2
Scheduled release date: Summer 2001
Publisher: Eidos
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Genre: Action/Adventure
Number Of Players: 1

  Let's skip the all too familiar intro on Eidos' Kain franchise, frankly it's been said in my original preview of Soul Reaver 2. Finally getting my paws on a demo of Soul Reaver 2 was almost as good as getting my mits on Klonoa 2 and ICO. It's very easy to say that the remaining of this summer will showcase amazing releases such as Klonoa 2, ICO and of course Soul Reaver 2, all for the king of consoles, the PS2. My initial take on Soul Reaver is that it feels a bit like more of the same, with an extra 96-bits of gameplay, if you catch my drift. The game will start you off with Raziel having the ability to use his Soul Reaver, but not only as a weapon, but as a key in the physical world as well. Some puzzles such as the one in the demo will require Raziel to convert his reaver into a "shadow reaver" and use it as a key, and also use the "light reaver" as a key. To convert the reaver, Raziel must first find a stucture which has a beam of energy coming out of it and pointing up. By pressing square, Raziel will insert his reaver into the stucture (light or shadow) and the reaver will change colors, and be granted a new use. Basically LOK: SR2 is a bit more complex, but you'll understand once you play it for yourself.

   I've covered the matter before, but compared to the early shots of SR2 (when Crystal D wasn't trying to do anything extraordinary because it didn't want to put the DC version in the cold) these demo visuals are amazing! The final visual touch is incredibly polished. Some of the most amazing texture designs in a videogame to date, topped off with some jaw-dropping environmental transformation, and a touch of splendid character detail. Though there is one nagging complaint, which most likely only applies to the demo of SR2, and that would be the frame rate. While 85% of the time it's smooth and steady, sometimes the game halts for a split second, it's not very noticeable when you are involved in the game, but when you are doing some unnecessary exploration, it becomes more and more apparent. Although this is surely something that I know will be fixed. Another thing that deserves to be mentioned is the game's superb use of lighting effects, the "light reaver" casts a gorgeous illuminating light, that can be seen when entering a more darker environment. As I always say, it's little things like that, that I give a lot of recognition to.

   At this moment Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 2 is nearing completion, Crystal D is currently evaluating the game for any bugs, glitches or any other errors. Hopefully Eidos' promise remains and we all get to suck on some souls this coming August. Happy soul sucking fellas. Enjoy the screenshots for now, or just go out and buy the PS2 Summer Jampack for a mere eight bucks!

7/19/2001   SolidSnake