I have been playing this game off and on since 2011, and it's finally finished. What a great game. It's like Ocarina of Time mixed with the exploration of Metroid. A really interesting story about the illusion of free choice and fate. It was written and directed by Amy Hennig, and in my opinion, her prose here, while flowery, is way more interesting than what she penned for the Uncharted series. Graphics were unparalleled for the time. It technically shouldn't even be possible to have these graphics on the original Playstation, but they were able to push past the limitations of the console. I played on Dreamcast though, and in my opinion, it's the definitive version, at least until the PC port comes back to Steam and GOG. The soundtrack is incredible. One listen to the game's theme song "Ozar Midrashim", and it will be in your head for the rest of your life.

So if I liked it so much, why only 4 and a half stars? Well, there's no in-game map, and in a Metroidvania, that makes it really easy to get lost. Super Metroid figured that out in 1994, so there is no excuse. The combat, while fun at first, lacks depth, as once you've figured it out, it stops being engaging and becomes more of an annoyance. Outside of the bosses, which are more like puzzles than actual fights, the combat does nothing of real note to add variety to its encounters. The game relies far, far too much on block puzzles for its own good. And lastly, there's the matter of the ending, or lack thereof. Anyone that's beaten this game can tell you Soul Reaver doesn't end so much as stop, with all of the payoff reserved for the second game. The narrative was nothing but buildup for a climax that just isn't there. Thankfully, it was good buildup. Perhaps, if Soul Raver 2 manages to stick the landing, I might come back and revise this to a perfect score.

As it stands now though, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is a solid action/adventure game with an engaging story, well-rounded, tragic characters, a gothic setting and world that is fun to explore, both in-game, and with analyzing the lore, fine combat and puzzles, and music that will keep you coming back for more. Play it on Dreamcast, Playstation, or PC. Play it any way you can, but just play it.

Reviewed on May 11, 2024


2 Comments


26 days ago

I love this review, Good job!
Man, they don't make games like this anymore. I know it sounds cliche but its true, you don't see games nowadays with this kind of Shakespearean storytelling.

26 days ago

Thank you very much!