Are there any other serious fans of this series still around?
Personally I don't think I have nor will I ever play a series with characters as convincing, deep or interesting as those in LoK. The plot is unmatched (3/5 titles were written by Amy Hennig, whom by now you all know well as the Uncharted series director and head writer), the dialogue is impeccable and the voice acting is stellar.
The intro for Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is still probably my favorite game introduction:
The story is complicated but worth every effort to understand. If you've experienced and liked Uncharted, then you can be sure to find the same (or better) quality story in these titles.
[Blood Omen 1]
The pillars of Nosgoth, essentially the only thing preserving the realm, are corrupting after the murder of the Guardian of Balance Ariel. Kain, a human turned vampire, is tasked with killing every corrupt Guardian of the pillars, and then with either sacrificing himself to restore the Pillars of Nosgoth (allegedly the key to preventing the fall of the realm of Nosgoth) or refusing and damning the realm. You can find out what he chooses to do by listening to the below track
[Soul Reaver 1] (first game written by Hennig)
1500 years after Kain's birth, he now commands a corrupted vampire legion, and at the helm of this legion are both he and his trusted lieutenant Raziel, whom for reasons unbeknownst to the player at the time, he throws into the Lake of the Dead and damns to a fate worse than death. Seeking vengeance, Raziel returns with the help of a powerful entity known as the Elder God to destroy his former brothers, who had assisted in casting him into the abyss, one-by-one. The game is well known for its difficult puzzle solving rooms and boss fights, and its plane-shifting gameplay (you can switch between Spectral and Material realms to drastically alter the area you are in).
The plot of the other titles picks up on these two base games, and believe me, if you are a fan of dark and adult storytelling you should look no further than this series. The culminating title, Defiance, while not the most stellar game in terms of sheer gameplay (though the combat system is very fun), has you play as both Raziel and Kain in a plot-tying torrent. The ending of the game is extremely promising, but during production Hennig left to join Naughty Dog and I will forever curse that day, and the Uncharted series, for destroying what I think is the most imaginative series in gaming. It also has an incredible soundtrack, Kurt Harland's Ozar Midrashim
was created as the titular theme for Soul Reaver and solidified his spot as the series' composer. And man, what a track.
The titles not produced with Hennig's direction are great in their own right. Blood Omen 1 is a classic and lays the groundwork for the series, in tandem with Soul Reaver 1 [where the series gimmick of creating time paradoxes/frequent time travel is first explored (although not thoroughly until Soul Reaver 2)]. Blood Omen 2 is actually an excellent title as far as story goes, and introduces an entirely new and terrifying enemy [the Hylden] that was masterfully retconned into the series via Hennig in Soul Reaver 2 and Defiance, tying things together very nicely.
The interactions between Kain and Raziel throughout the titles is definitely the series' strong point, and both characters are extremely different and extremely memorable. Kain is probably my favorite video game character of all time in terms of well, everything. Simon Templeman is an incredible voice actor, and I cannot think of a more iconic voice aside from David Hayter as Snake.
I seriously recommend these titles to fans of dark fantasy and adult-themed titles. It's a shame that the latest title in the series undersold and as a result, it's been on hiatus for 10 years. Hennig may be gone, but with Blood Omen 2 as an example, I believe Crystal Dynamics could make a worthy sequel if they put in enough effort. I'm hoping Tomb Raider sells and does well, maybe if CD becomes relevant again they will revive this long dead series. And they should. One of the greatest stories ever told and it left off at the absolute most exciting point of its plot.
As of recently, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver 1, 2 and Defiance have been made available on Steam for $25/all (or $10 each).
I recommend these titles highly.
<message edited by Satanas on Sunday, January 20, 2013 2:27 AM>