Combat was a notable and recurring feature in Soul Reaver 2, where it developed the auto-face style introduced in Soul Reaver. Soul Reaver 2's combat was perhaps the most complex of the series - offering a system of single attacks, combinations, blocking, ducking, dodging, counters, lunges, projectiles and fatal blows - that were designed to be easily accessible, whilst rewarding tactical gameplay.[Soul Reaver 2 manual]
At the most basic level, Raziel was able to enter combat mode by 'autofacing' an enemy character, which would lock onto the nearest assailant. From this position, Raziel could change targets, block, dodge and duck attacks or attack himself.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]
Blocking, Dodging and Ducking
By blocking, Raziel could use his arms or weapons to prevent attack damage. When blocking, Raziel was vulnerable to sidesteps and over-use of blocking would often result in enemies using heavy, unblockable attacks.
Alternatively, Raziel could use his speed to evade attacks, by dodging at the right time. Using dodges, Raziel was able to circle an enemy and counter-attack when they were off guard. Another evasive tactic was to crouch (or duck) high enemy attacks, this was useful to break an enemy block and allowed Raziel to utilise low attacks, but excessive use of crouching would provoke enemies to use low attacks themselves. Enemy characters frequently displayed the ability to block, dodge, duck and strike back at Raziel.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]
Attacks and combinations
Raziel could attack enemies using his claws or a variety of weapons and the attacks used would vary upon the weapon (or weapon class) used. Once an enemy had been targeted, Raziel could attack using light attacks, which were quick inflicted minimal damage; or heavy attacks, which were slower but much more powerful. Repeatedly using the same attack would trigger a combination of strikes (a three strike combo for light attacks and two for heavy attacks) that could knock blocking enemies off-guard and floor others. Attacking whilst crouching would result in a low attack (generally a kick) that was useful against blocking enemies.
With many later enemies able to effectively block attacks, it was often advisable to mix attack and combination types; lunging in at enemies and switching between standard, heavy and low attacks and combinations, and frequently dodging and counter-attacking.
Lunge attacks were perhaps the most potent combat technique at Raziel's disposal, by 'dodging' towards an enemy and attacking at the appropriate distance (which varied with the range of the weapon held) Raziel was able to execute a powerful lunging strike which caused major damage and left enemies open to further attacks. Lunge attacks were also useful against the more powerful enemies as they could be used to quickly strike and 'dodge' back out of range of enemy attacks. Raziel could also lunge whilst crouching (by heavy attacking whilst crouching and moving towards an enemy), which resulted in a sliding attack which would knock most enemies to the floor.
Many enemies displayed unique lunge attacks, many of which were unblockable as well as various unique and special moves often preceded (or accompanied) by a brief visual effect and enemy animation.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]
At longer ranges, Raziel could use various weapons (or abilities) as projectiles to attack enemies. If Raziel was unarmed he would use his regular Force Projectile attack and if armed with any of the various weapons, they would be thrown resulting in the weapon being lost. If Raziel was armed with the Soul Reaver (or Wraith Blade) it would fire Reaver Bolts, with bolts from the various enhanced reavers having unique effects. Several enemy classes also used long range projectile attacks; some of these are firearms-based (such as the Vampire Hunter and Demon Hunter Cannoneers) others were apparently magical (including the various fireballs of Fire and Black Demons, Sarafan Sorceresses and Sorcerer Thralls).[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]
Stuns and Fatal Blows
When sufficiently injured, many enemies would enter a stunned state (generally indicated by crouching down and lowering their weapons), at which time they could be finished by a final Fatal Blow. These attacks were often gory and varied with the weapon held (or weapon class) and enemy faced.[Soul Reaver 2][Soul Reaver 2 manual][Soul Reaver 2 strategy guide (Prima)]
- In Early builds of Soul Reaver 2 entering combat mode caused a distinct 'crossed swords' icon to appear in the top-right of the HUD. Many of the Combat techniques from Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver were also initially included in early builds of Soul Reaver 2, with notably the instant kill attack of the Wraith Blade and throwing enemies missing from the final game.