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After splitting up the Legacy of Kain vampire action series between the Soul Reaver and the Blood Omen titles, both Kain and Raziel will now appear as playable characters in one game for Legacy Of Kain: Defiance, the upcoming Xbox-PS2 title from developer Crystal Dynamics and publisher Eidos. HomeLAN got a chance to chat with the game's lead designer Riley Cooper to find out more about Legacy Of Kain: Defiance.

HomeLAN - First how does it feel to have both Kain and Raziel in one game?

Riley Cooper - They have both been in the game before, but this is the first time both have been playable by the user. That feels great. Fans have been responding to this more than we expected. Besides getting to experience the game from two different perspectives, when Kain and Raziel�s story lines crash together the collision is intense.

HomeLAN - What can you tell us about the storyline for the game?

Riley Cooper - Most importantly, and unlike some of our previous efforts, LoK:D�s story has a real conclusion. There are some questions at the end, there�s no fun in answering everything, but the important elements of the story line are resolved. There are some surprise visits from characters of previous games as well.


HomeLAN - What locations and settings will be found in Defiance?

Riley Cooper - The general setting is Nosgoth as always, but specific locations will include the Sarafan Stronghold, Avernus Cathedral, and a large cemetery, to name a few.

HomeLAN - What new combat abilities and features will Kain and Raziel have in Defiance?

Riley Cooper - Kain and Raziel each have multiple reavers, and each of these reavers has two special abilities that are enabled via skillful performance in combat. Kain�s dimension reaver for example will begin doing an extra radius of damage around struck enemies once charged, as well as having a special move which will teleport Kain to multiple enemies in sequence striking each with a deadly attack before teleporting to the next.

There are also special attacks that are unlocked by combat experience. One of these is the ability to rebound enemies off the ground rendering them helpless to following combo attacks; another is a rapid flurry of quick strikes that inflict high damage on a single target.

HomeLAN - What new enemies will be seen and encountered in the new game?

Riley Cooper - Beyond the usual pack of sluagh, sarafan and vampire hunters, there are tentacles which attempt to pull Raziel to the spectral plane, Archon�s which live in the spectral plane and attack raziel with energy leeching leashes, and vampiric statues which come to life to thwart Raziel and Kain�s progress.

HomeLAN - What other gameplay features will be put into Defiance?

Riley Cooper - Perhaps the single biggest feature for much of our audience will be the ability to telekinetically acquire enemies from a distance and throw them onto spikes. There�s something about doing this that just never gets old. This ability can also be used to throw enemies over high ledges screaming to their death, into fires & breakable objects or back into Raziel and Kain as a combo starter. If your into combat, even if your not, you�ve got to give this a try. It�s easy to pull off and the results are quite satisfying.

HomeLAN - What can you tell us about the improvements in the game's graphics engine?

Riley Cooper - Simply that it has been further optimized from the already competitive capabilities of the SR2 engine. Some specifics are shadows for our main characters, and ground fog that parts as Raziel and Kain move through it.

Our camera also has a big impact on the visual quality of the game. The follow camera used throughout almost every action adventure game only shows those games from a single perspective: at character head height and level. Thus, these games are presented in a very static way. LoK:D�s camera is hand placed in each room. Not only does this allow us to best guide the player through the level, it has enabled us to cinematically highlight the visual quality of each environment.

HomeLAN - What differences, if any, will there be between the various console versions of the game?

Riley Cooper - Graphically the various console versions are virtually identical. Both have Dolby surround (xbox has 5.1 digitial). The Xbox version also supports 480 dpi high def and has full widescreen support.

HomeLAN - Will a PC version be released at some point?

Riley Cooper - We do have a PC sku but at this time it�s only planned for Europe.

HomeLAN - What is the current status of the game's progress and when will it be released?

Riley Cooper - We just went gold so the game will be on the shelves before Thanksgiving.

HomeLAN - What plans are there for future games in the series?

Riley Cooper - The series will continue as long as fans continue to enjoy playing it. As for exactly what will occur in the next one, we�d like to let fans enjoy this one and imagine the possibilities for a while before we begin discussing it. Don�t want to ruin any surprises.

HomeLAN - Finally, is there anything else you want to say about Legacy of Kain: Defiance?

Riley Cooper - Just that there�s something in it for everyone. If you like combat and don�t like story, you can develop many different ways of fighting that are creatively catastrophic while skipping the story cinematics. Conversely if you�re most interested in the story, and not as much the combat, you can use simpler techniques to defeat enemies, and can watch and rewatch the story cinematics to your hearts content. That and all users should enjoy the games great graphics.

If you like either over the top fighting or intensely dramatic stories, you won�t be disappointed.
―John [JCal] Callaham[1]

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