Legacy of Kain: Defiance (Xbox) by Eidos

Legacy of Kain: Defiance (Xbox) by Eidos Box Art

Release Date
November 11, 2003.

Average Overall Score:
9.07 / 10

It is obviously the season for high-profile media franchises to tie up all the loose knots and come to a halt. Already the Matrix finale has come and gone, Lord of the Rings is soon to reach its climax and now the long running Legacy of Kain gaming franchise is about to end. The series has been around for longer than a lot of gamers who might actually play this game."

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Wednesday, November 5, 2003
Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Cheat Codes

      Tube Reaver
Pause game and enter, Up, Down, Left, Right, Black, White, Y, Down, B.
      Switch to Toon Version
Pause game and enter, Up, Down, Up, Down, R, Black, Down, B, Y.
      No Textures
Pause game and enter, L, Down, Black, Right, Black, Up, Y, L, Down.
      Max Health
Pause game and enter, Left, Right, Left, Right, R, L, B, Y, Down.
Pause game and enter, Up, Down, Right, Down, R, Black, Down, Y, L.
      Infinite Reaver Charge
Pause game and enter, Down(x2), Up, Left, R, Black, Down, Y, B.
      Give All Ups
Pause game and enter, Left(x2), Up(x2), L, Black, B, Down, Y.
      Give All Slams
Pause game and enter, Right, Down, Up, Down(x2), R, Y, B, Down.
      Fill 'er Up
Pause game and enter, Left, Right, Left, Right, R, L, B, Y, Down.
      All Dark Chronicles
Pause game and enter, R, Down, Black, L, Right, Black Y, Down, L.
      All Bonuses
Pause game and enter, Black, Down, White, R, Left, White, Down, L, Y.

User Reviews

Score: 91
Overall User Average: 10.00 / 10 (90.7%)
Gameplay User Average: 9.00 / 10
Graphics User Average: 10.00 / 10
Sound User Average: 10.00 / 10
Date reviewed: November 26, 2003.

Overall: Defiance is just another of one of the great games from the Legacy of Kain series, and to tell the truth, I was hooked on said series since I played Blood Omen II. It's incredibly difficult to name a vampire game that doesn't suck without question, but this series of games can definitely squick by with about a lightyear to spare. The characters within the game are all very well conceived, and their voiceovers are expertly done by some rather famous personas in the industry. The game isn't exactly perfect, however, as it has some problems with the camera system (which I'll address later), but these aren't anything major (most of the time), so I won't hold it against Eidos and Crystal Dynamics... too much.
Gameplay: Gameplay in Defiance is a snap, what with one heck of a simple learning curve, and excellent methods of tutilage. In the very first Kain mission, it seems like they're giving you a rather tall order for someone who could quite possibly be new to the entire series of games, as they stick you near the heart of the Sarafan Stronghold (the Sarafan, for the unenlightened, are a huge group of fanatic knights, bent on the destruction of the vampires in Nosgoth, the world in which the Legacy of Kain games take place). So, it seems like you're going to have to deal with a lot, but, I should've known that Kain would've had it covered?with a vengeance, and of course, it's set up to help you learn more than anything else. Raziel's first mission?or rather, his first set of missions?is also set up in order to help you get acquainted with the controls. I won't spoil too much more on this, but I just gotta say: I think the Elder God is a sadist, or something along those lines. Oi. And of course, the combat combos that you can unleash are devastating, but simple to execute. Another plus on my list of pluses.

The camera system, like I said, lacks perfection. In the past Legacy of Kain games that I've played (namely Soul Reaver II and Blood Omen II), the camera system was more conventional: you simply rotated the camera about yourself. Nothing too fancy, and that's just the way I liked it. In Defiance, however, you do no such thing. You merely control the limited vertical and horizontal panning of the camera. And by this, I mean that the camera automatically determines which is the "best" angle from which to play the game, and locks you in said angle, leaving you little to manipulate. And obviously, the "best" angle isn't always the best. I've found myself wandering off bridges into pools of water, which, to my utter dismay, are lethal to vampires?I swear I'll never understand that: powerful, nearly godly creatures, taken down by nothing more than water?or running into hoardes of enemies that I never even saw. And of course, with some of the telikinetic puzzles they have, I had to hold down the camera control stick while I took aim with the other stick. Most troublesome...
Graphics: I can't even begin to describe just how excellent the graphics are in this game. They're just... crisp... new... and vibrant! It reaks of newness, and I love every second of it. The effects are spectacular, especially with some of the more demonic enemies (which I've named, despite what their true name may be, Shades), where they're nothing more than uber-blackened smoke with an attitude. And again, the combos come into play here. The effects of said combos are... well, they're fantastic. Raziel has a particular combo which I've become rather attached to, but... I'll leave it to you all to figure out which one(s) are the coolest.
Sound: The sound is as it was in the past Legacy of Kain games: excellent in most ways, but disconcerting in others. The quality overall is great, but with some of the effects, you may think that an enemy is manifesting near you, when you're in reality, all alone.
Suggestions: Stick to the old-school camera system, and everything will be just fine. Oh, and perhaps make shifting to and from the spectral realm a bit simpler? Like maybe, binding the action to a thumbstick button? That way, we can stand over a conduit, and press the ONE button, as opposed to pressing two different ones.

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 90 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 100 %

Date reviewed: November 23, 2003.

Overall: Absolutely amazing game. I was really impressed with it and its play ability. The storyline and deep and has well done cut scenes. For those that have not played the originals there is a short story in the front of the book. Also the beginning has cut scenes from some of the earlier games.
Gameplay: The game play is wondrous. The controls are really easy to get used to. The more you progress though the games the more special moves you have access to. There are puzzles in the game but just move this block here like in Soul Reaver. My favorite aspect of the game is that you play as Kain and Raziel. The controls for each are the same but they have different moves and abilities. The camera system is hard to get used to and can be difficult at times.
Graphics: Visually the game is great. The characters are very detailed. The environment is very detailed and has the dark environment as in the previous games. The most surprising aspect is the spectral realms. It is very eerie with the colors and the twisted surroundings.
Sound: The sound matches the environment, very dark and suites are well. The one part that I can not get used to is the sounds in the spectral realm; it is pretty freaky but helps to envelope you into that aspect of the game.
Suggestions: The camera system my need a little work, maybe have a way to adjust it manually dung game play. Also being able to use the TK ability while in first person mode.

Overall: 100 %
Gameplay: 90 %
Graphics: 100 %
Sound: 100 %

Legacy of Kain: Defiance News

Defiance Xbox or PS2 $10 Mail-In-Rebate
Eidos sends word of a $10 mail-in-rebate for Legacy of Kain: Defiance.

Legacy of Kain in Stores Today
Legacy of Kain: Defiance has arrived in stores in North America. Kain and Raziel are now ready for battle in your living room.

Eidos Games Bumped Up and Goes Gold
Legacy of Kain: Defiance and Whiplash get their released dates bumped up. LoK is due out November 12 and Whiplash, November 18. LoK screenshots inside!

Legacy of Kain: Defiance Developer Diary
With only 2 days till Halloween, what better time to share a tale of how two vampires were created.

Legacy of Kain: Defiance Website Update
As we draw ever closer to Halloween, we felt it was time to divulge a bit more information about our vampiric duo to all you Kain and Raziel fans out there.

Legacy of Kain: Defiance to Xbox in Fall
For the first time in the series both Kain and Raziel will be available as playable characters in all of their blood sucking and soul devouring glory.

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