Free-To-Play Legacy Of Kain, Thy Name Is Nosgoth

By Craig Pearson on September 26th, 2013 at 8:00 am.


It turns out hearing the name Nosgoth over-and-over-and-over is enough to make me lose it. After the fifth time I heard it spoken in this trailer, I got the the giggles and had to rewatch to get the details. I’m almost embarrassed that I can be so easily amused, but it is a silly word. That second pass gleamed the relevant information, and I watched a third-time to make sure I hadn’t been hearing things the second time: Psyonix has been secretly developing a free-to-play PVP multiplayer action game set in the Legacy Of Kain universe. Human teams will fight Vampires teams. Guh?

I don’t doubt that there will be people out there who thinks this is an affront on the Legacy of Kain lore, but I’m not one of them. Mostly because I can’t remember much of it. Just that Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver was a great little action game and that it was released so long ago that it has no connection to what I just watched: a trailer of of melee vs ranged combat. Asymmetric multiplayer that puts rapid-firing crossbows versus winged beasties, and flamethrowers vs tank-like biting bastards.

Yeah. I’m all for fun multiplayer games, and this might be good. I guess hanging it off of the Legacy of Kain gets people talking, though I don’t see much more reason to join those dots. Lore just gets in the way in multiplayer games, IMHO: I don’t want to know about the lineage of a sword, I just want to know how powerful the pointy end is! It will be in closed beta very soon, and you can sign up right here.

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72 Comments »

  1. Choca says:

    This is sad in so many ways :(

  2. Marar Patrunjica says:

    I just died a little inside.

  3. Nosgoroth says:

    STOP IT, SERIOUSLY. I can only double-take so much before I go crazy.

  4. Stardreamer says:

    “Lore just gets in the way in multiplayer games, IMHO: I don’t want to know about the lineage of a sword, I just want to know how powerful the pointy end is! It will be in closed beta very soon, and you can sign up right here.”

    Neatly encapsulating the problem of venerated game series’ getting modern attention. X-com, Syndicate, Thief, Flashback…and now this.

    Knowing Weegies as I do I suspect Mr Pearson is deliberately baiting us for his own amusement. Worked for a second or two but I’ve recovered myself now. I still want to drop something incredibly heavy on the…’people’…committing this heinous crime, though. I mean seriously…what is wrong with them??

    • Spakkenkhrist says:

      Using XCom as an example is a making you sound bit of a silly sausage given that it was also remade as a well received strategy title before the third person shooter was released.

      This is a 3rd person action game being remade as a 3rd person multiplayer action game so not a massive deviation, it also might be used as a means of gauging interest in a singleplayer Legacy game.

      • Stardreamer says:

        Silly? Only if you discount the fact that the 3rd person FPS X-com ‘remake’ – just released as The Bureau, or whatever – was announced long before the more faithful strategic remake was.

        And to refer to one as an “action game” and another as a “multiplayer action game” is misleading. One’s a grand adventure novel in the metroidvania mould, the other is simply a boring, seen-it-all-before, PvP combat fest that wants to aggrandize itself using the Kain IP.

    • dannyroth says:

      I’m pretty sure what Mr. Pearson is exhibiting is “sarcasm” in an attempt to get the rps mindhive to comment in disbelief as you did until you edited your comment. In all fairness to the game, the swords do look VERY pointy.

      • Stardreamer says:

        Yeah, bit quick on the Rage@Keyboard there. My bad.

        • The Random One says:

          Also, he’s talking specifically about multiplayer, and none of the reboots you mentioned are MP only.

          • Stardreamer says:

            They weren’t supposed to be examples of singleplayer games turned to multiplayer. They were examples of older game series that had been disrespected by modern reboots. Or, as I wrote it ” the problem of venerated game series’ getting modern attention”.

            I know pedantry is kind of a sport on the Internet but wow, really?

          • The Random One says:

            I wasn’t being a pedant, I just misunderstood you. I thought you were implying that what you said was Craig’s point, but now that I’ve reread it I understood you were just making a comment on something else using what he said as a jumping point.

  5. Pich says:

    [incoherent rage]

  6. Hanban says:

    I really, really love the Legacy of Kain series. Particularly Soul Reaver 1 & 2. I used to think that the ending in Soul Reaver 2 was the epitomy of storytelling. I haven’t dared replay since it was released on PC for fear of ruining this notion.

    Although come to think of it, Legacy of Kain: Defiance kind of did that.

    • Chizu says:

      I loved SR2′s ending aswell, I don’t really hate what Defiance did, besides 2 certainly wasn’t a perfect game. Given that it was about 5minutes long and it had those fucking demons near the end that spawned infinitely (pls go). But that ending had great impact.

      In many ways, I am glad Soul Reaver 1 got cut short in development and they hacked off the last third/quarter of the game. Since it gave rise to the following games.
      Had Raziel killed kain as he was supposed to in the first game, the series might have been very different.

      I heard someone was trying to “rebuild” Soul Reaver 1 and reintegrate the cut content, I’m not really holding my breath though :v

      • Hanban says:

        I don’t necessarily hate Defiance. I just don’t or didn’t find it as compelling the previous games. The ending in Soul Reaver 2 was so good because of the mystery. When the big bads are revealed in Defiance, well.. they’re just not that interesting. And I don’t know.. in tone Defiance, if I remember correctly is a bit different as well.

        Soul Reaver 1 & 2 are these very bleak games where you feel very alone all the time. You’re in this wasteland of a world and everything is mystery. Defiance didn’t feel the same way.

        I mean, I did enjoy it. But not at all on the same level as the previous games.

  7. Chizu says:

    I adore The Legacy of Kain series.
    And whilst this is in no way where I wanted to series to go, I will play it, and kinda hope it revitalizes interest in the series, meaning that maybe they go and give us a fucking conclusion.
    Though without Amy Hennig, and having lost Tony Jay it probably wouldn’t live up to things.

    I hope they at least have Kain (Simon wassisface) as the announcer voice for the vampires :v

    • ZyloMarkIII says:

      Legacy of Kain would not be Legacy of Kain without four pivotal people: Amy Hennig (the writer), Simon Templeman (Kain), Michael Bell (Raziel), and Tony Jay (Elder God). Considering that Amy Hennig works for Naughty Dog, Tony Jay has passed away, and Michael Bell is in his 70s; I don’t hold out much hope for another game involving those characters. That being said, I don’t think that this game will appeal to its niche fan base considering the apparent lack of STORY. I mean, if this was set after the events that triggered Soul Reaver [*SPOILERS* Kain's betrayal of Raziel *SPOILERS*], shouldn’t the Clan Razielim be…wiped out?

      • boyspud says:

        DEFIANCE SPOILERS AHEAD

        Surely that wouldnt be too much of a problem? Kain killed the Elder God at the end of Defiance and absorbed Raziel into the physical Soul Reaver. Therefore the Elder God would be a non issue, and Raziel wouldnt necessarily even be around anymore.

        SPOILERS OVER

        To be honest, I liked the idea of the scrapped single player game this multiplayer game came from, Dead Sun. It was going to be set in a different time period altogether, with (iirc) a race of symbiotic vampires, which could have added a whole level of new depth to the lore.

        • ZyloMarkIII says:

          I’ll concede that the ending to Defiance wraps up that dilemma. I still feel that this is a tough sell (even though it’s F2P) to fans of the older titles. I would prefer a single-player game tangentially related to the franchise with a strong emphasis on narrative, a quality script, quality voice work, updated combat mechanics, and the ability to drain blood from a distance like Kain.

          • boyspud says:

            Agreed, though I will give this game a go. Perhaps they’ll fit some lore in? It looks pretty fun, so I think its worth at least an install. Best case scenario, this game is a success and we end up with the franchise rekindled.

            And yes! Long distance blood drinking! And picking up weapons by levitating them.

    • Pani says:

      All I want is the first game, Blood Omen, to be re-released. Is that too much to ask? I’ve not been able to find it anywhere. I loved it when I first played it (on the PC) back in the day.

      Come on GoG, pull your finger out.

      • RustyGeneral says:

        https://store.eu.square-enix.com/emea_uk/games/pc-windows-download/Legacy-of-Kain-Blood-Omen-2.php The first one isn’t there but this one may just tickle your fancy. It appears to go on sale for 99p fairly often.

      • RustyGeneral says:

        Soul Reaver was the first legacy of Kain I ever played and I revisited them when I found them for cheap. In comparison to modern controls they’re both a bit erratic but still fun.

        • Damien Stark says:

          The actual first one, Blood Omen, which nobody here but Pani seems to be mentioning, was nothing at all like Soul Reaver.

          It’s a little bit hard to describe, but try to imagine the “vampire combat powers” from VtMB, in a gameplay structure which is closer to Zelda:Link to the Past. It was awesome, and “dark” in a good way, back in a time when everything was Nintendo-colored cheerfulness rather than today’s environment where we complain that grimdark and gritty is overdone everywhere.

          I hate being grumpy old hipster gamer man, but it saddens me that when Legacy of Kain comes up, everyone seems to only think of Soul Reaver games…

  8. LionsPhil says:

    flamethrowers

    Now why would you go and pick any other class?

  9. Scumbag says:

    Takes place after Soul Reaver? In Soul Reaver the world for both Vampires and humans had essentially ended, where humans were tiny pockets of resistance and the vampires had become horrific mutant abominations completely unrecognizable to whom they once were.
    Also I am a promoter of F2P if it is done right. I think Legacy of Kain is one of the best story driven game series of all time. I am very cautious yet optimistic about the thought of playing any new LoK games to come out.
    Here is how I feel toward this:
    BAD! WRONG! STUPID! BACKWARD! NOT LOOKING AT LORE! ALL OF MY ‘NO’!

    Seriously, this looks as bad as the Syndicate reboot.

    • Chizu says:

      Yeah, I noticed how the time placement made no sense. I also found it amusing remembering how pathetically weak the humans are in SR1.
      If anything placement for this would have to be between SR2 and SR1 chronologically, happening after 2 but before 1 (but after the opening sequence of 1) seeing as the Vampire clans are evolved to the point of Raziel’s clan having wings (something I’m pretty sure never happened, given what happened to his clan and its Ruin after Raziel is cast into the lake of the dead).
      I need to stop thinking about this, it just can’t fit in 8v

      • Scumbag says:

        Lore wise they could do winged Vampires, but it would have to be the war between the ancient Vampires and the Hylden, which could be cool.
        Bar that the only two winged vampires who actually appear in the series are Raziel and Janos Aludren from my memory.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      From what I can tell, this takes place during the hundreds of years between when Raziel was tossed into the abyss but before he came back as a playable character in Soul Reaver. Still, though, even at the point where Raziel was tossed in, I thought vampires pretty much already ruled the world by then, and the humans had long since lost whatever war there had been. Also, after that point, all of the other vampires would be busy fighting against “Clan Razielim” as much as they would be any remaining humans, considering that, you know, they exterminated Raziel’s entire line during that timeframe.

      • kud13 says:

        not to mention there wouldn’t BE any “vampire cities”. post BO2, kain had to recreate vampires from scratch (again), and even if he assumed control of the Cabal (rather than wiping them out outright for Vorador’s role in Uma’s betrayal), he’d have to fall back somewhere to build up an army again. they wouldn’t let him build a goddamn city. And there’s no way in hell humans could force a stalemate. Humans never stood a chance against vamps, unless they were backed by big bads like Moebius or Sarafan lord.

        Also, Razielim….. so, so VERY wrong. at the point of SR’s intro, they haven’t developed wings yet. And Melchiah in SR straight up confirms that Razielim were all wiped out under Kain’s orders. which wouldn’t have happened if they had wings, because, then they could’ve, y’know, FLEW away.

        And don’t get me started on the whole “you can influence how this era of Nosgoth’s history turns out!”…. except then SR proper happens, and vampires rule the dying world, and humans all hide in the one hidden city (and only survive because except for the Rahabim vamps can’t swim–which, btw, makes me wonder how the devs will address the problem of “what if it rains during a match” without ditching the lore)

        If they wanted to do a goddamn F2P multiplayer, they could’ve at least done Ancients v Hylden. Then they’d have had all the creative freedom in the world.

  10. DrMcCoy says:

    Lore just gets in the way in multiplayer games, IMHO: I don’t want to know about the lineage of a sword, I just want to know how powerful the pointy end is!

    I think I hate you.

  11. Cinek says:

    F2P? Random multiplayer shooting? Erm… are they serious, or is there somewhere 90% of this game that they haven’t revealed yet?

  12. Christo4 says:

    Why oh why do they use Legacy of kain IP if they don’t want to do a SP game?
    Couldn’t they just have used another name?
    Most g@m3RS nowadays never even heard of legacy of kain, wouldn’t it have been better to make a new ip from scratch instead of ruining this one?

  13. Slade says:

    The days I have spent playing Blood Omen 1 finding all the secrets, replaying it year after year thanks to the great script and voice acting (Simon Templeman, Tony Jay), I still enjoy the gothic atmosphere conveyed with Kain’s path to the vampire kind and his growing hate for humanity. While I did enjoy the Soul Reaver series for the multiple confrontations between Raziel and his mentor, I have not played Defiance, only watched the cutscenes on Youtube.

    What could bring this Nosgoth MMO to the lore, I wonder ?

    • riverman says:

      I adored blood omen, but couldn’t get into soulreaver, the 3d landscapes lacked the engrossing qualities of the 2d one, and kane was a superb protagonist.

  14. MichaelPalin says:

    I think we should eventually outgrow cynicism and just stop buying anything from big publishers. We have enough proof already that they will always ruin any game and any game universe we love and indies are slowly becoming a solid alternative to them.

  15. Kubrick Stare Nun says:

    Jesus… Square’s lack of vision is just so… ugh! This is so sad, for someone to have on his hands the franchise with one of the most intelligent and intricate storylines in the history of video gaming and to have absolutely no clue of what he’s supposed to do with it. Think of all the spoiled potential… :(

    To think that’s coming from the same folks who gave us Deus Ex 3 and Tomb Raider…

  16. The_Player says:

    Looks like Forge, I’m ok with that. Looking forward to try it.

  17. KwisatzHaderach says:

    I have never played any LoK games and I also don’t know anything about the lore. I find the ranged against melee asymmetric approach very interesting, kinda reminds me of Natural Selection, if only the art direction wouldn’t be so dull and boring. I sometimes wonder what all these illustrators and artists think when they are sketching the next generic armor with hundreds of uneccessary segments and the next generic sword that basically looks like a tribal tatoo gone mad. Monster design is also lacking.

    If game mechanics are good I might give this a shot, but so far I can see nothing special about this title except the asymmetry of factions.

  18. Askeladd says:

    I’m sick of this kind of trailers, which have developers babble the stuff the PR guys dictate them.

  19. bstard says:

    Arf halfway the article it says f2p.

  20. EssBen says:

    Meh, the series peaked with Blood Omen. The box pushing sequels were dreadful.

  21. boyspud says:

    While I’m annoyed that this was the direction they decided to go, I am probably going to play this. I love the LoK world, and it looks pretty fun. The best we fans of the series can hope for is perhaps this game really takes off, and then maynbe, just maybe, a new single player game will appear.

    For those of you who havent heard of it,Google Legacy of Kain:Dead Sun and weep for what could have been.

  22. BAshment says:

    Please help me kind sir !!!

  23. gwathdring says:

    Yeah, I don’t see why you’d bother to attach a F2P action game like this to an IP it doesn’t need, barely resembles, and that doesn’t have all that much ability to pull in customers on account of not being particularly hot-button or well known save by people who are unlikely to play this anyway because it’s not what they liked about the franchise.

    Lore in multiplayer games DOES just get in the way. Most of the time. It’s kind of fun in TF2, but that’s because it’s utterly absurd and exists merely to make update more interesting and endearing.

    • boyspud says:

      Depends on how the lore is implemented. TF2 is a good example. It doesn’t get in the way, it doesn’t try and make itself the focus etc, but its still there for people who want it. Hell, I played Tribes Ascend for a year, having never played a previous Tribes, and got really interested in the lore behind it.
      I think a good idea for lore in a multiplayer game could involve making lore part of the objectives. Off the top of my head, about a game where one side plays 18th/19th century-esque explorers and archaelogists from an Imperialistic empire versus natives protecting their homelands and holy grounds. The objective would be for the archaeologists to find the lore, the natives to protect it. Or what about a sci fi setting where two different factions are struggling against each other for an ancient races secrets. You could have people in either scenario who play it merely for the pvp, and others who enjoy the underlying story. Sure, you wont have time in multiplayer to figure out a bit of the lore past a locations recent history (layout, geography etc) but what if you had some form of camera system that let you take pictures to study outside of the game? It would give those who enjoy the lore something to do and speculate about (like in an mmo) and then others who just pvp.

  24. derbefrier says:

    I immediately thought of the old half life mod Vampire Slayer when I saw this. It was a fun little mod and if this game plays anything like it I am sure I can get a few hours of fun out of it.

  25. MobileAssaultDuck says:

    I both love the LoK games and have very little issue with an IP expanding into divergent genres, even ones that seem ass backward to the original games.

    I also love asymmetrical multiplayer.

  26. jayP says:

    I’m probably alone on this, but I think this looks pretty fun. I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays

  27. Imprecision says:

    No thanks! I’ve learned my lesson about competitive ‘free’-to-play multiplayer.

  28. strangeloup says:

    I hear rumours of great unrest in the north.

    Also, while Nosgoth is a pretty funny word, it’s not a patch on the first(?) boss in Blood Omen, Nupraptor the Mentalist, a moniker which has continually brought me amusement ever since the game first came out. And yes, I know it’s meant to be as in a psychic, but I prefer to go with the Alan Partridge interpretation of a nutter.

  29. Synesthesia says:

    Damn, Soul Reaver was fucking awesome. Still remember finally getting unstuck and seeing that citadel. This looks like shit though.

  30. kud13 says:

    Sad, sad day. *cue fan rage over lack of SP story conclusion*

    I absolutely love Legacy of Kain games (yes, all of them. Even BO2). It’s never been about the gameplay, since through its 5 iterations the series had a hell of a time trying to figure out what it wants to be. It was always about the Story. Delivered by superb voice actors, and arguably the best video game writing of all time.

    And now we get a microtransaction-laden cash-in that shits all over the very meaning of LoK.

    Damn you, Squeenix. Damn you to the very depths of the Abyss.

  31. Eldiran says:

    Assymetric multiplayer? Eeeeeww.

  32. Turkey says:

    I guess this came in at the bottom of the list of Eidos licenses to revitalize. F2P multiplayer pretty much means that they’re using it as a rag to scrape the bottom of the barrel for a few dollars.

  33. Xan says:

    This should have never been made. This should have never been THOUGHT of.

  34. Freud says:

    Reminds me a bit of Savage, which was an awesome multiplayer game that sadly never got the player base it deserved.

  35. MDefender says:

    They want a fast-burning F2P cash injection and they’re not afraid to bank on controversy to make sure it’s one and a half year, development cost-free run is just a little bit more profitable. All controversy on the internet breeds an optimistic, apologetic niceguy with a loaded wallet halfway extended to the monitor, it seems.
    You don’t have to be an analyst to understand what it means when there’s a “loremaster” present but no “good writers”.

  36. cfehunter says:

    This should of been its own game. All attaching it to legacy of Kain does is bastardize the lore.

    The premise makes no sense. Humans are near enough extinct in the time period they’re setting it in and they’re pitifully weak compared to the vampires.
    Also (apart from Raziel) only the ancient vampires had wings. That was the entire point of soul reaver. Raziel was cast down because he had grown wings and was advancing as a vampire faster than Kain.

    Absolutely stupid.
    I really wish they’d just change the name and drop all reference to the series but I won’t hold my breath.

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