It saddens me when a name from “the good ol’ days” (and to a twentysomething like me that’s everything from the early 90’s to the zeroes) gets dragged through the mud in the name of “rebooting” the franchise. Nine out of ten times, you end up with a travesty that gets brought to life purely to profit from the nostalgia invoked by it. It’s a shame, and it rubs me the wrong way. It especially rubs me the wrong way when it’s done to one of my favorite franchises. Enter Legacy of Kain.
For those who do not know, LoK was pretty succesful in the late nineties and early zeroes. Games like Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Blood Omen were praised for their innovative story and setting, and even later installments like Defiance were well-received and surely put Crystal Dynamics (which has been swallowed by Square Enix if I am not mistaken) on the map. What made the franchise shine was the intriguing gothic setting, a story about destiny and time travel (though I didn’t dig that part for reasons explained earlier) and really cool characters. However, after the release of Defiance, silence cloaked the franchise…until this year.
Recently, Nosgoth was revealed: a multiplayer, team-paced third-person action game, portraying the fight between the humans and vampire clans of Nosgoth. Though the announcement of a new game in the world of LoK hyped me at first, the realization that we would be moving from character-based, story-driven games to an attempt to milk the recent success of free-to-play games felt like a stab into heart of my inner fanboy. This franchise offers so much more than just an excuse for random battles between teams of teenager-controlled avatars!
Why not utilize the rich setting created by the previous games and create something appropriate? Why has no one ever suggested a RPG based in Nosgoth? Have us create our own vampire from one of the clans, navigating him through the bloody and dangerous politics of Nosgoth’s monstrous bloodsuckers. Heck, even a MMORPG would be something I would endorse. As long as the product would capitalize on the strong points of the original games: intense combat, enganging action-adventure elements and a daunting storyline about fate, time and the role we play in the grand scheme of things.
Does Nosgoth use any of this? Doesn’t look like it. Can I already say if I won’t like Nosgoth? Not really, but the game will have a damn hard time of convincing me. That is, unless they find a way to combine squad-based action with a storyline that has cool dialogues like this one.
Well, one never knows. But one can have a bad, bad feeling.