Cult Heroes: Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain
Reviewed: Issue 18
Blood Omen was the first of a series which went on to spawn other rather overlooked greats such as Soul Reaver and Defiance and was an origins story for one of the finest characters ever committed to PlayStation. Kain begins the game as a nobleman before he is brutally murdered outside a tavern; seeking revenge he is turned into a vampire by a necromancer and set on an irreversible path to darkness. This is why we totally and completely fell in love with the character: he didn’t want redemption, forgiveness or any such namby-pamby rubbish. He wanted vengeance, and once he realised his vampiric nature put him above humanity, he decided he should rule it.
The game itself was pretty old-fashioned, even by the archaic standards of the past when everyone used coal-powered cars and listened to 8-track vinyl. It was a top down action/RPG hybrid, playing a bit like Zelda or even the PSOne equivalent Alundra. Kain travelled the land of Nosgoth in order to restore balance to the world, kill lots of people and suck blood from necks across the room – always an impressive feat.
Kain’s vampirism was used to great effect in the game, with players imbued with magic powers as well as the usual vampire weaknesses. It was a recipe that allowed you to be a complete bastard and indiscriminately murder innocent townsfolk to satiate your blood thirst. You could play through as a decent chap and end up sacrificing yourself to save the world, but the option to be a git and rule the world under your iron fist proved too tempting for many. In fact, the series confirmed that Kain did in fact take the route of the bugger and plunged the world into an era of darkness and despair. What a guy.