Ever since I played the new Tomb Raider, which used to be under the control of Crystal Dymanics and is now part of the Square Enix brand, I wondered if CD's other, and in my opinion superior work, Legacy of Kain would also be receiving a reboot for the modern era. The answer is yes... but not the way I thought it would be.
The game is called Nosgoth after the legendary land where the events of Kain take place. This time instead of an epic single player adventure spawning a vast landscape and different times, Psyonix is developing a player vs. player team-based online war game hat will be available on Steam.
For a series that built its name on the incredible breadth of story, gruesome battles, and Shakespearean drama about the nature of fate, it's a very interesting move to take the series in. Nonetheless, it does look like there is some real innovation in the approach of the game.
Teams consists of either humans or vampires, and each side has its distinct advantages. You'll know of the vampire ones from all those obnoxious superiority rants that you hear in films. They are faster, stronger, tougher than you, and in this case they can scale walls, fly, and perform a host of other supernatural feats. Their main weakness, though, is that they are melee fighters, and therein lies the hope of humanity.
The human armies of Nosgoth are equipped with range weapons of a crazily advanced sort for the medieval setting. Automatic crossbows, grenade launchers, flame throwers, and other long distance death devices are what balances your frail human form against the undead might. Humans also have the ability to lay booby traps and other less direct means of fighting.
It's not exactly clear what era that Nosgoth takes place in. We know that at some point Kain must have waged an actual vampire war to come to power, and to judge by the massive human settlements in the first game this cannot have been an easy task.
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Yet the presence of Raziel's winged kin suggest that Nosgoth takes place after his execution by Kain for daring to evolve before him. Perhaps this is a look at a brief time where Raziel's clan was still alive, and humanity used the infighting among the vampires to launch a new assault to take back the land.
Whatever the overall story arc, it's good to see that the franchise isn't going to just sit and gather dust. Though I personally would have preferred a new cycle of stories to play through, the chance to actually join in the war that tore apart Nosgoth is certainly better than nothing.
The game is now registering for closed beta testing, and will be free-to-play upon release. Updates can be found on Nosgoth.com.