It was May again Square Enix sold Crystal Dynamics to the Embracer Group, Eidos-Montreal and Square Enix Montreal The deal is estimated to have a value of $300 million. Square Enix lost around 50 games from its back catalog, including Deus-Ex and Legacy of Kain rights. It had huge implications, which they still have. It was a huge deal. All I really want is a Soul Reaver Remaster in the middle of things, I’m far from alone – GamesRadar+ Senior Guides Coordinator Leon Hurley makes a strong case here for why A Soul Reaver Remake on PS5 is the best way to bring the series back..
While this might seem like wishful thinking on our part, Embracer Group is now suggesting that Crystal Dynamics could be thinking the same thing. The questionnaire’s results are in. It was distributed last month to gamers who wanted to see the Legacy of Kain series return. Over 100,000 players responded. Phil Rogers, Crystal Dynamics CEO and President of Crystal Dynamics, said that it was completed by 73,000 gamers. Earnings call for Embracer (opens new tab). “And if you are one of them, we thank you very much and we appreciate it was quite an effort given the survey was pretty extensive… Rest assured, we hear you loudly and clearly, and we’ll continue to update you on the ‘what if’ possibilities ahead for Legacy of Kain in the future.”
That’s pretty exciting. This is so amazing, in fact that the Legacy of Kain Soul Reaver group can’t believe their luck. “The cut content in the first Soul Reaver game is legend,” says a long-serving player. Federico Barreri (opens new tab)Wrongnu, also known online. “I don’t exaggerate when i say that many of us would have heart attacks if such a thing was made playable. This is amazing!”
Legacy is important
We will not know for sure how Crystal Dynamics chooses, if at all, to revive Legacy of Kain. Of all Legacy of Kain games Soul Reaver surely is the most interesting. It is set 1,500 years after Blood Omen. It has alternate dimensions, exploding vampiros, sacrosanct clans, gods, and a father seeking revenge. All wrapped up in an action brawler-meets RPG with Metroidvania components before that term was as commonplace. Soul Reaver is a classic in this age of videogame remakes. Right?
Barreri is certain to believe so. He says: “The sense of desolation, loneliness, and free exploration – Soul Reaver does what many games fail to do even today. It allows you to make this world your own, it teaches you the patterns of the enemies and helps you understand the interconnected areas. While it has its faults, the idea of playing the role of the protagonist of the previous game, who is determined to murder his creator, is a great one. That’s a pretty bold narrative choice – it blew my mind back then, and it still does when I think about it now.”
“The Resident Evil 2 remakes were a major breakthrough in the world of games remakes. Soul Reaver is a unique creature. Although it has its flaws, any person who’s ever played it will tell me that the benefits far outweigh their cons. However, there are many areas for improvement. For me, many things should be reimagined entirely, as I don’t think a frame-by-frame remake – similar to, say, Bluepoint’s Shadow of the Colossus and Demon’s Souls – would work. I think reimagining a significant amount of features from scratch would help bring the essence of the original game in line with modern standards – including combat, puzzles (don’t get me started on those stupid blocks), and, of course, graphics. Raziel was the main PlayStation champions before Kratos. Raziel is a badass in both design and backstory.
Barreri said that the Legacy of Kain Community is abuzz now with speculation and excite guesswork as to the next series. Barreri says that he would welcome a Soul Reaver remake. It would incorporate the modern nips, tucks and also use EA’s Dead Space, Resident Evil, and Capcom remakes as a reference. Barreri thinks the controls, physics puzzles, combat, cutscenes and dub of the game should all be overhauled while keeping the legacy and tone of the original. His real desire is to see the 1999 action-adventure title remastered with better visuals and a distinctive twist to please long-standing fans.
He added: “I have campaigned for years on social media to see a Soul Reaver Remaster (not yet a remake). With time, I came up with the idea that the best possible solution – and this is something I pointed out in the survey – would be to have the game in its original, unadulterated form, with improved graphics and a twist: after clearing the game once – in pure Yoko Taro/NieR-style – you could replay the game by unlocking an extended version of the game, containing all the never-before-seen cut content restored. This would include The Undercity, Ariel’s sacrifice for the Reaver’s empowerment, and the last onslaught by vampires at Silenced Cathedral. Then there’s the alternate ending.
If you were to look at my social media activity, it would be pretty close to my gaming dreams. I’d love a complete Soul Reaver remake, but a remastered ‘Director’s Cut’ is definitely my own first priority. It is something that I know many people in the community would love to see. I think that, before moving onto new products, a series should complete all that was left. As I mentioned, Soul Reaver is still a lot of work in progress.
Again, whether or not Crystal Dynamics chooses to “finish” Soul Reaver one way or another remains to be seen – but what is definitely clear at this stage is how celebrated Raziel’s adventures still are today. Phil Rogers, Crystal Dynamics CEO, said that in his experience, a survey of this type would usually return between 2 and 3000 responses. You can learn everything about this fanbase by receiving 33 times more responses than that.
Barreri spoke directly to that passion. Although I’ve seen many fandoms over the years, this one stands out because it is made up smart, mature, and understanding people from all walks of the world. While we may be separated by time zones and language barriers, there are many Legacy of Kain Soul Reaver enthusiasts out there. I believe that today, we are more united than ever. It’s an extremely dedicated but also chill fandom, all working towards the same cause: to see the return of Soul Reaver – be that a remaster or a fully-fledged remake. It’s possible to do something once impossible today that seems almost impossible.
You can follow Federico Barreri (aka Wrongnu), Soul Reaver remaster candidate via his website Twitter (opens new tab) Page, or via the hashtags #RestoreSoulReaverCutContent (Opens in new tab #SoulReaverUncutRemaster2022 (opens new tab).
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