PSOne Classics: Why we need a Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver Remake

As part of Pause Resume Q3 we’ve decided to look back on old PlayStation Classics that we feel need to be brought back. Whether it be a remake, remaster or an entirely new game; we’ve let our editors yearn for the days when analogue sticks were some new-fangled fad that’ll never catch on.

The Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver was the first game that ever genuinely scared me as a child.

The gothic setting, fleshless characters and blood-curdling plot was truly horrifying at times to my 10-year-old self. I probably shouldn’t have even been playing it. But I did. And despite my nightmare-inducing issues, I finished it because it was brilliant.

Soul Reaver was very much a game that came too early in some respects. The world of Nosgoth felt vast and dense. It offered what felt like a labyrinth to traverse with movement only restricted by your abilities. You started with nothing, but as you progress through this hell you gain better abilities and an understanding of not just the world you’re in but why you’ve ended up there.  

The world of Soul Reaver operates in two realms, the material and spectral. Between the two, you must navigate through Nosgoth, solving puzzles, meeting friends and foes and, eventually, the ultimate showdown with the man who tried to kill you: Kain. 

But it ends on a cliffhanger.

Thankfully, The Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver isn’t one of those games that never ended its main narrative thread. In fact, it got a fully-fledged sequel in the form of Soul Reaver 2 which released a few years later for the PlayStation 2. However, the original Soul Reaver would, I believe, stand the test of time if it were to be remade.

The Legacy of Kain series has threatened to come back numerous times and Mama Robotnik on NeoGaf has put together a wonderful post detailing some of the series attempted comebacks. If anything, it shows that there has been an appetite at Square Enix (who now own the franchise) to at least consider bringing it back. But when you consider that Square have little interest in continuing Hitman, a franchise that is infinitely more popular than the Legacy of Kain, you have to assume that only by someone prying the licence from Square’s cold hands will it finally see a comeback.

For me, I’d be content with a remake of the original Soul Reaver. It wasn’t the first in the Legacy of Kain series, but it gave us a phenomenal downtrodden, dead protagonist in Raziel, whose confusion at his situation and new appearance gave him a likeable personality. Soul Reaver is a game that most probably isn’t aware of, but if it were ever to be remade, it would resonate with a brand new audience and hopefully, give life to a series with so much potential. Let’s hope, much like Raziel himself, Soul Reaver can be reborn again.

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