Blood Omen 2 XBOX Early Impressions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tino, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Just picked up Blood Omen 2 for the XBOX and have been playing for about 2 hours.
    So far, it's very entertaining playing as a villainous vampire. I'm so used to playing as a hero in videogames that it's a nice change of pace to play a merciles blood sucking vampire![​IMG]
    The graphics are very nice as is the very atmospheric DD5.1 sound. Bells, dogs barking, wind howling from every direction.
    Game play is very familiar if you have played the Soul Reaver games, which this is a prequel to.
    Basically you play as Vampire warlord Kain, awoken after centuries to find his armies slain, vampire brothers killed, and his efforts to regain control of Nosgoth. You battle the Sarafan, a group of militant humans determined to wipe out all vampires.
    Any one else out there preying on the weak and helpless, bloodfilled humans?[​IMG]
     
  2. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    Just picked this up. Unfortunately I'm at work right now and i can't play it[​IMG].
    (Between this, Gunvalkyrie and VF4 I have a lint ball where my money used to be[​IMG])
     
  3. Derrik Draven

    Derrik Draven Supporting Actor

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    Hey guys, been waiting on this one. Played both "Raziel" games.

    I know it's early in the game but, how do you guys think it compares to Soul Reaver? Better, worse, indifferent???
     
  4. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    What about 16:9?

    -Dave
     
  5. Derrik Draven

    Derrik Draven Supporting Actor

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    Well, guess what? To my surprise, when I came home from work today, my GF had it sitting on the table for me. Awwwwww...she's sweet...as a pitbull. [​IMG]
    Anyhoo...my initial sentiments are as follows.
    I was initially unimpressed with it. After playing for 4 hours now, I've warmed up a bit to it but, I'm still not impressed.
    Not that it's a bad game so far, mind you, it's just that there are a few things that really bother me, and they are:
    Graphically, I can't see how this could be much, if any, improvement over the PS2 version. I'd REALLY like a side-by-side comparison. Off the top of my head, there's really NOTHING that says, "OOOOoooh, this HAS to be the Xbox version". There's zero bump mapping, lighting isn't anything gee-wiz but, the framerate is rock solid. Not a stutter, yet.
    Also, another REAL irritating graphic problem is that several times now, I've killed someone, only to have them die half way "buried" in the wall of something. What sucks about it is that damn near each time this has happened, the weapon of the enemy I killed is now also inside the wall and; you guessed it, I can't get it!!! ARRRGH!! [​IMG]
    Sound wise, in my opinion, it's a neutral issue. Doesn't suck; isn't great. Some nice "clanking" when weapons hit, some decent atmospheric "music" but, nothing killer. The Dolby Digital...and I really hate to have to keep using this for every new game BUT, is well below Halo standards. It works, it's okay but, I've noticed some wishy-washy sound direction. It's not all that accurate...maybe it's MY ears?
    Here's more of a nit-pick but, it bugs me. The way Kain moves...it's strange. The movement has a strange "gliding" feel to it. I never felt that with Raziel. When playing as Razzy, you felt connected to the game environment. I don't get that "feel" at all in this game.
    Play the game, you'll get what I mean.
    So far I've found the fighting to be pretty fun, especially if you leave the blocking control on "skilled". If you leave the option on "assisted, you simply hold down the block trigger and, it will do all the blocks perfectly for you. Timing your blocks really seems to add something extra to the fights, and on "skilled" you MUST time your trigger pull correctly with each swing the enemy takes.
    Weapons wise, since it's early, all I've had was either my claws, a long sword, a short sword and a mace. Whatever weapon you have, Kain wears it on his belt when not in use. I like that little touch. All weapon animations, while fighting, seem to be unique to their own capabilites. You bash with the mace, slash with swords, ect.
    An extra cool little move is that you can grab enemies, pick them up by the neck with 1 hand then use your weapon on them. This move brings into play all new original moves, once again unique for each weapon.
    Case in point: I picked up a guy by the neck with one hand, while in the other I had the mace. When I struck him in this position, you smash the mace into his balls. OUCH!!! [​IMG] Another time this woman called me rude so, I picked her up by the neck but, I had the short sword. While in this position, I stabbed her in her gut.
    Another time that unique animations come into play is the "stealth kills". If you're going stealth as a wisp of mist, you come up behind your enemy, hit the correct buttons and Kain will do a "stealth kill". It's pretty neat.
    The interaction of the NPC's with you, isn't really anything worth writing home about but, it's deeper than any of the Soul Reaver games. While walking around Meridian, so far, people don't seem to notice that I'm a vampire. They'll just do their own thing. But, do anything super-human, and they get suspicous. Do something over the top, they'll run and scream. Here's how I've seen that happen:
    Walk around, they pretty much go about their bizz, but...jump and then glide to the ground in someones presence, and you'll hear them say stuff like, "...did you see that"? They'll be staring at you about now. Go ahead and grab someone by the neck and suck their blood out, well...they go running and yelling/screaming. I can't remember if anyone ever alerted a guard to my presence with their screams...[​IMG]
    Voice acting, as with any game associated with Kain or Raziel is; as always, top notch. Not much to be said there.
    Game options, as far as I could see, are pretty limited. You can select the sound level, the music level, and whether or not you want assisted blocking. No widescreen modes available.
    Too early to tell how well the story is going to be and, I can't really think of anything else at the moment.
     
  6. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Nice summary Derrik. After playing for a couple more hours, I tend to agree with what you have said.

    Right now I'm at the first boss and I'm getting my ass kicked! Still it's a decent game so far. We'll see.
     
  7. Troy LaMont

    Troy LaMont Supporting Actor

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  8. Scott_W

    Scott_W Stunt Coordinator

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    From what I've read, the PS2 version has framerate problems, while the XBox version doesn't. It looks like this game was rushed a bit, at least on the PS2. The XBox versions are getting better reviews overall.
     
  9. Derrik Draven

    Derrik Draven Supporting Actor

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  10. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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  11. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    The irony is that the PS2 version was in development longer than the Xbox version. I think it was Next Gen that had an article on the development, and mentioned that after just a few days of porting the game to Xbox, the framerates cleared up.

    -Dave
     
  12. Derrik Draven

    Derrik Draven Supporting Actor

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    There is no replacement for displacement!
    ...it's an old gearhead saying. Kinda fits here. [​IMG]
     
  13. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    I'm still stuck at the first boss!
    How's about a little help fellas?[​IMG]
     
  14. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    So.......is there widescreen? [​IMG]
    -Dave
     
  15. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Dave

    As Derrick stated above:

     
  16. Derrik Draven

    Derrik Draven Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, that 1st boss sucks. The depressing part is, I'm guessin' that he's the easiest???
    ...great...
    Anyhoo...have you beaten him to the point where he runs into the other room with all the chains with the hooks? (very cool, btw) If so, that's actually the easy part. Just keep running around and trying to see which platform he lands on. If you get there VERY quickly after he lands, hit the switch, he burns. While he lays on the ground for a sec or 2; after burning, whack him a few times. Be careful though because as soon as he gets up, he does some sort of super kick...thingy. Don't get caught. Just keep running and/or jumpin right after he gets up. This doesn't seem to last too long. I think maybe I did it...3 times??? And, he died.
    I found the 1st part of the fight harder. The only tip I can give is to put your Dark Gifts on rage, and use it when the chance comes.
    This took me several times to finally win. [​IMG]
    If I remember correctly, the IGN review of the Xbox version mentions that the boss fights are hard. They certainly got that part of the review correct!
     
  17. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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    Thanks for the tips Derrik. I actually made it to the part when he runs into the other room but I died very quickly as my health was very low. I saved at that point but had to start at the beginning when I reloaded.
    I'll try again. Thanks.[​IMG]
     
  18. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    D'oh! Thanks for pointing that out, Tino. I thought I had read the entire review, but my eyes must've glossed over that part.

    -Dave
     

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