PS2: Soul Reaver 2

The original Soul Reaver (PS) (also one of the Blood Omen family) has been officially registered in the annals of history as a brilliant game with some tragically fatal flaws. Its boons were an insanely likeable anti-hero (in the form of Raziel, a jawless demon/vampire with a mystical sword grafted to his arm), the equally likeable notion of being able to feed off your fallen enemies' souls, and an absolutely inspired puzzle device that let you shift into another realm at will. Soul Reaver's banes were its tedious combat, a way-off-kilter walking-to-action ratio, an annoying lack of checkpoints, and an overabundance of box-pushing puzzles.

While the first game was pretty linear in nature, it did a good job of hiding it, and a fantastic job of giving you a feeling that your destiny was in your putrid, misshapen talons. In Soul Reaver 2, there's a much more palpable sense of being led along, and it's the game's biggest disappointment that it somehow feels a little smaller, more restricted, and less epic than the original. Realm-shifting doesn't play as big a role in the gameplay as it did in the original, and the much-touted time travel doesn't play any role at all - except for a few key plot-driven moments.

Most of SR2's puzzles are complex localised phenomena in grand Indiana Jones fashion, as you arrange light reflectors and generate magic shadows and carry strange artefacts to stranger receptacles in the hope that some mystical thingumabob will light up and show you the way.

The PlayStation 2 version of Nosgoth is a graphically striking realm. The game boasts some awesome architecture and breathtakingly complex chambers, decorated by gorgeous textures that show real artists' skill. There's a vast lake not too far from the game's start that's a beautiful sight to behold, with nearly a dozen cascading waterfalls and flocks of birds, all moving in harmony at a fluid 60 fps. However, in order to make room for all its scope and speed, the game is forced to cheat pretty severely in the lighting, shadows, and reflections departments. Polygon glitches and loose seams occasionally mar the landscape.

Soul Reaver 2 never skimps on the sound, however. Great mood music sets the tone, though it's the sound effects that really shine - Raziel's footsteps echo convincingly on glass and crunch through the snow.

Soul Reaver 2 takes as many steps back as it does forward, and ends up teetering precariously on the brink of being a disappointment. Perhaps next time we meet our vampire anti-hero, he'll be ready to fully assume his grand role in destiny's dark design; for now, however, the Wheel of Raziel's Fate rests sadly out of alignment.

(If you don't have a PS2 unit, you can still take a walk on the dark side with Soul Reaver 2 using the PC demo on this month's cover CD.)Publisher: Eidos.

Developer: Crystal Arts.


Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Star Dingo

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?