Awaking to find that he is in the care of a new ally Uma, Kain quickly realises that he is in no position of power or compromise, the former ruler must follow orders temporary to regain his throne. It’s a thrilling but typical story, but you may not guess the exact twist of the narrative takes you can see it coming from a mile away. It’s not unlike the old Conan stories, Kain is a brutal, rude, and self-absorbed hero yet there is something likeable about him, it’s an egotistical skin to step into. The story keeps you involved throughout the entire campaign and you genuinely want to see Kain succeed. The voice acting is top notch in that it brings all of the characters to life.
Set in an alternative steam punk universe Blood Omen 2 is a primarily levelled based action game. It's a more streamlined approache than we are used to seeing in a crystal dynamics production, unlike the level side scrolling puzzles of Soul Reaver, Blood Omen 2 ops for more shortened substantial level in puzzle design. None of these puzzles are very hard. To make up for this lack, Blood Omen 2 makes up for it in its combat. This unfortunately is a double edged sword.
While similar to Soul Reaver, it simplifies combat to timing and interrupts. Though you can still die quite quickly while dealing with quite successful hits, you will quickly pick up enemy patterns that they always repeat. Even when surrounded by multiple enemies you’re only attacked one at a time, though you do need to pay close attention to your foe, with only one basic attack option fighting has a little depth. Different weapons do add some enjoyment to the stale system. Overall the constant bombardment to fights will quickly wear down your interest.
Though the game isn't entirely about combat, by using special powers to possess, sneak, jump and more you'll be doing your fair share of platforming. However, like the rest of the level design it will be merely circumstantial, most early levels are quite open and you have a sense of freedom of wandering the city. Behind the semi-open structure is a very linear path, there are no multiple routes to objectives, nor can you explore a huge level at your leisure to find all of the clues. It is simply running from checkpoint to checkpoint, some of which are very poorly placed making you redo large chunks. You can try and play it stealthy or with pure muscle but it doesn't really end up making a huge difference, the scale is impressive but it feels more like a veneer as you progress.
The game isn't a marvel of technology by any means, character models are basic and stiff, though environments fair a bit better. It does run quite nicely on modern hardware and has lots of resolution options.
Blood Omen 2 fails to capture the spirit of exploration like its predecessors did, the level design is clever but basic, the fighting system is function but redundant, yet it has a charm to it. It’s an adventure that you want to see through, it has just enough variety to maintain your attention and an engaging enough story to keep you moving forward.