It's a busy year for Crystal Dynamics. The developer is hard at work on one of the most anticipated games of 2012, Tomb Raider. Additionally, Crystal D is "preparing to reveal exciting new intellectual property to the world,” according to community manager Meagan Marie.
If new rumors are to be believed, the studio potentially has yet another project in the works, one that should be of particular interest to longtime Crystal Dynamics fans: a reboot of the PSOne classic, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.
The Legacy of Kain series began with Silicon Knights' top-down Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain. That slow-paced game certainly had its fans, but huge changes were in store for the next entry in the series. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver featured a new protagonist, Raziel, in addition to a full 3D world -- two full 3D worlds, in fact (the Material and Spectral Planes), that players moved between. As was also true of Blood Omen, Soul Reaver featured remarkably strong writing and voice acting, unusual for the era, but a hallmark of SR writer/director Amy Hennig, who went on to huge success with Naughty Dog's Uncharted series.
An unnamed source tells VG 24/7 that Crystal Dynamics' Soul Reaver project is a "full reworking" that "includes new art direction." Whether that mean an HD remake of the original PSOne game, or a new series based on its characters -- both, maybe? -- is unclear.
While it appears unlikely that Soul Reaver is the game Megan Marie teased -- after all, it's hardly a "new intellectual property" -- it is impossible to rule anything out at this point. According to VG 24/7, the Soul Reaver project was slated to be revealed at E3 2012, though this may no longer be the case. Time will tell.
What we do know is that Crystal Dynamics has been aggressively staffing up for its new projects. Chief among new additions to the CD team is Cory Barlog, director of God of War II -- a guy who clearly knows his way around a third-person action game. A quick peek at the @CrystalDynamics twitter page shows that the developer is also looking to fill a number of other positions: Lead Level Designer, Lead Combat Designer, Lead Environment Artist, Lead Character Artist, Lead Programmer (Tech Director), Lead AI Engineer, Lead Gameplay Engineer and Lead Rendering Engineer.
The best-case scenario, at least for this writer, would be an HD re-release of the original Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver on XBLA/PSN in advance of an all new retail game, hopefully under Barlog's direction. Could that be what Crystal Dynamics has in store? What do you think?
Ranters, what are your memories of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver? How interested would you be in new Soul Reaver games? Let us know in the comments below.
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