Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Game: Nosgoth (PC) (Pre-release review)

It was a beautiful sunny day in Wimbledon England – birds chirped in the trees and all was well in the land…until a black cloud suddenly fell upon the city. The sinister presence from another world – a legion of Legacy of Kain fans descended upon the metropolis to conquer that which held power over all within the realm…the empire of Square Enix!...

STOP! Wait a minute – what is this? Are you insane? I didn’t come here to read this – I came here to read about the Nosgoth game!

Ok that’s enough mucking about; it’s time to get serious for a bit…this article is my thoughts, my opinions and what I took away from what was shown of Nosgoth on 8 Sep 2013, the game was shown to a select group of LoK fans who were very kindly invited to attend Square Enix London Studios. As this is my account it will therefore be different to other people’s experiences of the game and the day, also note that changes will have been made to the game since then.

The Square Enix event hosts were: Bill Beacham (Design Director - Nosgoth), Trevor Burrows (Live Game Manager - Nosgoth), Joe Best (Producer - Nosgoth), Rob Rutter (Marketing & PR Manager - Nosgoth), George Kelion (Community Manager - Nosgoth), Cat Karskens (Community Manager - SELS) and Jason Walker (Mastering Manager SE Europe).

Now let's get onto the article...

Those who know what Nosgoth is give yourself a pat on the back and to those who do not…you have failed the circle – but don’t worry I won’t bind you to a magical suit of armour – instead I’ll just explain…

You should probably first of all check out the games official website at

What is it? Nosgoth is the new (currently unreleased) competitive online multi-player game by Square Enix London Studios that is set in the Legacy of Kain universe – it’s vampires vs humans in this melee vs projectile weapons combat arena war.

Overview: Nosgoth is another branch of the Legacy of Kain (LoK) franchise, it does not follow the plot from previous games…as in Kain’s legacy…but it keeps to the lore of the series. It allows you the opportunity to enter the world of Nosgoth in another vein (sorry I couldn’t resist) and see it from a completely new perspective. It takes place between Raziel being abyssed and his unique resurrection and is basically a battle between the humans (as in vampire hunters) and vampires (yes this means Clans people!). There are three human warriors, two male and one female, and three vampires, all male. Each of the characters have varying skills…

The Humans – there is the Alchemist (Red Sisters of Anacrothe), the Hunter (The Iron Guard) and the Scout (Watchers of Dark Eden). They are armed with cross bows, bow and arrows and some cool potions to take down the vampiric enemies. They can rain down arrows and create walls of flame to take down their foes but don’t let those fanged fiends get too close – projectile weapons are the human’s speciality.

The Vampires – well there’s the Reaver (Clan Dumahim), Sentinel (Clan Razielim) and Tyrant (Clan Turelim), each of which are unique and use their close range vampiric strength to take down their enemies. Climbing walls, jumping, claw fighting and of course the Razielim HAS WINGS!!! So he can fly which means pick up an enemy and drop them from heights – yeah baby…but sadly only some of which go slat – there’s no weapons for these guys but they don’t need ‘em – they are melee fighters.

What I took away from Nosgoth: That Nosgoth is a LIVE game and will be improved, upgraded, expanded upon even after release. It was very much implied this was the stepping stone and the game will grow and evolve over time if it is a success...and that members of the team will be lurking and taking on board suggestions via forums and feedback - which is awesome.
The team wanted to make the characters believable, they are more physical rather than the vampires having all the uber powers they evolve into having in Soul Reaver. There will be character customisation, some of which will be chargeable but this is ‘looks and not playable related’. The game itself will be FREE TO PLAY this will include game related content as in character advancement/upgrades! If you want to spend money you can but if you don’t want to then you don’t have to. It was hinted that there will be things in the game that may link it further to the rest of the games in the series.

The team have been researching into the previous games, playing them, looking at the lore and what will and will not work for this game and to make sure it fits into the LoK universe. The game has been made to appeal to both a) fans of the series and b) new/multiplayer audience. This in mind they are limited to what is in game, there are not cut-scenes as in other LoK titles, it is not hardcore story driven but there is story and information about the game.

This is what I understood of the story:

Raziel was abyssed in this period and Kain has disappeared, the clans have fought amongst themselves – the Razielim being persecuted by the others where they believed it would be Kain’s wish. With the vampires preoccupied with internal squabbles this gave humanity the opportunity to unite – they have been building a fighting force to battle back the vampire scourge and reclaim Nosgoth for humanity! The humans begin to fight back and the vampires then put aside their differences and unite to destroy this advancing force and put humans back to where they belong – being in servitude to the vampire masters and vampy snacks.

From what I picked up the game will take into consideration your scores and how you play and match you accordingly but you will be able to select people you want to play with too.

The team looked at weather and changing climates but at the moment they advantage/disadvantage players, there is currently no weather changes at the moment. The same goes for environmental hazards.
Oh and not forgetting…maps are cool!

I asked a few questions: Here are the responses to numerous questioned I asked staff members in open forum and in one to one talks…(I can’t exactly remember who answered what because my brain is a cabbage and I was too overwhelmed). These answers are NOT in exact words…George Kelion answered the first three and then the others were answered by a mixture of people, but mainly Bill Beacham and Jason Walker.

Why these three clans?
They were the best ones that fit into the games mechanics. It was implied that other clans may make an appearance at a later date.

Will humans be able to climb?
At certain points in the game traversal will be available but only in certain places.

Will there be more information and write ups on the website relating to characters, bios, places to give depth to the game?
Yes, more information will be available than what’s in the game.

How many people have been working on the game?
25-30 people, the number changes depending on what needs to be done.

How long has it been in development?
About two years.

When is it expected to be released?

Is it planned for anything other than PC?
First release will be on PC but there maybe other platforms later.

What are the system requirements?
The game runs the Unreal Engine, a mid-range-PC will be required, it is not aimed at super-computers.

What is the official name?

Which studios have been involved?
Square Enix London Studios and Psyonix.

Will Nosgoth be shown at the Square Enix stand at ComicCon London in October?

Can fans get involved in the Beta testing of the game?
Yes, register to take part at

Where will the game be available from?

What’s it like? This is my thoughts based on 30 minutes of game time…I should really rename this section to how many times can you die in the allotted time…

The graphics, it’s a lovely looking game, we played in the Freeport area. Some of the looks of the game are very in line with previous titles and some a little advancing; Freeport is a bit of a shanty town. The docks itself seemed very Blood Omen 2esc. The shrubbery, stonework, structures etc fit with the feel of the game and the era it’s set in – Soul Reaveresc. It’s not gothic as in Blood Omen – remember it takes place around the era leading up to Soul Reaver so the places and structures fit more in line with this.

The character designs are great, the humans especially – I have no issue with them; the armour is good, detailed and fits in well. The weapon choices go well with the series canon and it is nice they included the token woman. How they fight, ok, well I think I had a go at two of them and to tell you the truth I thought these were going to be the harder of the two being they use projectile weapons but they played well, smooth and agile. They move, run, dart and roll quickly to avoid attacks, the weapons fire off their ammunition quickly, are smooth and easy to aim, though sometimes takes a while to re-load (like in real life!).

The vampires – These guys look pretty cool, menacing and all out rrraaagggghhhh (no Twilight pansy ass vampires here – which is a defiant win!). The Razielim is more devolved than the other two…he has wings! Yay wings!!…But…here comes the but…there are a few things that bother me about the way they look…let’s just say they are lacking a bit of LoKness – enough stop whining! Stop whining!!! These three are full of vampiricness, are different from the humans, they look intimidating and have the vampire factor down. You defiantly wouldn’t want to meet these guys on a dark night…or at all because no doubt their personalities would match their ‘demonic’ looks! The clothing and armour like the humans is detailed and well crafted and fits in well with the era. I thought these guys would be pretty easy to play with the fact its hand to hand (melee) combat and climbing and stuff but to tell you the truth I pretty much sucked at them (and not in a cool vampiric way). It was great how they can run, traverse a building, jump from roof to roof and then onto or close to an enemy. They are stealth characters and made for surprise attacks (saw people doing some cool crawling – ninja style!). The Razielim was fun with the whole flying thing…I would have just been quite happy flying around for ages and looking at everything but that’s not really an option as you have to kill things or not get shot down – those arrows do fly a long way!

The controls, what can I say about them…well it’s on a PC so it’s programmed for keyboard and mouse, which is really really hard when all you’re used to is a game pad. I suppose they would probably be thought of as very simple to someone who plays PC games but to someone who doesn’t it’ll take a little getting used to. It took me a while to try to figure out what did what…and how not to walk into walls. Luckily you can’t do friendly damage and kill your allies which is a good thing in my case (oh you can’t kill the crows either – yes I did try). I only used the basic attacks and walking, running, dodging, climbing and jumping. There are more advanced attacks and powers which you can use too. The controls were responsive; the character did what he/she was being told to do when the buttons were pressed, quickly and efficiently. The mouse and aiming control for the projectile weapons is smooth and it all lines up and plays very well.

Let’s talk strategy…it’s a team game, especially if you are human – you need work with your cohorts so you can survive the onslaught! The humans can rain down loads of arrows on an area and take out the vampires within that zone, as well as use walls of fire to burn the vampires into cinders…crispy (this has a very cool cinder/ash effect). There are some cool ‘death moves’ too such as exploding vampire goo – goo bath time…and head explosions – slat! Vampires can jump onto humans and attack – if you end up with a vampire in full attack on you and you are pinned down don’t worry your team mates can get him off but you can’t! The weapons for the humans were really satisfying, shooting off lots of arrows at an oncoming vampires was great fun, the whole head exploding was pretty awesome too, though you need back up in the time it takes to reload (remember you are reloading bows and crossbows here and they’ve made it kind of realistic).

As for the vampires you can hunt in packs or individually – keep in mind though one vampire vs four humans isn’t going to stand much of a chance. The vampires are agile in that they can climb up buildings easily and jump from rooftop to rooftop, meaning they can reach enemies unseen. They can jump from the rooftops onto unsuspecting humans below and attack. The Turelium does an awesome claw their faces off thing which is pretty fierce – he basically pins a human down and they can’t do anything to get him off whilst he’s in this ‘fury’ mode. The vampires can use black smoke to blind the humans in a limited area which means they can’t see for squat – of course at this point it’s time for you to beat the hell out of the humans and have a lunch break – yummy!

Health, ok, as a human there are ‘health machine/points’ in walls which give off a glow so you know where they are, it’s pretty easy to go and heal there. The vampires, well it’s pretty obvious – you have to kill someone and then drink their blood. Snack time! – It’s biting and not the super-suck classic LoK style. I think the thought is you eat only what you kill – don’t be a pikey and steal my vampy snacks! Once you’ve made a kill you can drag your victim off into a nice secluded space where you can feed and not worry (so much) about being attacked. Both Humans and Vampires can be attacked whilst they are healing.

There is the right amount of blood in the game, it’s not over the top like some games but it’s there, you get nice blood stains where bodies are dragged off or where people are killed as you play throughout the area. NICE!

I wish I could comment on the sounds and music for the game but I actually got too distracted with playing and forgot to put the head-phones on so I’m not sure what the game sounds like. Something I am really regretting now. Doh!

Which race was my favourite? Ok its confession time for me…I’m very pro-vampire and this is something really really really really hard for me to say but…I think I actually preferred playing the humans over the vampires. Eek I can’t believe I said that! Don’t hate me! I’m sure once I get the hang of the vampires I’ll be living the dream – oh and maybe it was because my first experience of the game was as a human…yeah let’s just say that!

My final thoughts: If you want a bit of vampiric fun battling against other gamers or your online chums then this will be something for you. If you however want the next iconic LoK game in the series then it might not float your boat but with that said you should give it a look and experience the world of Nosgoth for yourself! If you are new to the series it’ll be a blast but if you are a fan of the previous games then it’ll be sheer enjoyment being back in the world of Nosgoth.

The truth is this isn’t the game genre I would usually play and if this wasn’t a vampire game or set in the LoK universe I probably wouldn’t even give it a glance. Now I’ve had a go though I can’t wait to get it and get online and play with some online chums and hopefully make some new ones in the process! Why? Because it’s a fangtastically FUN game to play!

Just something I’ve got to say: Ok…I admit when Nosgoth was originally ‘announced’ to be an online multiplayer game I was one of the first on the wagon with flaming torches and pitch folks shouting “Square Enix what are you doing!” like one of Moebius’ mob…but umm well what to say now? Ah yes “forgive me Elder God for my wrongful words - I should have trusted in you”. Yep…there you have it I’ve officially ate my hat on the subject. I was wrong…it is awesome and fun…and maybe I should have had a little bit more faith!

Very special thanks: I’d just like to finally say a BIG THANK YOU to Square Enix London Studios for being so kind and for such a wonderful Nosgothic experience, it was truly a day that I will never forget. Also to all the LoK fans I met – it was a pleasure, you are all so awesome – I love you all ‘cause all you guys & gals rock!!

Here’s a couple of mug shots of me enjoying the coolness that is Square Enix and Nosgoth…yeah!

Where can you find out more about Nosgoth?
Join the War For Nosgoth at

Where can you find out more about Legacy of Kain and Nosgoth?
The official LoK Eidos Forum

LoK fan sites & blogs – in alphabetical order…

Where can I find other articles about the Nosgoth event? in alphabetical order...
Bazielim - Legacy of Kain Wiki
Blinc - The Lost Worlds
Raina Audron - The Ancients Den
Divine Shadow - NeoGAF


  1. Cool article, lucin :) Had fun reading about your thoughts on Nosgoth! Thanks for a link to my blog, I linked you back too :)

    1. Thanks Raina, it was good to hear about your experiences and acount of the day in your article too :D

  2. Hehe great article :) glad you enjoyed yourself :D

    1. Lol you read it haha - glad it was ok :D yes it was an AMAZING day!!! Thank you :D

  3. Awww super awesome! :D So glad that you had the chance to play it ^^ I bet it was so much fun,right? : )))))))

    1. Thank you :D It was super awesome fantastic fun...even the dying was fun :D

  4. in your opinion : they didnt ruine the game by this step from nowhere??
    and where's crystal dynamics ???

    1. Nope…they luckily haven’t completely butchered it – yes it’s different and it’s a change (game play and art wise) but they’ve stuck to the lore and what’s come before…rather than rebooting the franchise which would have been way way worse *cough* Dead Sun *cough* *cough*. All the main "players" have long left CD sadly but we can all still live in Hope that there will one day be a continuation of the story!