I have been obsessively reviewing the Legacy of Kain series over the last couple months. Call it a “coping mechanism,” for my inability to update the comic. I think we’re still waiting for the new DNS to make its way ’round the web but I think the website should be back now, with shorter load times.

The Legacy of Kain series is among the more influential works for me — in retrospect I realize that LOK likely meets the same needs for me that the Assassin’s Creed series meets for the current generation of gamers.

There are several critical similarities between the two series — first, they have story arcs spanning multiple entries with an aim to integrate the narrative of each game (no matter how dull) rather than exclude, they are time-travel stories with a broad emphasis on the themes of choice, consequence, and fate.

Additionally, both series attempt to reconcile player character death and the save/load mechanics and their impact on the game experience.

When Ezio dies in Assassin’s Creed 2, it isn’t because he’s a terrible assassin — it’s because Desmond is terrible at doing exactly whatever Ezio did to not die in “real life.” Ezio is simply too cool to make dumb player mistakes.

Legacy of Kain uses two separate — arguably better arguments — for the characters’ repeated attempts to overcome the challenges of the game world, both based on the immortality of their protagonists’ respective immortality.

Kain, as a vampire who gradually accumulates godlike power, is effectively immortal. When defeated in combat, he transforms into a swarm of bats and returns to his crypt (or the last checkpoint) to recover. He doesn’t die.

Raziel, as a wraith inhabiting a series of — temporary — physical bodies, first reverts to the ethereal plane where he manifests as a spirit. If defeated again he’s drawn to the Elder God, the being that squats at the “Wheel of Fate.”

As a wraith, Raziel possesses a spirit that can never be destroyed. Thoroughly immortal, he’s relentlessly destroyed and reincarnated throughout the series.

The Soul Reaver titles and Defiance are some of my favorite games. Period.

Not that the games aren’t without their problems, but I never imagined myself capable of setting aside my rose-tinted glasses long enough to find any.

Oh, but I did.

This isn’t a celebration of tearing down a classic game but rather a personal triumph over my own nostalgia filter. If I can be critical of this series, I can be critical of anything — eventually, I suppose. It took me ten years.