Legacy of Kain was on sale so i picked it up which ones should i play / skip
I believe it's the two Soul Reaver games that everybody is so smitten with. I've only played Blood Omen 2 and Defiance, both of which I thought were aggressively mediocre so... I personally wouldn't recommend those two at least.
Also... I don't get it, have you already bought the entire Legacy of Kain franchise? Or just the first one?..
Dude you bought the first one? Tried to play it recently but had mad difficulty with the controls and camera, though I've heard great things about it.
Soul Reaver is fucking AMAZING. Never mind all the shit you hear about how just now games are learning to tell stories because SR is still among the best and has easily among the most memorable voice acting ever recorded for a game. Maybe sounds like hyperbole but this *is* an Amy Hennig joint and she was a master at this stuff long before Uncharted.
Fans of SR will enjoy Legacy of Kain II just for Kain (and the vamp abilities) but it's certainly less well-liked in General. Soul Reaver II is good, but the first is a classic.
If you plan on paying any Soul Reaver game then stick it out and start from the first one, the story arc is surprisingly good (and Michael Bell is ghoulishly excellent as Raziel in all titles). Once you get a hold on the PS1 clunk of the first title you'll discover there's a genuinely great game there. After that the next two are a generation up and look much sharper.
The original Blood Omen on PS1 was fucking boss, but the load times were ridiculous.
Soul Reaver is fucking phenomenal. Soul Reaver 2 is a LOOOOOOT more cutscenes, but it's still a fine game.
Blood Omen 2 was mediocre at best, and there used to be a MASSIVE game-killing bug that would force you to restart the game. I never got to finish it, so I don't have anything very good to say about it.
Defiance is alright, but it tries to be something it is not (Devil May Cry-esque).
So...there ya go.
Blood Omen 2 is the only game I've played out of them and I still really love that game. Sure, it's a bit of nostalgia coloring my objectivity, but I thought the whole combat system, including the part where you could pick up enemies weapons, was fantastic at the time. I just picked up that bundle on Steam and will probably play through all four of them at some point.
I love Legacy of Kain, but third-person action adventure games being what they are these days you're probably going to find the combat in these games bland as a lettuce sandwich playing them for the first time this late in the game. I mean, even at the time they were kinda basic. However on the upside, combat isn't a huge staple of the two Soul Reaver games at least, where you'll be spending much of your time solving puzzles and completing light platforming sequences (and taking in excellent cutscenes, of course).
Blood Omen is a classic. If old-school, top down action adventures appeal to you, you're good. It was, I believe at the time fairly novel for how much voice over was used in game.
Soul Reaver is perhaps my favourite PlayStation game. I could go on with the superlatives but this says it all, really.
Soul Reaver 2 is also great, though it didn't have the wide open, sprawling overworld I hoped it would after playing SR1 and Blood Omen. There is an overworld, but it's less of a hub and more of a narrow path you traverse back and forth across. I just wanted to see more of Nosgoth than they give you. The story takes a really cool turn, but you need to pay attention because this game is very chatty - fortunately the dialogue and acting is off the charts. The absence of boss fights is a bit of a downer - while there is a late game sequence of battling "boss-like" characters, they're all just suped-up regular enemies. This part feels like a missed opportunity, as the story turn that takes place just before these encounters which establishes the context of who these guys really are and why you, specifically are the one taking them down is pretty damn amazing.
Blood Omen 2 was made by Crystal Dynamics' B-Team and it shows. Without Amy Hennig in charge and other people like Richard LeMarchand on the team, it's pretty messy and in my opinion kind of screws up and over-complicates the overarching story. The plot isn't overly interesting and doesn't make a whole lot of sense - dead characters show up for no apparent reason whatsoever - and for reasons that are never explained nor even acknowledged by any of the characters. The whole game is this painfully uninteresting and dull grey-ish colour and it completely lacks the aesthetic and artistic appeal of the previous games.
Defiance tried to up the ante in terms of combat, which I liked, but it does so at the expense of much of the puzzle solving which is a shame. What puzzle aspects still exist are derived directly from SR2 in that you're going around imbuing your Reaver with various elemental upgrades in virtually identical fashion to the previous - an oddly uninspired cop out for such an otherwise innovative series. The writing and acting is again first rate, but more than anything else I thought this game was let down by poor level design. You spend half the game running around in circles inside these Vampire Citadel chambers which all look the same and all re-use the same assets and environments. These areas which as I said make up a pretty hefty chunk of the game, are frustrating, confusing and simply not fun to play. I feel like Defiance needed another 6 months of development at least.
Overall I'd rank them: Soul Reaver, Blood Omen, Soul Reaver 2, Defiance, Blood Omen 2. The first three are great, Defiance is average and Blood Omen 2 sucks. But again, the newest game in this series hit in 2004 - these games are old. How they're going to feel for someone playing them for the first time at this point might not do them justice.