An unofficial fan-made remaster of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver HD is now available for download, allowing PC users to experience the classic action-adventure game to the fullest.
The unofficial HD remaster was developed by RainaAudron, who also released an HD texture pack for the game a while back. The remaster is based on the SEGA Dreamcast version, which is considered the best version of the game, and will require the Flycast emulator, as this emulator is able to extract and load textures externally.
On the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver HD Remaster website, RainaAudron also provided more information about the project and how it came to be:
Soul Reaver was a groundbreaking title when it was released in 1999 and is still fondly remembered by many to this day. However, the graphics quality of the three different versions released has not been consistent and although the Dreamcast version runs at 60fps and has higher poly models for Kain and Raziel, the textures for everything else are actually lower quality than the PC or even the PlayStation version. With the advent of emulators capable of extracting textures, I finally had the means to upgrade Soul Reaver to higher resolution graphics.
This texture pack requires Flycast, a Dreamcast emulator, capable of extracting and loading textures externally, allowing anyone to modify Dreamcast games. I decided that after the improved texture pack I released in August 2020 and a demo version for Tomb Raider 2 HD on PC, it was time for me to try something more advanced and challenging. I started working on this project in July 2021. It’s been a long road with many obstacles I had to overcome and I learned a lot about working with textures.
To be able to accomplish this, first, I got a large library of textures. I purchased several sets from Marlin Studios and also purchased copies of texture reference books by famed photographer Judy A. Juracek. As his books were published in the 90s and early 2000s, they are quite expensive and not the easiest to find with an attached CD-ROM. Luckily, I managed to track down the surfaces, natural surfaces and architectural surfaces, all of which turned out to be invaluable reference material.
Unofficial Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver HD Remaster can be downloaded from here. A trailer can also be viewed below.
Currently, options are limited for those wishing to play Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver on modern systems. The game was never officially remastered, and the Steam version of the game was temporarily pulled at Square Enix’s request, and it hasn’t returned yet, as the publisher is believed to be working on major updates. The Japanese publisher sold its Western studios to Embracer Group this year, however, so an official remaster, and return of the series as a whole, now belongs to developer Crystal Dynamics’ new owner.