Nosgoth was a free-to-play multiplayer action game, developed by Psyonix and published by Square Enix for Microsoft Windows through digital distribution. It was a spin-off from the Legacy of Kain series of action-adventure games, and took place in its eponymous fictional universe. Nosgoth employed a player versus player system in which each match consisted of two rounds. Teams were composed of characters assigned to one of two races: vampires, designed around hack and slash combat; and humans, whose gameplay was styled after third-person shooters. Between rounds, teams would switch to control the opposing race, and the team which accumulated the most points by fighting their counterparts won the match. Initially announced in June 2013 following internet leaks, Nosgoth was the first Legacy of Kain-associated game to debut in almost ten years, preceded by 2003's Legacy of Kain: Defiance. Though once intended for release as part of a single-player project, Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun, it was reconceptualized and continued development as a standalone title following Dead Sun's cancellation. When officially revealed in September 2013, Nosgoth attracted negative reception for its conceptual departure from the traditional single-player and story-driven Legacy of Kain formula. Initially beginning its closed alpha and opening up its servers to registered players in late 2013, the game's open beta began in January 2015 and ended in May 2016. On April 8, 2016, Square Enix Europe announced that Nosgoth's servers would shut down on May 31, 2016. Nosgoth's official forums also shut down on June 14, 2016. Nosgoth chronicles a previously-unexplored span of time in the events of Soul Reaver: the centuries between Raziel's execution and Raziel's resurrection, both events originally depicted in the introduction to Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. Since the collapse of the Pillars and the holy war, Nosgoth's oppressed human population has carved out a harsh existence in slavery and exile, largely relegated to life as food in Blood farms. The land's emperor, Kain, and the Council – his six lieutenants – reign over the heartlands with their vampire clans. When Raziel, Kain's first-born lieutenant, betrays his master, Kain condemns him to execution in the Lake of the Dead. Before long, however, Kain himself disappears, abandoning the empire. Using the Chronoplast to travel through time, he departs in search of a means to restore health to the corrupt Pillars of Nosgoth, and the world itself. Kain's surviving lieutenants remain to shepherd the decadent realm, but quickly succumb to mistrust, infighting, and, ultimately, civil war. Raziel's leaderless progeny, the Razielim, become victims to persecution from their brethren, and, now unrestrained by Kain's leadership, clan falls against clan. Nosgoth's humans capitalize on the escalating state of turmoil and distraction among the vampires to escape the blood farms, rekindling their own civilization. Rebuilding cities and recovering skills over hundreds of years, the human slaves come to represent an increasingly credible threat to the vampire race. They form an army, and a devastating attack on their enemies' outposts begins. The clans settle their disputes and reunite in an uneasy alliance to quell the insurgency. The new war between both races for domination of Nosgoth ensues.
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