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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 preview

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“YOU’RE WRONG!” Konami’s Dave Cox and MercurySteam’s Enric Alvarez rebuked when I suggested it must be difficult having to appeal to the entirety of Castlevania’s splintered fan-base.

Castlevania has a long, long history you see. It started off as a more traditional sort of gothic hack-and-slash platformer, and those Classicvania games have their own fans. Koji Igarashi’s Symphony of the Night ushered in the Metroid-styled gameplay that many fans now associate with the series.

Lords of Shadow, the first really successful attempt at bringing the series in to a 3D perspective doesn’t really ascribe to either format – and  while criticized by fans on both camps it has managed to build its own loyal and passionate fan base. In fact, Lords of Shadow is probably one of my favourite games from 2010.  Its those fans that they’re appealing to with Lords of Shadow 2. So what is it that makes a good Lords of Shadow game? Mostly, it’s in the combat, Cox asserts – and that’s the biggest and most instantly noticeable change in Lords of Shadow 2. Saying anything about Lords of Shadow 2 by necessity spoils the first game- so if you’ve yet to play that and would like to, you might wish to stop reading.

Castlevania-Lords-of-Shadow-2_2013_07-18-13_011

Once again voiced by Robert Carlyle, we play as the fallen hero Gabriel Belmont. Tricked by fate, he’s no longer the man he was. In fact he’s no longer a man at all; he’s the enemy of the Brotherhood of Light he once championed; Dracula at the height of his vampiric prowess. We start with Dracula’s medieval castle, under siege by the Brotherhood for reasons unclear. No longer in possession of  the Combat Cross, Dracula instead uses a magical blood whip; Blood Magic, as you’d expect, forms the basis of much of Dracula’s repertoire. and yes, that includes sucking the blood from hapless, nigh-vanquished foes.

This time out, instead of light and dark magic which could be applied to any of the game’s weapons, we have the Void Sword and Chaos Claws; colour-coded weapons that work similarly enough to the light and dark magic, but come with their own unique and necessary attributes. You’ll use the quick Void sword to suck the essence from the living, adding to your own life-meter at the expense of mana, and the Chaos Claws, great golden gloves that they are for stronger attacks and to rid pesky humans of their shields.

paladin

The siege, led by a flying, gold-armoured Paladin is made more immediate and  terrifying by the fact that it’s being driven by a giant magically-powered colossus of a golem. Yes, like in the first game, it seems we’ll be fighting against, on top of, and inside Titans again much like we did in God of War – a game that Lords of Shadows just can’t avoid comparisons to .

Playing as Dracula in a Castlevania game doesn’t mean that it’s just all whipping and biting though; thanks in many ways to a new camera system that’ll allow you to actually control the thing, this sequel opens up and becomes more of a Darksiders-like open world adventure – set in modern times, apparently –  with more puzzle solving and back-and-forth than the previous one. A little more like Symphony of the Night, in fact. So perhaps, despite insistence Konami is trying to appeal to more people.

titan

Still, that Titan stood no chance. It was all a little too easy; Dracula is immensely quick and powerful – and as this is the beginning of the game, has me believing that it’ll ascribe to the common trope of taking all of the nice powers and abilities away from you and forcing you to collect them all again. And honestly, I have no problem with that if it’s fun. Right now, I really can’t tell. The demo I’ve been playing is just far too short to really tell. It seems like it builds upon everything established on the first game, but I worry that the new combat system might actually limit the combat options instead of expand upon them.

Still, I find myself getting rather excited at the prospect of more Lords of Shadow; where it excels, more than other games under the Castlevania banner, is in the narrative – and I’ve been waiting to find out exactly what happens to Gabriel for well over two years now.

Last Updated: August 12, 2013

34 Comments

  1. Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    August 12, 2013 at 15:33

    And you win the internet for SoTN reference

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      August 12, 2013 at 15:58

      Have at you!

      Reply

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        August 12, 2013 at 16:07

        Be gone monster!!

        Reply

  2. Hammersteyn

    August 12, 2013 at 15:40

    Did I just hear Patrick Stewart?

    Reply

  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    August 12, 2013 at 15:42

    Is this the one coming to PC or is it the first one? Because it looked pretty cool.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      August 12, 2013 at 15:47

      The first one is coming to PC not this one, sorry boet 🙁

      Reply

      • Jordan

        August 13, 2013 at 00:21

        This one is coming to PC. Its releasing on the PS3, XBOX 360 and Steam platforms. Both the trailers of the game and the director of the game David Cox state this.

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          August 13, 2013 at 07:12

          Sweet,I couldn’t find that out but maybe they can bundle both then.

          Reply

      • Zoran

        August 13, 2013 at 11:42

        Actually no Los2 will be for pc as well ^^

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          August 13, 2013 at 12:02

          Nice!

          Reply

          • Zoran

            August 16, 2013 at 07:55

            Indeed. Some sad news, but could be false.. It seems Los2 will be delayed until Feb 14th or 17 next year.. bummer, but still a rumor we will see in gamecon. Also they have a collection coming out 29 oct this year that will have los1 the 2 dlcs mirror of fate in hd and a demo of los2 still a rumor don’t know yet.

          • Hammersteyn

            August 16, 2013 at 08:22

            You will see it faster than GTA 5. I just do not understand the delays.

          • Zoran

            August 27, 2013 at 22:53

            I’m not sure, but it gives me much more time to polish anything that looks wrong maybe add more new things monsters places etc.. or dlcs? I hope they take this time to make a collection bundle or something in that nature.

    • Exalted Overlord Geoffrey Tim

      August 12, 2013 at 15:49

      The first one is the one coming to Pc…it’s AWESOME. This is the sequel.

      Reply

  4. Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    August 12, 2013 at 15:50

    Is Alucard in this? I remember seeing him in the trailer, huge Mind F**k

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      August 12, 2013 at 15:51

      I saw a reasonably pale guy in the trailer. That would be awesome if it’s indeed him!

      Reply

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        August 12, 2013 at 15:54

        But a total mind f…well finish the game hammer then you will know why

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          August 12, 2013 at 16:00

          FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU

          Reply

  5. Skyblue

    August 12, 2013 at 15:52

    I thought the first one was okay. Big fan of the old school 8 and 16-bit games and found the first LOS title to have more than a mild case of God of Wartitus/Darsidersfluenza.

    Reply

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