I'll be the first one to proclaim my love for the classic Castlevania franchise, and while Lords of Shadow was considered by many to be a great game, I found myself wishing that more of a bone had been tossed to series fans. After playing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 on the floor here at E3, however, there isn't a single title that has me more intrigued and wanting more.
It feels like a perfect storm in terms of story, visuals, gameplay, and music.
So about that bone that I wanted as a classic fan? Lords of Shadow 2 takes place 1,000 years after the events of Lords of Shadow, which is after the adventures of Simon Belmont and Alucard -- so it ties it quite nicely into the timeline and references some of my fondest Castlevania memories.
Dracula is back, but in a weakened state. Wanting to be released from his immortal bonds, he's making a pact with Death to defeat the Devil himself. Meanwhile, he also has to deal with the Belmont clan who are eternally out to get him. I don't suppose playing an evil character is anything new, but you find yourself rooting for Dracula even when facing the supposed "good guys." I seriously want to play this game and find out how this story pans out.
Of course, you get to play as Dracula! The opening sequence places you in Dracula's castle, fending of waves of knights and a massive siege weapon that you must climb and disable in Shadow of the Colossus-esque fashion. The Dark Lord has a number of abilities at his disposal, including a sword that drains life from enemies and gauntlets that break through enemies' defenses. You can also drink the blood of your foes and unlock a number of other abilities as the game progresses, such as transforming into mist or glamouring your enemies.
I have to say outright that I'm not a fan of these kinds of action titles (Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden, etc.), but found the platforming elements introduced by scaling the siege weapon in this portion of the game to be refreshing. In terms of combat, you'll still run around in circles and attack the back side of your opponent like in most of these games, but you really feel like a bad ass doing so in Dracula's shoes. Being Dracula is really more compelling that I ever thought it could be, and the fluid controls and visuals really lend themselves well that feeling of domination over your opponents.
While we haven't been able to confirm, my guess would be that we're hearing the return of Lords of Shadow composer Oscar Araujo in this game. As a chaotic scene unfolds in the E3 demo (the castle is under siege, remember), the music is big and bombastic, but not in such a cheesy fantasy way that it's a turn off. It, again, highlights your role as the powerful Count Dracula, and given Araujo's track record with the original Lords of Shadow soundtrack (it was great, and I fought for "Dead Bog" to be included in our top Castlevania songs of all time), I have high hopes for this game's soundtrack as well.
I do, however, think that the game's music provides the perfect opportunity to tie together Castlevania and old and new. Araujo could totally do a serious orchestral version of "Vampire Killer" or "Bloody Tears" and still stay true to the vision of Lords of Shadow while throwing fans like me a kick of nostalgia. What do you think?
For me, going into this year's E3, it was all about Dark Souls II. But now, I have a new favorite. The Lords of Shadow 2 demo was fun even though I'm generally not a fan of this genre, and I think that says a lot. How often do you find a character that really compels you and a story that leaves you intrigued and wanting more?
We'll have more coming about this game leading to its winter release date, but in the meantime, chime in and let us know what you think of the original Lords of Shadow and what you've seen of its sequel thus far. Are you thirsty for more?
Well, this is awkward. Not only did Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 review fairly poorly across the board, now we're seeing former developers step into the light and call out Spanish development studio, MercurySteam, for poor ...more
Konami has a nice seven-minute video on the musical score for upcoming game Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. As a fan of the music from the Castlevania franchise, I appreciate that they went all-out on this soundtrack, with w...more
Konami has released another developer diary video for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 where members of the team at MercurySteam describe their approach toward designing the modern city which now surrounds Dracula's castl...more
A new trailer featuring the principal players of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 emerged today, celebrating the cast of voice talent assembled for the final entry in the Lords of Shadow series. It's hard to go wrong...more
Konami has released this new video featuring Dave Cox and MercurySteam's Enric Alvarez as they expound upon the development of Dracula's character in the forthcoming Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. They also go a bit into wh...more
This trailer for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 highlights story over gameplay footage and while I normally prefer for the opposite to be true, I'm fine with it here. If you've become invested in this trilogy, you may agree....more
Some time ago, Konami revealed that Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 was not coming to the Wii U, much to the ire of fans. But now, we now why that is, and I'm just glad it's not GamePad related.
Take it from Konami's Dave Cox ...more
Taking to Twitter after a fan inquiry on a possible Wii U version of Lords of Shadow 2, Dave Cox, producer of the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow series, shut the prospect down entirely.
"Sorry to disappoint you but no chance," ...more
Although the trailer debuted earlier today, Konami has just dropped a website for Lords of Shadow 2, giving us some introductory info on the game's story, as well as some concept art, screenshots of the trailer, and a few Mer...more
There's been a resurgence of Metroidvania games in recent years thanks to crowdfunding but not all of them have lived up to our lofty ambitions for the genre. Many haven't. As such, I hope you're not so skeptical as to avoid...more
Heart Machine pushed back its wildly anticipated Hyper Light Drifter from the previous June 2014 release to the end of 2014. Heart Machine's Alex Preston, talking to Jonathan Holmes at PAX, explained that, while they're stil...more
La-Mulana was regarded by some as the hardest game ever. This isn't going to change, though Nigoro's Takami Naramura wants it to be slightly more intuitive so perhaps all those deaths don't lead to warranted frustration and ...more