hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2's development was troubled

5:30 PM on 02.28.2014 // Alessandro Fillari

Ex-developers cast blame on MercurySteam's managment and culture

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 management and an archaic, ego-driven internal culture.

In threads on NeoGAF, and on the fan forum Castlevania Dungeon, former developers talked openly about how constant changes and lack of communication led to employees coming into conflict with studio director Enric Alvarez and how many of the talent behind the game quit or were laid off throughout development.

Since their original postings, these anonymous complaints were confirmed and validated by other members of MercurySteam in an article from Spanish gaming site, VadeJuegos. In the original forum post, this anonymous developer wrote frankly about their experiences working on the game, even going as far as to saying that the game was not what they wanted to release, and how they anticipated the poor reactions from reviews.

"The vast majority of this team is aware that the game we've done is a real piece of shit that has nothing to do with the first one's quality and production values," the developer explained. "Nobody is surprised by the low reviews we've got."

One surprising detail was that the Art Director who worked on the original title, José Luis Vaello, resigned from MercurySteam sometime in the middle of development, moving to Tequila Works to work on its upcoming title Rime. This resignation was apparently not amicable, as the reasons behind his departure were due to conflicts internally.

As the NeoGAF thread grew with more information, more anonymous MS developers joined the discussion and corroborated many of the details shared originally. Another person went on to state that while the original game's art style was "awesome," the sequel's was that of "Frankenstein" quality. Which was in reference to the changes in the art direction.

They went on to describe how poor communication and lack of guidance was the leading cause for the troubled production. Apparently, it was so poor, that many people on staff found out of about features added to the game from reading press articles. "There weren't any meetings. We found out things lots of times by the press."

Moreover, many of the gameplay additions that some developers weren't happy about were added anyway. Such as the critically panned stealth sequences. "Some of us said, 'But what is this? Are we really doing this? Why rats? Really?'"

Just recently, Enric Alverez of MercurySteam spoke with Eurogamer's Spanish affiliate about the poor press Lords of Shadow 2 has gotten. While he didn't comment on any of the recent reactions from former developers, he did express how many of the reactions from the media are without merit, and how most reviewers shouldn't be reviewing games in the first place.

It's not uncommon to read about drama behind the scenes in game development. However, it's always sad to read that people were struggling to make it work, while dealing with other issues throughout the development period. As a big Castlevania fan, I was really looking forward to Lords of Shadow 2, but I was pretty disappointed with how it didn't reach my expectations.

With the NeoGAF thread still growing, and more developers coming into the light, it's likely we'll still be hearing more grievances soon.

What do you think, fans? Do you think that Lords of Shadow 2 was a letdown? And were you surprised to read about these situations from former employees?

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 thread, MercurySteam vents [NeoGAF]
Enric Álvarez: "Esto que ha pasado es injusto" [Eurogamer]
Desvelamos los problemas de desarrollo de Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 [VadeJuegos]

Alessandro Fillari, Staff Writer
 Follow Blog + disclosure afillari Tips
A San Francisco native, he's an admirer of the city's diverse culture and lifestyle. Prior to joining the staff, he was a contributor and an editor for his college newspaper where he wrote articl... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

nanashi avatarnanashi
Wanna ask a question for tomorrow's PStoid? You still have time! While you're at it don't forget to ask one for Riobux too!!
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I caught a reflective mumbling about MGSV's open structure and how it doesn't sit well with me, to be published whenever I litter it with images.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, an article today got me thinking about this so without further ado, whats your favorite pokemon? This is mine:
Clarence Sheridan avatarClarence Sheridan
Winter is Coming and so is the new mobile game: “Frosty The Assassin” New Mobile Game coming soon... [img][/img]
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
I cast my little worm in to the pond for a topic to try to make a blog about today. I fish fish fish but nothing bites bites bites.
Perro avatarPerro
I cracked and bought Final Fantasy Dimensions on Android last night. Half off sounded like just the right price, though I wish this came out on 3DS or even the Vita but at least it gives me something to do on the porcelain throne!
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Coming soon in Mortal Kombat XXX DLC - HUMILITALITY [youtube][/youtube]
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Those N64-era THQ wrestling games have actually held up really well over the years. Take that, nostalgia!
Halflocke avatarHalflocke
Underhero a 2d side scrolling rpg on indie gogo
extatix avatarextatix
Heading off to Spiel in a bit. A whole lot of games there, just of the cardboard variety. I love me some board games.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Finally finished The Witcher 3. Definitely one of the best games I've played in my 30 years or so of gaming. Now onward to Ground Zeroes/Phantom Pain.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
*playing an old ps1 game* "START and SELECT don't bring the menu up?! WELL WHAT THE FU-oh, it's Triangle..."
TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
If anyone's playing Marvel Puzzle Quest (any platform) you should join my Alliance, RedRightHand, and help me kick some Galactus butt for their second anniversary event. (Please?)
Shinta avatarShinta
MGS Online Day 3. I have 3 character up to level 10 now, one in each class. They're all pretty handy, but I do miss the scout's mark speed the most on other classes.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The SW: Battlefront is pretty and has great sound design, but the gameplay is so shallow and has seemingly no depth! If the full game is like this I will be disappointed.
Torchman avatarTorchman
*looks at Amazon preorder* This one's for you Chib'
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Dear Playboy: Love your video game coverage, but how about you start making some topless unboxing videos? Seeing someone unwrap a copy of Call of Duty is boring. Seeing a topless Playmate unwrap a copy of anything is awesome!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
In happier news, Level-5 is already talking Yo-Kai Watch 2's Western release, and better/worse yet, they're considering amiibo support for the series! And hey, if they can't get Jibanyan into Smash, that'd be one way to get the West's attention.
gajknight avatargajknight
I drank a glass of Ovaltine for the first time in years today. It was nice. Like drinking a glass of my childhood, complete with ignorance, embarrassing angst, tears (so many tears) and night terrors. Ah, the good 'ol days.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] This is just depressing. Digital classics on consoles are such a great idea, but it's like not a single company wants to really go through with it.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2

  Jan 28

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 environment explored

Developer video sets the stage for Satan's return

  Nov 07

Insights into portrayal of Dracula in Lords of Shadow 2

Developer says he's "more human than previous incarnations"

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -