New abilities, music, and camera system shown
In an unexpected surprise here at Comic Con, Konami showed off an extensive hands-off gameplay walkthrough detailing more of the game’s systems, music, and environs. The demo took place a brief time after the events seen in the E3 demo, after Dracula has awoken from his thousand-year slumber and is exploring his castle in an effort to reclaim his lost power.
There are more reasons than ever to be excited about this game, so find out what it was all about below.
As noted, the new gameplay shown was contained within Dracula’s castle. I found it to be dark, moody, and showing signs of decay, and I have to say first and foremost that the music accompanying this area is amazing. We heard building string work that was ominous yet adventurous, and had a strong sense of melody. I can’t wait to hear more of this soundtrack, which we know will feature a return of composer Oscar Araujo.
We were introduced to the free-range camera that allowed us to fully explore our surroundings as well as spot different routes and secret areas that were not accessible at this time. These areas, we were told, will require backtracking once we acquire abilities such as the double jump or mist transformation. This kind of exploration with often turn up hidden relics which can be used to heal life points, increase the amount of experience gained for a duration of time, or even allow you to transform into a dragon.
Another key feature that was re-emphasized was the focus system, whereby attacking your enemies builds up a gauge that, once filled, allows you to use the special abilities of your three weapons: the shadow whip, void sword, and chaos claws. Getting hit reduces your focus, so it’s important that you play this game well to succeed, and even our expert demonstrator had difficulty at times, so look forward to a challenging experience. Additionally, there are specific skill trees for each weapon that can be leveled up, and once a particular skill is mastered, you can improve the effectiveness of that particular weapon.
At this point in the game, we had access only to the shadow whip, but were attempting to acquire the void sword. Along the way, we encountered some marvelous feats of sound design as a chaotic whirl of whispers, screams, and chanting filled the corridor while the floor fell away, giving rise to geysers of blood and stone. Upon retrieving the void sword on the other side of the corridor, the pools of blood and crumbled stone came together to form a stone golem, who proved to be quite a challenge, and exploded in waves of blood when defeated.
Several trappings from the first also game made a return as well, including the travel book that contains a combo list, bestiary, and lore section to read up on the game’s characters and locales, as well as knight’s scrolls to tell the game’s back story.
From here we learn that there are forces persuading Dracula to leave his castle, while the castle itself is rebelling against its master to prevent him from escaping. The powers luring Dracula away from his castle are represented by the ghost of his son, Trevor, who gives Dracula the white wolf medallion to travel between the castle and the modern city areas, while the castle itself senses Dracula’s desire to escape and devises ways to stop him, usually involving the appearance of pools of blood that hinder his progress and turn his minions against him.
This desire to prevent Dracula’s escape culminates in a battle with one of Dracula’s former minions, the vampire orc. This battle was particularly gruesome as the foe is able to knock you down and drive a sword straight through your chest, requiring a series of button presses to remove the sword and beat back the enemy. We were introduced to weapon abilities as well, including freeze projection for the void sword that not only acted as a means to freeze enemies in battle, but can also be used in exploration to freeze water elements to solve puzzles and move forward.
At the end of the demo, I found myself particularly excited about the prospect of exploring the world of Lords of Shadow 2 and discovering its secrets for myself. One of the goals of the team is to make the combat interesting, and I think the variety of weapons and skill trees will do just that.