Preview – Castlevania: Lord of Shadows 2
Castlevania: Lords of Shadows was an attempt to reboot the classic Castlevania series into a game more suited for modern players. The original game released a few years ago to mixed reviews and the second is releasing at the end of this year on current generation platforms. I’m in the unfortunate position where I haven’t actually played the first game so I’m coming into this title with a fresh mind, but how does it hold up against other modern games?
Castlevania seems to take a number of pages from the God of War book. Combat takes place in the third person, with most enemies falling to mashed Square and Triangle attacks. Once you weaken the enemies they become vulnerable to grabs, a sequence where the main character bites their neck open in true vampire fashion. You are also given the option to fight with 2 other weapons alongside your standard attacks but they all seem to handle the same, the only difference being that one of them is required to kill certain enemy types. The demo that I played seem to consist of killing waves of similar enemies over and over again with little variation, until you meet an armoured angel (who then proceeds to be a royal pain in your posterior for the rest of the demo). In yet another gameplay feature ripped straight from God of War you spend the second half climbing up a titan. This unfortunately fell at the hurdle when compared to it’s spartan cousin. The titan didn’t have the giant proportions that you’d expect it to and it just didn’t feel ‘epic’ in the slightest. The main falter this sequence had was the fact that you had to climb the titan, something that requires the player to partake in one of the games platforming sections…this is not a good thing. These sections basically consist of following a set path of tiny golden orbs while dodging badly placed traps. These sequences handled horribly with the lead character generally choosing to take a path of the complete opposite direction to the one you intended him to travel in. What resulted was a frustrating number of attempts for seemingly no reason whatsoever, not a plus point In the games favour.
One of the strong points however was the character design, the lead character looks like a bada** and so did the armoured Angel that you end up fighting. The whole world has a very gothic feel to it which is a good thing considering that its what the developers were aiming for. The graphics were decidedly average however, with textures and character models looking bland for the most part.
Overall I can’t really recommend the second Lords of Shadows based on what I played a Eurogamer, the gameplay was average at best, with sluggish combat and frustrating platforming sequences. This isn’t going to be a purchase for me at any point in the near future!
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