rAge 2013: Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 Doubles The Action, Platforming And Fun
Vampires are no longer what they once were, in popular culture. Likewise, playing the bad guy is not quite the shocking piece of artistry it once was. But MercurySteam obviously don’t care that much and they’re trying to do both vampires and playing the antagonist in a single game. And it’s looking amazing.
The Castlevania reboot, Lords of Shadow, released a few years ago to mixed responses. Hardcore fans of the classic series mostly snubbed the reboot and dismissed it as a Castlevania title that had completely departed from its roots, whereas others were a lot more welcoming toward it. We fell into the latter with our thoughts of the game, where we thought that it was a great title and a very interesting game to play. Sure it harped on at times but it did enough just right that it was worth the experience. And the story… the way it’s presented and told is truly worthy of the time spent hacking away at large and unnecessarily tough enemies.
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When I stepped up to play Lords of Shadow 2 at rAge 2013, I was expecting more of the same but with a graphical update. Boy was I in for a surprise when it presented me with an entire platforming area mixed with combat, and whereas in other games you will get platforming areas with combat in between, here the combat was interspersed with the platforming.
A Paladin was the enemy of choice for the demo, where you would fight him and then he would back off to recover and take shots at you from afar, presenting you with opportunities to start climbing. You were then required to bait his shots to clear a path for you, upwards and onwards. In between these, the Paladin calls in reinforcements to attack you and hinder your progress.
With regards to combat, Gabriel (aka Dracula) no longer has his holy cross, however his attacks are quite similar to the first game but with minor differences. Now he has a sword for Light attacks and uses his fists for Dark attacks, with a special type of attack for when neither mode is activated. Mixing these modes together makes for more complex combos, much like the first game. Being Dracula also affords Gabriel certain other special abilities such as executions in which he drains the blood of his victims and heals himself.
To be completely honest, I think that the Castlevania series had a strong showing at rAge this year; in many ways it was better and more enjoyable than the latest God of War title, and it certainly had a better story offering. Wouldn’t you want to know why you’re playing a former holy knight turned vampire overlord, returning from the undead after years in hiding? I know I sure want to see what’s next.