Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow II Has You Playing A Vampire That Doesn’t Sparkle
Vampires have been receiving a bad rap these past few years thanks to horrible teenage romance movies and an ungodly amount of glitter, but Lords of Shadow 2 is attempting to give some validity back to the blood sucking race. Yes, in this installment of the insanely long running franchise, you’re going to play as Dracula. Cue some Rob Zombie music and throw away your Edward posters because this might get exciting.
Name: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow II
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: 28 February
Price: R629 (PS3, Xbox 360) R440 (PC)
Some of you might remember the original Lords of Shadow which was a fairly decent game, but suffered quite a lot from the “God of War Clone” stamp. There wasn’t anything inherently wrong with the game and some people genuinely enjoyed it, but it wasn’t good enough to be widely considered as a good game. I’ve played a bit of it myself, but couldn’t find the patience within me to complete it and I’m quite horrible at hack and slash style games. Regardless, it was still a rather solid game. And now we have a sequel for it.
You again play as Gabriel Belmont, who is the protagonist of the previous game, but now he is more widely known as Dracula. Yes, that Dracula. Another big feature that was not present in the original is that the game is now open world. It is unclear if the game will be fully open world with unique side quests, large open areas and so forth. If I would take an educated guess, I would say it might feature an open world akin to Darksiders 2 where you can freely go where you want to, but there are levels contained within the open world. This is all just speculation so don’t take my word for it.
In our hands-on demo at rAge 2013 we remarked that the combat and the platforming have some synergy where you will be platforming and doing combat at the same time, making the game frantic and fun to interact with. For combat you will have two weapons that you can use you will have a sword called the Void Sword for light attacks that can drain the life from enemies and claws called Chaos Claws that act as a heavy attack weapon that breaks shields and gives punishing blows. We also remarked from the demo that the combat feels much like the first game, but slightly different in its execution.
Possibly the most criticized part of the first game was the fixed camera angle that just limited platforming and made combat unnecessarily frustrating. A fixed camera angle in general is a bad design choice because it limits player control and makes the game feel sticky and uncomfortable. Thankfully in this new installment they did away with the fixed angles and opted to use the nice and simple player controlled camera instead. This small change alone will definitely give the game an edge over its predecessor.
The story sounds like all kinds of amazing. You play as Dracula that has to regain his powers so that he can defeat Satan and he does that by going to his castle to regain his lost powers all while his son, with the most creative name ever, Alucard seeks to hunt him down as well as the famous Belmont clan. The developers have commented that the game is much longer than the first game which is surprising because the first game was ridiculously long in itself. So expect some value for money if the game is good.
Suspected Selling Points
- The developers have gone to some lengths to correct the mistakes they have made in the first game.
- New and improved gameplay mechanics as well as an open world is always a plus point.
- Potentially great value for money if the game is as long as the developers have stated.
- Combat seems like fun and can perhaps rival premier hack and slashers.
- You play as Dracula who wants to kill Satan for goodness sake.
- They might not have corrected all the problems that the original Lords of Shadow had.
- The open world might not be as expansive as promised.
- It is being developed for last-gen consoles so there might be restrictions that goes along with that
- Might just be another bland hack and slasher
Lords of Shadow 2 definitely has the potential to an entertaining and worthwhile game. The premise is promising, a lot of improvements are being made and you play as Dracula. Keep an eye on it.