Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Review
WORK IN PROGRESS-OLD THREAD RESTORATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Developer: MercurySteam & Kojima Productions[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman]
Genre: Action-Adventure, Hack-&-Slash
Release Dates: NA-October 5, 2010; EU-October 7, 2010
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Trophy Difficulty: 7/10 Moderate
This is the next installment of the Castlevania franchise vamped up to a new fresh style BUT does not fall into the canon of the previous games so take that in mind when playing the story. It's an action adventure game, full of platforming, puzzle solving, an amazing dark story, & loads of combat. It takes a little bit from this and that and shapes up to a pretty solid game. So it's not a God of War clone as some say, but it does have an aspect or two in the combat that feels slightly like it which is just the parts that made previous games work. Another thing you'll notice is the Shadow of Colossus like boss fights as some have said and I fully agree with that on a couple I have faced. Is it as great as Demon's Souls in my opinion, of course NOT, BUT it's a very epic piece of work I feel. Don't be mistaken though, this isn't quite like older Castlevania games but takes some from each and forms it's own unique thing. Closest thing to another Lament of Innocence if that was your flavor however.
Alright, so I'll begin with the combat of this game. You attack with a cross whip and can upgrade(through story related means) various parts of it becoming stronger and giving new strategies to utilize. You also get 2 unique magic abilities, one allowing you to refill your health as you're fighting AND the other more dark, boosts your attack power to inflict maximum damage on your foes.
This game has plenty of puzzles and platforming in between the tons of fighting as well. You'll use that same cross whip to swing in between ledges, climb up to higher points, and even use the enemies as part of your platforming in some instances. You may want to think twice on this game if you're not a fan of it as you will be platforming a great deal, but isn't quite Uncharted level of it so no fears there.
Puzzle wise, pretty simple ones so far, throw goblin grenades into walls, take control of spider and form a web bridge & such. Adds a little extra something to the game and from what I've seen as of now, nothing really terrible like some games have that almost force you to quit playing.
Keep in mind that this title is going to be pretty straightforward, but you do have a level select option to replay any section you may have missed something in previously. So this won't really hurt the game too much, but you can't simply explore the whole world all at once, such as Symphony of the Night... you're forced to complete it in multiple level based sections.
Something I read recently before I begin was that this is a reboot of the series and does not fall into the previous game canon so take that in mind as you are playing. It will take things from previous games and go in a different angle with it, while some things will also not be mentioned at all. Should be plenty of easter eggs of old titles to enjoy .
So far from the story, you take control of Gabriel Belmont who is a warrior of the Brotherhood of Light searching for a way to end the dark spell that has befallen the world and causing creatures to attack. His wife Marie was murdered by them and he is pushed by this to go further and bring an end to the Lords of Shadow who is responsible for this spell. You'll encounter many sorts of monsters such as lycans(werewolves), goblins, vampires, trolls, and plenty more. There are plenty a GRAND assortment of foes to face as was in previous installments.
Here I will detail the graphical aspects of the game and how smoothly it's engine appears to run along with anything extra I feel I need to add as I play. Firstly, game's got good graphic and artwork. Very nicely done with of course the occasional little edge here and there that should of been polished more, but overall it's done as good as imaginable for this tier of game.
Next, one issue I have with it is that sometimes things get a little slow such as the loading in between levels. Not a huge wait, but longer than preferred. About the only real problem I see. As far as gameplay goes and combat, I haven't experienced any lag or slowdowns so that is a plus and appears it loads up everything it needs during your initial wait.
Another issue is the camera angles and the lack of control over it. This is vaguely like God of War with the preset uncontrollable cameras. They will get annoying when you are close to a wall OR trying to look across a gap and can't see how far across you may need to go. Also, it tends to help hide a few things you need to do in the levels.
Then you have the button sequences aren't really clear cut sometimes and hard to see when they come up. Also, it's alot of the same ones, just too many button sequences to defeat halfway regular enemies and pointless really. Just makes the game slow down some and isn't cool. I definitely hate motion control sequences and button presses in the middle of a video OR all the time isn't fun, it's just annoying.
Another thing gonna touch on is the soundtrack. Figure this is the best place to talk a bit about it so just rolling with it. You'll definitely be able to tell the dark operatic sound reminiscent of past Castlevania titles and it is possibly one of the best parts of the game. Soundtrack is on an epic level and surpasses most common age game music by far.
Overall, this game is definitely a worthy buy for most, while others may choose to simply rent and return. An epic story that could keep you drawn in a bit better, but not bad at all. The combat is also pretty fluid and you can easily take on many enemies with the fighting style of Gabriel. Puzzles don't hamper down the game too much and platforming is decently simple and not too overdone either. Everything is pretty simple and straightforward. Decent replay value added in with level select, collectibles, & trials to complete add in to make this game even better.
I give it a 8/10. Pretty solid game, BUT better games have come before it. As others have said and I agreed with in some degree, it's Castlevania with a touch of God of War's combat(NOT A CLONE), Shadow of the Colossus-ish boss fights, & a little Uncharted platforming. One main issue is that the action controls for leaping off surfaces and climbing and the grappling chain are a bit much for being assigned to one button. Also, the camera at times will be hard to see around you and can get a bit annoying. Still shapes up to a great game utilizing a little of the great titles of old with it's own fresh take on them.
Oh and for those trophy whores out there, it's a fun game, with a decent platinum and not too much difficulty required minus some collecting & difficulty trophies with a level select.