Published on March 21st, 2014 | by IceCube
REVIEW: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
Summary: Long-running series, Castlevania, gets another crack in 3D land, this time in a very confined, but technically open-world realm. Dracula is a badass in the sequel to the third-person hack-n-slash game, which switches between classic gothic settings with modern-day urban areas.
Concept: You play as Dracula, who is actually Gabriel Belmont from the previous games, Lords of Shadow and Mirror of Fate, turned vampire. This story about your fight against satan’s minions to remove your immortal curse is detailed and well chronicled, but not in an interesting way whatsoever. The characters are dull and unlikeable, and despite a strong effort, the story is told poorly.
Graphics: It doesn’t have the polish of bigger budget games, as it’s very shadow-heavy and a minor texture pops appear here and there. However, the gothic settings of both past and present eras are well-imagined and designed, adding a lot of life to a game about dead people. Satan’s demons are also both interesting creative, presenting us with a large assortment of unique enemy types that sometimes go a little too far, like the inexplicable mechanical gun-wielding nazi mutants.
Gameplay: Fighting is melee combat mixed with timed blocks and dodges. Your infamous chain weapons return and you can interchange between the void sword (for healing hits) and chaos claws (for smashing shields). It takes a bit of mastering and enemies are quite merciless from even the start – all of them having this irritating ability to knock you over in one hit, then hit you again on the ground before you can rise. There’s also a silly amount of wall-hopping, as you are forced into too much wall-climbing and have to “bounce” from ledge to ledge excessively and impractically.
Sound: The musical score may be unlike the traditional tunes of the series but it does maintain a cool, church-gothic vibe. Celebrity stars as big a Partick Stewart do some voice acting for some of the characters, but even they are unable to lift the dribble of a story to engaging levels.
Awesomeness: The idea of playing as Dracula is an enticing one, but as creative as the setting looks, getting through the game feels like a chore at times. Many concepts are broken bits of borrowed material from other games, with hints of Uncharted for wall climbing, God of War for gameplay and Devil May Cry for combat, all striking strong similarities, but never executed as well.
Final Word: This sequel is a flawed, but playable adventure game. Dracula and the supporting characters struggle to grow on you, and a poor story further weakens any chance of appeal or desire to press onwards. Visual elements like the gorgeous set and character designs are highlights, but ultimately the gameplay is an uninspiring procedure.
Score out of 5 bugs
Summary: 1 = Poor, 2 = Average, 3 = Good, 4 = Great, 5 = Amazing