Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Review


The year 2010 has been particularly auspicious for the beat ’em all with
already three very big games: Bayonetta, Darksiders and of course God
of War III. It would greatly simplify the pretty trio but did not count
on with Konami Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Castlevania series is
remembered primarily for its securities 2D, Super Castlevania IV (Super
Nintendo) to Symphony of the Night (PS one) through Circle of the Moon
(GBA). Yet it would be unfair to say that 3D has never really succeeded
in the saga of Konami.

While the N64 versions were unfortunate to say
the least but it would be a little too quickly forgotten Lament of
Innocence, released on PlayStation 2, episode carefully, skillfully
blending action and exploration. Since it is true that 3D has not really
smiled at the license with a flap Xbox, Curse of Darkness, at least
failed in its efforts to transpose the legendary Symphony of the night
in three dimensions. With Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, there will now
be a before and after, and no one looked back just in the series by its
2D games.

ABout the game:

The first steps of the Castlevania series pointed to a good combination
of action and platforms, and occasionally adventurous small features,
but overall it was an action title with enough jumps and Dracula and its
minions in the background. But then the series turned and went for the
scan, by introducing many items and sometimes even adventurous own role
and its linear structure left to bet on the scan. The formula has worked
well in two-dimensional Laptop deliveries in recent years, but the saga
has failed to materialize in polygonal embodiments for home systems,
with mixed results, but still did not materialize in any case. Now,
Konami is determined to pose a review of the series looking for their
origins, and does the hand of a development group based in Spain,
Mercury Steam.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a game full of action, with a strong
influence of the last exponents of the genre, especially God of War, but
soon discover that there are many more items that will not just go
straight killing all big and ugly bug that gets in our way, although
that is the most important of the game. The truth is that the game does
not require that we learn too much history to play, but it certainly is
appreciated, and much, because it is very intricate in terms of
Gabriel’s motivations, its character. The game takes us to the year 1047
through a narrative that is through the voice of Patrick Stewart (the
actor who many will know for his role as Picard in Star Trek), but soon
discover that this medieval world, ravaged by a terrible dark magic,
hides a profound drama. Gabriel pursues one goal: to bring peace to the
soul of his wife, or perhaps something else besides, of course, revenge.


The story seems destined to be a complete review of the origins of the
saga, or a parallel story, outside the established canon for the
chronology of the series, it could create a new line of argument, if the
game has enough commercial success and establishes a new sub saga. The
adventure begins with a stormy night. A man, hidden by a hood, rides in
the rain towards a village. Upon arrival, the villagers seem terrified
to see him hope. Driven by a thirst for revenge and the desire to
resurrect his beloved, that man is Gabriel Belmont, solid character
member of the Brotherhood of Light (a group of knights, saints who
protect and defend the innocent against supernatural beings). While
werewolves attack the villagers, the player takes the first orders of
Gabriel. Armed with a crucifix on a chain which has been mounted, the
contestant demonstrates her ease with combat skills. Besides
conventional strikes, it makes the weapon even the enemy chopper in the
air to achieve convincing matches.

In any case, Gabriel is a Belmont, but its atmosphere is much darker, in
a world that, even medieval, has apocalyptic dyes, with the souls
trapped in the world, unable to transcend, and a new key element in the
plot: God’s divine masks and devil. The mask of God can resurrect the
dead, and Gabriel not only seeks to rid the world of evil, but rather
moves through the personal interest to get his wife. To fight these
enemies, Gabriel has a Combat Cross reminiscent of a cross between a
rock tensile Ivy in Soul Calibur and the classic Belmont whip in this
saga, which will gain additional powers to combat and other functions
that allow us to have more mobility, and use it to get hooked and
balanced, climbing, etc.

The fighting follows a current trend: the controls are very simple, but
the control options are quite high at the end. In essence, the basic
movements are done with two buttons on the front of the control, being a
direct attack of limited scope, and one that affects more area but less
energy remaining. The combination of both allows us to execute combos,
and that we must add the leap and use secondary weapons (like the
classic daggers, or holy water, etc.). We can block the blows with the
left trigger (and if you press a direction at the same time, we evasive
movement), and make grips with the right trigger.

But it goes much further: when you kill the enemies we gain experience
points that we invest in acquiring new moves and abilities. Thus, we
learn something in the air dam, new combos, kicking, etc., Etc. Unlock
movements are many, and sometimes we open up more options and better
yet, it seems that we can acquire more and more improvements for most of
the game. This is doing that, ultimately, from a very accessible game
plan, then actually use a few buttons, the combat system ends up being
very deep, with elements that are clearly inspired by major franchises
such as Devil May Cry or God of War.

Another point to consider is that it also integrates more and more
"mandatory" quick time events, ie the instructions on the screen
indicating the sequence of buttons and analog stick movements that we do
to deal with any particular obstacle or enemy. Are common on bosses,
but also in some types of enemies, as in the case of some creatures of
the swamp. Its complexity is very variable, but that also varies
depending on the difficulty chosen. Similarly, action sequences give
room for different gameplay style, such as horseback riding while being
attacked by werewolves’ sides of monstrous mounts, but also changes at
times the pace to introduce several puzzles. In general are very simple,
but they seem very well balanced with the plat former sections that
after all are the main component of Lords of Shadow with brutal action.
However, it will still need to finish the full game to see if you get
this sense of balance is maintained. In any case, we must bear in mind
that the puzzles are by far the less presence in all playable, but we
saw we liked a lot. Provide variety, but it is an action game, not an
adventure of exploration as it has in other titles in the series, and
that has to be very clear.

The movements we acquired also are not just to make nice, because most
are very useful against certain specific types of enemies, though of
course we can pursue in our offensive aesthetic intention, if they want.
In fact, the game encourages, much, integrating the skills we learn,
because even at the easiest and most accessible moments will be tricky.
The usual gender must prove, however, at higher levels directly. The
physical combat is very important, as well as to gain experience, but
Gabriel hides many letters on the sleeve, and will add magic,
improvements in additional aspects (such as life available), and even
the option of increasing the use and effectiveness of different
secondary weapons. Thus, the daggers start as little use (except in the
easy level), but soon expanded our ability to carry maximum 5 to 10, and
then we can improve usability, so it becomes very effective and

The same can be applied to other possibilities in the fight of Gabriel,
is that Castlevania: Lords of Shadow ends up offering extensive
character customization options to adapt to our style of fighting. For
example, start without having few resources for air combat, but very
soon we can begin to acquire these skills. If we do not like that style
of play, just focus our resources in other movements, which will arise
naturally as the game progressed, it has proven to be very well

It is beautifully detailed environments transcribed in which, by their
variety and their sequence, to really feel like to be with the hero
throughout the adventure. We switch to a dark forest swamps unfriendly,
then to head towards the castle of the queen of vampires, not without
having crossed the snowy mountains. If the title abandons intelligently
sometimes claustrophobic atmosphere of previous episodes, the fact
remains attached to the series with, among others, a necessary step in
the Clock Tower and its famous wheels. A more pronounced on the
appearance platform that is not a major success story, here showing the
handling limits. The bestiary also gives immerse the player into a rich
and consistent. Like many others before him, Belmont, and Gabriel will
play just about every unimaginable supernatural creatures: werewolves,
ghouls, vampires, spirits … And on the boss, there are also big fans
of well-known figures among other completely new for the series. These
summarize the intentions of Lords of Shadow. They propose a Castlevania
innovative, not hesitating to depart from the series, eventually come
back better.


Whilst taking in many influences but does not abandon its origins, this
new vintage seems Castlevania keep all his promises. Offering a
beautiful level design, a refined design, despite large traces of
aliasing, an adventure and varied gameplay perfectly calibrated,
everything seems to make gringue to a wide audience fed on God of War
and other action games / platforms. Likewise, the soundtrack is superb.
The atmosphere that manages, together with the kinematic design of many
of its segments, manages to go from epic and thrilling moments, to some
very emotional, through the mystery and other situations.

It really fits well with the action on screen, but on a technical level
we have observed that the music seems to rise and fall of volume alone
at times, so there is still work to the adjustment of their presence,
especially, again, in the narrative sequences. We did not expect such a
level but undeniably, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow strikes a blow.
Lasting exemplary life, rich and beautiful, the game Mercury Steam
surprise as much as passion. You’re done with this title; the series
finally has a 3D episode at its height.




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