Reviews and Problems with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
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Graphic violence and nudity make this an adults-only game.
Common Sense Media
2 days ago
Summary: Parents need to know Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 features plenty of graphic violence, blood, and gore. As Dracula, players kill thousands of demons and humans -- all of whom are the Devil's minions -- using melee weapons including a chained whip, a sword, and, of course, his vampire teeth. Body parts get lopped off, and enemies are frequently repeatedly stabbed. Some scenes show multiple dead bodies, demons eating people's flesh, and faces being cut from their bodies.
Excerpt: As reboots go, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow did interesting things with Konami’s famous and much loved series, with developer MercurySteam crafting a game that was as much God of War as it was Castlevania, and it also featured a surprising conclusion that actually saw protagonist Gabriel Belmont transform into the series antagonist, the prince of darkness himself, Dracula.
Conclusion: Playing as Dracula could have been handled so many different ways, and while I don't agree with everything that MercurySteam did with Lords of Shadow 2, the positive aspects overwhelm the negative. This is a worthy and fitting end to a fine trilogy.
Conclusion: Within Lords of Shadow 2 lies a fantastic game desperate to break free of its shackles. Sadly, those shackles remain thoroughly attached, leading to frustration and needless anguish even on the lowest difficulty setting. It’s a game broken up into both superb and unforgivably bad moments, which is a real shame given the love and care lavished upon some of the more detailed environments.
Excerpt: When producing an anticipated sequel, a developer must always walk that fine line between “too familiar” and “too different.” If it’s too much like the original, it will be accused of being a rehash that didn’t require much effort. If it tries to do too many new things, it will invariably annoy fans of the first title.
Summary: Lords of Shadow may not have been the Castlevania game everyone wanted, but I mostly enjoyed it for what it was, and that ending was to die for. It was the perfect segue into Lords of Shadow 2 , which has been teased for nearly four years now as the return of Dracula -- the main man himself -- and a culmination of the Lords storyline.
Excerpt: Always beautiful, sometimes spectacular, yet often uninspired and in some instances outright boring, Lords of Shadow 2 is sadly not the swansong for this generation it could have been. Instead, it's a slightly better-than-average brawler with some killer production values: both a testament to a studio's technical and artistic prowess and an indictment of its combat systems and scenario planning.
Excerpt: Taking place hundreds of years after the original Lords of Shadow and its sequel, Mirror of Fate , Lords of Shadow 2 opens with Dracula -- formerly Gabriel Belmont -- awakening in modern day. Noticeably weakened from his years of lying dormant, Dracula -- filled with grief and guilt -- is seemingly content with withering away in a crumbling cathedral. But when he's approached by his old friend Zobak, things take an interesting turn.
Conclusion: Lacking the focus, clarity and coherence of its precursor, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 fails to satisfy as a sequel or as a game in its own right, delivering muddled game design and little narrative resolution.
Pros: Powerfully affecting soundtrack, Beautiful medieval sections, Sometimes evokes the atmosphere of the first game
Cons: Combat lacks finesse, Too many poor diversions, Loss of scale and spectacle