Conclusion: Mercury Steam has achieved something very impressive with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow . This is a successful and highly entertaining reboot of the series but, more than that, Mercury Steam has managed to move the game out from under the large shadow of Hideo Kojima. Kojima's influence is apparent but it falls short of being the defining feature of the game.
Summary: Castlevania: Lord of Shadows
borrows from several popular games (though ones whose intrinsic value or lack thereof are left to the reader to determine for themselves). The look, feel, and even gameplay of
Shadow of the Colossus
God of War
emanate miasmically through every fiber and pore of this game, belching forth a foetid stench to offend the nostrils of any true
fan or purist.
Pros: One of the most beautiful games I’ve seen in awhile. Very nice job, graphically speaking.
Cons: Not a, Castlevania, game., Not very dark, “spooky”, or gothic – it’s a daytime action fest with werewolves thrown in for good measure., Some of the bosses are just too big and over the top, reflecting the true, Shadow of the Colossus/God of War, orientation the developers were shooting for here. This ain’t, Castlevania, in any way, shape or form, kids.
Excerpt: Narrated through the voice of long time actor, Patrick Stewart, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is the re-imagination of the beloved Castlevania series. It’s taken another bold attempt at the 3D direction, but this time with the assistance of the mastermind behind the Metal Gear Solid series, Hideo Kojima. You take the role of Gabriel Belmont, an elite holy knight and member of the Brotherhood of Light. The world is in chaos and monsters run amuck.
Excerpt: Behold! A lurching, ancient creature, limping, stumbling through the undergrowth towards you. Grave dirt slides off its flanks, metal bolts stick from its neck. Built from an ramshackle collection of other games and brought to life by the combined power of MercurySteam, thunder and a Kojima Productions lightning bolt, this Frankenstein’s monster of a game is no doubt alive, but is it fun? Let’s find out… …kinda. Well, that was easy. See you all next time.
Excerpt: First Impressions My reaction is Let me kick-start this review with a short disclaimer. Castlevania was among the first NES games I ever got and I’ve been a hardcore fan of the series ever since. I’ve played almost every Castlevania ever made (barring the ones on the DS and that ludicrous fighting game on the Wii), so when I heard about a Castlevania reboot project on the PS3/Xbox 360 I was cautiously optimistic.
Conclusion: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a successful reboot by MercurySteam. Touting a strong combat system in the vein of God of War, the game features a fairly lengthy quest that is rewarding if you stick with it. The graphics are strong despite a less than 60 fps frame rate and for long-time Castlevania fans such as myself, the music, though strong in production value, is forgettable.
Summary: Since becoming a fan-favorite in 1986, Konami’s Castlevania series has had quite the journey through the ages. It’s had the Good (Super Castlevania IV), the bad (Castlevania: Judgement) and THE Masterpiece (Symphony of the Night. Need I say more?). While the series has mastered the realm of 2D artwork and sprites, the series battles in the world of 3D have almost always been failures and major disappointments in the eyes of fans.
Pros: + Amazing Production values that very few games can rival., + With over 20+ hours of gameplay, plenty of gaming value for your dollar.
Cons: - Gameplay, while good, lacks originality and borrows to heavily from the competition.
Conclusion: It’s unavoidable that, by shirking the labyrinthine puzzling the series has become known for in recent years, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will have its detractors. However, taken on its own merits, there’s ample to enjoy here and, despite MercurySteam’s merciless cribbing from other action adventure titles, it’s the confidence and quality of the game’s design that give this latest series outing its own identity.