Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Xbox 360

Game Description: Lords of Shadow is a major reboot of the Castlevania series, departing from Koji Igarashi's 2D Castlevania games on the Nintendo DS. Players take the role of Gabriel in this 3D action game, with an emphasis on combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving.
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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow New Trailer Impressions

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow New Trailer Impressions

By Andrew Pfister - Posted Apr 12, 2010
First of all, apologies for not actually having the trailer so you can follow along with what we’re talking about. Konami’s being stingy with video about the game (weirdly so, since it was their Gamers Night centerpiece and you’d think they’d want people to start getting excited), but it looks like that’ll have to wait for E3 in June.
What Jake and I got to see was a fairly lengthy trailer of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow in action. It started of with some moody music and character intros, then went right into a gameplay montage. Here are our impressions:
Andrew:  What struck me most about the trailer is that despite producer Dave Cox touting Lords of Shadow as a “love letter” to Castlevania, actual elements of Castlevania were the last things I noticed in the trailer. What I saw was a battle system like God of War, environmental climbing and navigation akin to Uncharted 2 and Assassin’s Creed II, Shadow of the Colossus-style “Titan” battles…basically, MercurySteam’s wearing their inspiration on their sleeve. Not that I’m criticizing, as each sequence actually looked pretty good…but I’m worried about just how far they’re taking this “reboot” concept to heart. I mean, the lead character’s last name still is Belmont...
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Jake:  All I could think of while I was watching the trailer was “And this is a Castlevania game, why?” The game clearly takes significant cues from God of War, Shadow of the Colossus and even Dante’s Inferno for that matter with all the holy imagery and its story of trying to reconnect with your slain wife who is stuck in purgatory. What’s more concerning though is that Konami appears totally content with being unabashedly derivative. Of course, the original Castlevania games inspired an entire generation of gothic platformers, including the ones Lords of Shadow is now borrowing from, so it’s a strange position for Konami. They just better hope that Sony puts off remastering Ico and Shadow of the Colossus the way they did with the first two God of War games, or at least hope that Lords of Shadow comes out before it.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Andrew:  The Titan battles were shown out of context with the story, so we could be missing an important explanation of why something like that is in the game, but just seeing it in action (Belmont grabs onto giant beast, climbs around to glowing weak point and attacks) feels like someone said “hey, this was cool in SOTC, we should do it too.”
I’m not going to argue that Castlevania doesn’t need a reboot, quite the contrary. I’ve always wanted to see it work well in 3D, and despite the “sampler platter” approach, they seem to be taking the right items from the right menus. Unlike the previous 3D games, Lament of Innocence for example, the battle system and level design seems incredibly vibrant and flexible. But you can’t honestly tell me that the essence of Castlevania platforming is balancing and slowly walking across a wooden beam.
And here’s a question…is there room in this new universe for Dracula? Or is that too old of a trope now?
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Jake:  I agree that Konami is looking to a solid set of games for inspiration, but those franchises are so fresh in gamers’ minds right now that it could end up hurting them. Maybe Konami is hoping people will have forgotten about Dante’s and God of War III by the time Lords of Shadow comes out, and that could prove to be a wise perspective. At this point though, I’m not seeing a whole lot here that I haven’t seen before, and that’s disconcerting, because, like you said, I’m jonesing for a kick-ass next-gen Castlevania game. Like I said before, Konami is in a weird position in terms of the whole “where are we drawing our inspiration from?” situation because the original games inspired so much of the kind of free flowing, whip-based gameplay made popular by series like GoW
I’m also a little bummed that I find myself more concerned with how Lords of Shadow will differentiate itself from other hack-'n-slash adventure games than I am with the game itself. I wish I could be all “Wow! That Titan battle looks crazy!” as opposed to “Wow! Is it me or does that Titan battle look like that one from that other game?” Having said all of this, the game does look visually striking, and the level and character designs look pretty fantastic, as does the combat. I’m just not entirely sold at this point, but that could easily change as we learn more.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Comments are Closed

  • senormarcos

    WHO CARES about the correlation between Castlevania and other game franchises like GoW or Assassins Creed or what have you!! This is CASTLEVANIA we're talking about! I think that when its all said and done, the fans will come out and be all over this game. I mean, like it was stated in the "impressions," we've all been waiting for a kick-ass next-gen reboot of the Castlevania series. I think, for me, I always hoped that I was playing a Belmont character instead of Kratos or Altair. I think what I'm trying to say is we've all been waiting for this game to come out in this format for a long time and its finally about time...

    Posted: April 23, 2010 8:58 PM
  • sasukefanjustin

    i play gears of war its aweesome to me, and i am a huge fan of castlevania, the last one i played was castlevanie for the 64 and that was an amazing game within itself, no matter what people say, im looking forward to a new game, and call if what u like,compare it to what you like, in one way or another, every game takes some sort of inspiration, from somethign else and in one way or another, one game and another game will have things in common, jus tthe way it is. so stop complaining, be happy were getting a new game from an old classic coming out.

    Posted: April 17, 2010 2:29 PM
  • agentj3000

    Though God of War and Dante's visuals/gameplay & boss battles may look and feel the same as Castlevania, I haven't really been interested in playing either of them. The story does account for a lot in a game. The first GoW just looked like it could have been called "Monster Smash". And Dante had zero tact or class although it was visually stunning. And I admit, that Super Castlevania IV really had no story at all, but it was a lot of fun to play. So where are we left? I don't mind the games looking similar, but I don't want to play as a character hell bent on killing for killing sake (GOW), or Dante's over the top excessive violence and shock value. I like some refinement in the evil, and the original Castlevania's delivered that, so if they can stick to that element I think it will be a great game.

    Posted: April 14, 2010 2:10 PM
  • Malapropism

    i realize that they're probably just calling this a castlevania game for the sake of those few hardcore castlevania fans, but should game publishers really be afraid of just being forward and saying that this is a new game not related to anything else?

    Posted: April 14, 2010 10:06 AM
  • stenndog

    i dont care about the likeness to GOW, or Colossus, all thats mute.

    The castlevania 64 iteration to me was a success because they did something igarashi could not in his 3D renditions and that is capture the FEELING and mood of being IN transylvania. its not just about rediculous combo's and eye popping graphics, its about the mood. its about being completely outnumbered by the enemy, and being dwarfed by the sheer grandeur of the castle grounds. about the music lending to your singluar focus that you are not only alone in castlevania but now that you've set foot in it, there's no turning back.

    the belmonts aren't gods, or superhuman so far as we know, their mortals. thats the appeal. if mercury steam can capture that successfully, once we get into the story and inside the confines of the romanian countryside everything else should flesh out.

    Posted: April 13, 2010 6:51 PM
  • RickAstin

    I got that feeling for a lot of games recently....God of War always had the massive "titan" fights...though naturally on PS3 it's fully realized....then I get FFXIII and pretty much the first thing you see on pulse is a titan....still fit in that tale to a degree....but I never expected to see something like that in Mass Effect 2....seriously? a WTF moment that has all the elements of being awesome...but IMO the reaper in said form was very out of place...

    Posted: April 13, 2010 4:19 PM