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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E3 2010: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Preview

E3 2010: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Preview

By Joe Rybicki - Posted Jun 16, 2010

 What We Already Know:

Most of the story and setting: Set at "the end of days" -- and outside Castlevania canon -- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow stars Gabriel Belmont, a member of a do-gooder group called the Brotherhood of Light, on a quest to resurrect his dead wife by collecting three pieces of the Mask of Light.

What We're Seeing Now:

Lots of deliciously arcadey, free-roaming combat. Lords of Shadow features an easy-to-pick-up battle system that seems to offer a surprising depth: Gabriel has an arsenal of combos at his disposal (some of which can be purchased via acquired experience points), as well as the ability to grab and toss enemies. But the game will force players to constantly switch up their tactics, thanks to enemies who will catch on to repeated attacks and respond accordingly to neutralize them.

Naturally, weapons can be upgraded -- not just the trademark Belmont whip, but also secondary weapons. And those secondary weapons add a certain degree of strategy, as well, since each can be used to exploit enemy weaknesses. For example, a silver dagger can do massive damage against werewolves, while vials of holy water decimate the undead. (Speaking of the whip, though: It's not just a weapon, but also a useful tool. Gabriel will periodically need to use it to rappel down walls or swing from overhead projections.)

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Combat itself also has its own strategies, with timing-based blocks and counters that result in over-the-top attacks. And the overall game requires a bit of puzzle-solving as well: As Gabriel gains new weapons, items, and abilities, he'll need to revisit previous areas in the game to reach areas that were inaccessible without the new gear.

But don't let these elements of strategy give the wrong impression; this is definitely an action game. Nowhere is this more evident than in the boss fights, which employ God of War-style quick-time events interspersed with more straightforward hacking. The demo also included a stunning-looking horseback segment, in which Gabriel has to fend off attacking wargs with straightforward combat and more QTE-style button-tapping.

If that doesn't sound interesting enough, the designers fully intend to exploit the fact that this is a Castlevania game -- and a game that can play fast and loose with the Castlevania canon due to its existence in an alternate timeline. That means players will be revisiting areas from previous games, and even encountering classic enemies from the series. And in true Castlevania style, expect lots of hidden items and other secrets -- these in addition to the 20 to 24 hours the designers estimate for a straightforward play-through.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Lords of Shadow clearly has a lot of muscle behind it; not only does the game look gorgeous, loaded with fancy effects and detailed environments, but it also comes packed with an all-star cast of voice actors, including narration by Patrick Stewart. This is looking like the kind of update to the Castlevania franchise that longtime fans can get behind.

Comments are Closed

  • ViberatorBasher

    Dracula is in it dude no doubt, you can see him in the 2010 e3 preview of it and there is a castle, ill give time stamps
    1:02 -1:10
    and by outside the cannon i think they are refering to the fact that it is a reboot of the franchise

    from what i have seen it looks kind of like Dracula family that you will be fighting or something

    Posted: June 17, 2010 9:21 AM
  • Capt. Murphy

    This game has been flying under the radar for over a year now with hardly any coverage from the media...yet, the few articles that you do find all say the same thing: that this looks amazing and should be a great game. I guess since it is not a gears/cod/halo/killzone game - its not worth their attention.

    Posted: June 17, 2010 7:56 AM
  • spicypooptastic

    OMG THAT LOOKED SO EPIC. And I was expecting some ridiculous release date to like comming 2015, but no its out this year!

    Posted: June 16, 2010 11:18 PM
  • Nerdi_Master

    The article says it's outside of Castlevania canon, but I fail to see how it's a true Castlevania game since Dracula is apparently nowhere to be found. It looks cool as hell either way so I'll reserve jjudgement until it finally comes out.

    Posted: June 16, 2010 8:28 PM