Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 is an adventure modern/ metrovania game created by Mercury Steam and Published by Konami, anyone that has read my previous review on the Mirror of Fate will know that I was looking forward to this next and last in the Lords of Shadow series and it did not disappoint. However like ones first love it feels like it has ended too soon.
Lords of Shadow 2 starts off with you, Dracula, sitting on his throne looking rather depressed and thoughtful until you are rudely interrupted by the ‘brother hood of light’ trying to knock down your door to kill you. This then later starts a pretty big fight with a gigantic titan and golden flying paladin ( believe me not the weirdest boss in this game) which then leads to you blowing up the whole army with the paladins own sacred cross only to end with Alucard coming out of the mist and decay. Initially this struck me as very odd as it didn’t seem to be a random event but didn’t fit in with the story .However without spoiling anything this becomes important later. After this seemingly odd start like using a map and getting nowhere until you realise that you’re looking at it in the wrong way and not only is it upside down but that its actually the cereal box you had this morning. We are introduced to Dracula in the modern age after a brief info dump in case you haven’t played the previous two games and told that you must team up with Zobek to regain you’re power to stop the return of Satan. This game does feel like you require some experience to the previous games as when you are introduced to Zobek you clearly have distrust however it never explains this but then again I guess Dracula would be less inclined to help him if he said “hey remember that time when I got you to kill all the other lords and then tried to kill you to become the lord of darkness myself” and “how’s the wife and son”. There is rarely a game that can make a villain seem like a hero however with how the story is constructed and the brief jumps back to Draculas castle you see that Gabriel is still in there and as just as ever and makes you feel even more pity to his poor cruel fate.
The previous entries where great in its depth and feel of an organic and real world of Castlevania is much the same, however when they stated it was going to be the most open world Castlevania ever created I assumed there would be interesting side quest and stuff to do out of the main mission but then again “but keeping to the old Castlevania style” should have alerted me to the false promises like my rather soppy first metaphor. Open world means an area where there is lots to do and a certain amount of freedom however just by allowing you to back track to areas to pick up secrets you may not have found does not constitute as this and is like calling a wolf a dog – as their similarities end when you try to domesticate your new wolf and loose an arm. This and with the progression of the story line meaning that streets are practically deserted apart from only things that want your blood which if I’m honest the way Gabriel goes through it probably wouldn’t be an issue, then again I guess he has now adopted the name Dracula so opening doors/ anything with any other bodily fluid would not just be a waste but more unnecessary and disgusting then Jeremy Kyle and the shows that have spawned from it. Lords of shadow 2 did keep to feeling just like a Castlevania game and I think is probably the most up-to-date formula you could ever use and maybe that’s why it wasn’t disappointing and fun but felt that there was something missing.
The mechanics of the game are quite simple with a stealth element during some parts of the story involving distracting and turning Dracula into a group of pretty evil looking rats to chew on wires and get stamped on. The combat is what you expect from a Castlevania game which seems to have taken major inspiration from the skill system from the first Darksiders, in this I mean just like normal Castlevania you have to move through levels gaining items to unlock areas in other areas however you have to buy skills with souls dropped from the enemies and for some reason in-animated objects too. Also you can level up your weapon by using these skills a certain amount of time. In fact the hack-slash combat is very similar. However similar this is to Darksiders, when obtaining different skills it actually changed the combat style I was using and the combat felt a lot busier than that of its slightly slower confused twin. This and that to max out the weapons didn’t take a ridiculous amount of grinding and just felt natural. The bosses were Farley punishing forcing you to change up what you were doing in order to survive and gave you real feel that you were fighting something.
Overall I would actively encourage anyone to play this and it is a shame that the game feels so short even with the Kilodus’s challenges (an arena where you have to complete certain challenges and that I expect it will get overlooked due to the bigger games coming out this year. If you like games like Darksiders then I would especially recommend this. Then again I think a game that involves a guy named Dracula on his quest to kill Satan in a modern city and if that doesn’t sell you’re an idiot that deserves to be burned alive by Satan and his giant wale…….. Nope that isn’t me and it’s in the game original thought, and no I’m not making any jokes about an Immortal Vampire that bears the name Dracula and can kill Satan, I will never look at rats in the same way again.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.