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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Review
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I haven’t enjoyed a Castlevania game since Simon’s Quest in 1987. So to say that I was skeptical when I picked up the new Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is an understatement. There were certain things that drew me to pick this game up. The fact that the combat system had been totally revamped was one. The other was that the graphics in the game were so good, and the game was so long that it required two discs on the Xbox 360. And in my experience as a gamer, anything that comes on two discs is a win.

In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (LOS) you play as Gabriel Belmont (Robert Carlysle; The Full Monty, Formula 51), a new hero to the series and out to prove a simple point, he doesn’t take shit from fucking vampires, werewolves, or any other undead son of a bitch who stands in the way of him reuniting with his beloved Marie. Guiding Gabriel on his path is Zobek, voiced by the legendary Sir Patrick Stewart, whom is famous for such roles as Professor Xavier in the X-Men film series and for his portrayal of Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek.

los1 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Review

The combat system in Lords of Shadow has been completely revamped. We have progressed from the days of the side scrolling originals and the Metroid-Vania style games from the late 90’s into a style fresh to the series. LOS proves that you can take the God of War base fighting mechanics and put them into any medium and it will work. We have seen this earlier this year with the release of Dante’s Inferno, which in my opinion was a fantastic game.

Besides the God of War-esque combat, you will be guiding Gabriel through several platforming and puzzle solving sequences all of which will challenge you more than the last. Some of the puzzles are simple as hell, while at times you may find yourself screaming at the TV and then quickly turning on the computer to check a guide of sorts to help you through this difficult game. I found the gameplay to be very fun and challenging overall. The amount of depth and thought that went into every puzzle and enemy you face is absolutely amazing.

So with all this great combat and interesting puzzles, it would be a pity if the game didn’t look good. But as I mentioned earlier, two discs people. Konami didn’t disappoint. Lords of Shadow graphics are stunning. I literally couldn’t wait to get to another cut scene while playing just so I could marvel at the textures and all the pretty colors. And with an engrossing story to boot, you will find yourself unable to put the controller down at times.

los2 Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Review

The sound of the games combat can also be compared to the likes of God of War. Where the sound really shines is in the soundtrack. While walking through the castles of this mystical world you can’t help but feel like you have just slipped into an epic horror film like Bram Stoker’s Dracula or Interview with a Vampire. If you have the option of picking up the collector’s edition do so, because it comes with a copy of this potentially award winning soundtrack.

So at the end of the day, did I enjoy Lords of Shadow? YES! This game is, in the words of the legendary Frank West, fannnnnnntastic. With a franchise that has spanned 24 years, and has been off my radar for quite some time, for Konami to ship a great game like this is a testament to old school developers everywhere. I think it is an absolute shame that this game hasn’t gotten more press and marketing. With over 25 hours of gameplay, I couldn’t get enough and I am looking forward to playing through this game again on a harder difficulty so I can get 100% completion. If you are a fan of Castlevania or God of War for that matter, go and pick this game up.

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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