Preview of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Castlevania:  Lords of Shadow 2 Box art

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

by Brent Roberts

July 1, 2013

Welcome back my brave children of the night.  It has been sometime since we last met and I'm dying of thirst.  The world that once knew me has shunned me and my once feared disposition has now just become a myth.  There is much to tell about my latest game Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 but there is only so much I can tell you about at this point in time.  What you need to know is that this power, this curse is not a blessing in disguise.  I yearn for the time when this burden can be lifted from what I hope remains of my soul.  XboxAddict had a chance to delve into LoS2 at this year's E3 and what they found.... well I will let them speak for themselves.

With the ending of the original Castlevania Lords of Shadow causing a rift to form in the world of the Prince of Darkness, we as gamers were left with anticipation as to when our questions would finally be answered.  Well Konami started talking, and we started listening.  From what we gathered about the base of the plot, Dracula is looking for salvation but at what cost, we don't know yet.  We started our demo back in time where our castle was becoming overrun and it wasn't long before fresh veins come knocking on my doorstep.  Sitting there with an empty chalice, these knights had no idea what was in store for them.  After casting down the chalice we stood up and welcomed them into our hall with a deceitful smile.  This is where we got our first taste of what kinds of power Dracula actually wields.  One artifact were these fire gauntlets that allowed us to break down enemy shields, and another artifact that we got to wield was the Void Sword which drained health with every hit and replenished ours.  What though, would a Castlevania game be if you couldn't feed off your foes?  After dealing damage to your opponents they will stand still with a glow about them and it's in this moment that with a push of a button your lunge at them and ravage their necks with your fangs.  The control scheme seems much more responsive to the original and what surprised us was that there was a pretty good camera system in place.  Sometimes in 3rd person games you run into problems with the camera control and that is due to bringing in as much of the environment as possible at one time.

After going through most of the basic "training by combat" we came face to face with what could best be described as a Heavenly Centurion whose sole purpose to exist was to obliterate me for good.  Armed with two flaming swords and the ability to fly he became a serious force to reckon with.  We fought hard and eventually wore down his health to the point where a cut scene showed him flying away, but that was because we were introduced to a massive mechanical structure sent to bring our beloved castle crashing to the ground.  This is when the game turned to some platforming strengths as we had to grapple from point to point in an attempt to find the correct path along this monstrosity.  While this was going on, our Centurion friend returns but this time he is targeting you with explosive arrows shot from an angelic bow.  After a lot of close calls we finally made it to the top and discovered the magical source of the machine's power where we then proceeded to taint it by vomiting a massive amount of blood all over it.  This caused the machine to falter and break apart but not before crashing into our castle.

Given that the Lords of Shadow games are supposed to be a reboot of the series itself, Lords of Shadow 2 gets a lot of freedom from what we saw to develop a story that will haunt us for many years afterwards.  The only negative that we could pick on was that the game demo was too short.  The hands on demo was an early build of the game and the overall quality so far leads us to believe that when Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 launches we will be treated to a true gaming spectacle.


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