Castlevania is undoubtedly one of the most venerable series of all time; many even consider it to be a cult series. Read our review of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2.
Although the Lords of Shadow reboot (released in 2010) was developed in Spain it still carried a solid Japanese vibe, mainly due to a persistent caring eye of the producer Hideo Kojima. As a result we had a beautifully designed pro-western-world game that conquered the hearts of both critics and devoted fans of the franchise.
This sequel to Lords of Shadow was developed by the same MercurySteam, but this time without an increasingly busy Hideo Kojima. So, what do we have? Not as much as we would like to. Really, calling this a cult game would be a stretch.
The first impression after playing few hours in LoS 2 is very clear – God of War 3. Apparently, game designers consider it to be a fundamental example of any commercial slasher, so just copied the combat system as it was. But hey, isn’t progressive thinking should be exactly the foundation every designer relies on and not just bland copying? Not in this case.
Combat system is not the only sin MercurySteam has commited, they’ve shamelessly copied God of War’s lighting system as well. But alright, let’s forget about this for a moment and look at the cut scenes – well, aren’t these boring? Yes, they are. They simply drag and make as much sense as any generic TV soap opera. Although, should be interesting for those who haven’t played the first LoS, otherwise just skip it.
The story takes place in two different time layers. The characters have interesting backgrounds and this must be the only game in the series since the very first one where Dracula is actually a protagonist. The screenplay is not that bad, but a few dialogues could be shorter and carry more meaning, but that’s fine, too. We also get some very nice voice here from the likes of Patrick Stewart.
What about the gameplay? Well, we think that developers intentionally tried to include the doubtful stealth system in order to make it look slightly different than just as a bland copy of the God of War gameplay. Actually, stealth here is so bad that it completely ruins the dynamics of the gameplay. But we can’t say that the game itself is bad, on the contrary, it’s very engaging.
In conclusion, LoS 2 is nowhere near “the perfect slasher” game and it barely supports its cult status as the part of Castlevania series. Some of the previous installments were much better, but you should try this one, nonetheless. It may become one of your favorites, just don’t forget to connect your gamepad, because if you play the PC version using keyboard – it’s going to be a tough ride.
RFR Score - 3/5
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