Developer: Mercury Steam
What they say: This remarkable Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection combines the award-winning Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, two additional DLC chapters, the complete Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate HD adventure, and an exclusive Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 demo.
• Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Full Game w/ Resurrection and Reverie DLC
• Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate HD
• Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Demo
Explore Your Dark Side
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and its additional Reverie and Resurrection DLC chapters follows Gabriel Belmont, a holy knight charged with protecting the innocent from the malevolent Lords of Shadow and their evil creatures, as his murdered wife’s spirit guides him to his ultimate destiny.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate HD
The story continues as the descendants of Gabriel Belmont battle their own destiny only to discover their true, shocking fate.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Demo
Gives gamers a glimpse into the epic conclusion to the breath-taking Lords of Shadow trilogy.
What I say: I certainly do love the Castlevania series. From the first game on the NES to the “Metroidvania” games on the GBA/DS. But I had my doubts when I heard that Konami handed off development of the beloved series to an external developer, that being Mercury Steam. I’m sure the idea was to give the series a fresh coat of paint and with Kojima (he of Metal Gear Solid fame) advising and producing, this should have been a no-brainer, right? Well, the news isn’t so good kids…
I tried Castlevania: Lords of Shadow back in late 2010 when it originally launched and let’s put it this way; I was not a happy boy. To me it felt like Mercury Steam missed the entire point of the series and its gothic trappings, taking away the fabulous level design, perfectly tuned play control and the history of the title. What we got was God of War dressed up as Castlevania, a “reboot” according to Mercury Steam. Reboot; is there a more hated word in relation to entertainment? I doubt it. This was done in order to broaden the series appeal but in the end what we got was something that made neither crowd happy. But it sold well enough so we have DLC and Mirror of Fate to continue on with. The game itself is still quite gorgeous and holds up well in the graphics department. Level design is disappointing though with linear paths and tons of invisible walls to stymie you. The environments are so well executed it would have been nice to explore them more. Combat is ok with square and triangle being your basic attacks and L2 being your dodge and R2 being grab/use. L! and R1 activate your light and shadow magic respectively. The problem lies however with all the quick time events, anytime you finish a big monster off get ready to push those buttons on time! Yawn. Also new this time out are the large Titan bosses. These encounters go like Shadow of the Colossus as you must scale them to take them out.
The voice acting is really impressive featuring the likes of Patrick Stuart and Robert Carlyle, but the dialogue they are forced to suffer through is quite awful. I felt myself constantly cringing at what was being said. As for the storyline, man I don’t even know where to start. It is so needlessly overwrought and full of crap it is impossible to take seriously. Basically we have another Belmont who belongs to the Brotherhood of Light. He is sent to find The Lords of Shadows in order to unite the world to the heavens again. Yeah, I know. So you begin your never ending fetch quest meeting some buddies along the way including a woman who will nag you until you scream while you are trying to complete objectives. Meanwhile God and the Devil show up and there is betrayal and blah blah blah. The game ends with a twist that will make any true Castlevania fan weep tears of real blood. The two DLCs fill in the gaps from the end of the game to the final cut scene and set up Lords of Shadows 2. They are basically more of the same and just as ridiculous.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadows: Mirror of Fate HD (Dear God! What a title), which initially appeared on the 3DS, attempts to give us an old school side-scrolling Castlevania while adding the feel of Lords of Shadows to the adventure. But isn’t that like taking a Ferrari and covering it in mud? I do have to admit I enjoyed this more than the main game but it in no way stands up to something like Symphony of the Night.
The game does try really hard to emulate the “Metroidvania” games but it’s a little too simplistic to really pull it off. And if you hated the twist at the end of Lords of Shadow this game will likely make you jump off your roof. IF you’re a newcomer to the series it’s fine but sheesh. Graphics are fine if unimpressive and as I said I did actually have a bit of fun with this.
And finally we have the Castlevania: Lords of Shadows 2 Demo. Without venturing into spoilers the game pretty much plays the same but the graphics have taken a sizeable leap and look pretty damn impressive. If you liked the first game you will like this but if you’re not a fan Lords of Shadows 2 probably will not win you over.
I really tried to give the game a fair shake as I never finished it back in 2010. I thought maybe some time to get used to it would help but nope, the storyline still sucks and time hs not done the dated feeling gameplay any favors. If you are a long time fan of Castlevania, avoid this like the plague. If you’re not or you dig God of War, give it a shot, it might just be right up your alley.