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‘Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2’ review

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2” was released on February 25, 2014 for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC. This installment in the “Castlevania” franchise focuses on what happened to Gabriel Belmont, now Dracula, after the events of “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow” and “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate”.

Dracula holding up a huge heart from a boss
Dracula holding up a huge heart from a bossKonami

Story:

The story can feel somewhat lackluster to start with as Dracula awakens without his memories. Between cutscenes that throw some quick story at you and tell you what you’re doing next, it honestly just feels like you’re running from battle to battle with little purpose beyond ‘Zobek told you to’. It’s very easy to remember what you’re doing, as none of it’s rocket science and there are convenient quest markers and a reminder in your journal, but it’s very easy to forget why it matters that you’re doing. There’s no sense of urgency to the story.

As the story progresses toward the end it does throw in some interesting twists that bring the story together, as well as return Dracula’s memories.

Gameplay:

Controls in and out of combat are very responsive. Combat skills are easy to input, not requiring any strange hand positions or wishing for more than two hands in order to make them function properly. The rat form, which enters you into stealth mode, is easy to use and the shadow puddles required to enter in and out of stealth mode are placed perfectly for the missions that require them, meaning you don’t have to guess if you need to enter stealth mode or not for a specific area.

Mission objects are clearly marked with a light around them to indicate what skill should be used on them to progress. For example, a light blue light around an item means you should use the void sword weapon on it in order to progress. Paths you should follow in order to proceed are also clearly marked with bats, indicating where you need to climb or jump.

Foes and levels:

The bestiary is dynamic, with many different types of mob monsters and bosses that require more than just brute force to defeat successfully. The levels also provide a lot of various environments to move around in. From scaling the Brotherhood of Light siege tower in the beginning of the game to a modern day city and a medieval castle, there’s plenty to ogle, climb on and run past. That levels aren’t all ground-level and must be scaled upward and sideways adds additional layers to your playground.

Rating:

Overall, the game deserves an 7.5/10. The story is a slow burn, that can easily kill it for someone who’s not a big fan of the previous games, but fans will find it easy to get involved in and be happy they stuck around to the ending for the twists and turns to be revealed.