It’s been three years since the initial release of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow on consoles, but PC now merits the opportunity to wield the infamous franchise. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition, in a nutshell, not only offers enhanced HD visuals, but includes both DLCs, Reverie and Resurrection, deeming it the definitive version of an honorable Castlevania entry.
The dedicated Belmonts take arms once again to thwart the underworld in their ongoing effort to rule the world of men. Rather than have humans vs the condemned, The Brotherhood of Light takes on the Lords of Shadow. Seeking an ancient artifact of unspeakable power, players must guide Gabriel through a supernatural world brimmed with omnipotent adversaries and demonic creatures bent on barring your efforts.
With the inclusion of the aforementioned DLC packs, the narrative has a more fleshed out feel, naturally. Patrick Stewart and Robert Carlyle bear superb performances as the questionable Zobek and stalwart Gabriel. Their convincing portrayals lead the way for an entire cast, equally exceptional in their roles.
The much expanded Dracula mythology, even after three years, still yields intrigue and captivation. The impassioned route of the Lords of Shadow story is a dark, violent and refreshingly welcome rendition from the usual Castlevania lore. It all fits, despite housing no continuity to the series.
Unfortunately, there are no new additions or more-so, fixes to Ultimate Edition. The same manageable, yet underwhelming platforming mechanics return, same goes for the linear paths and environments - while visually impactful - deceptively allude to Metroid esque exploration, only to disappoint with invisible walls and selective climbing sections.
The camera is still fixed, which causes more heartache than anything else; especially when searching for items or worse, combating numerous enemies at once.
Qualms aside, the easy to pick up - yet hard to master, fighting system justifiably remains intact. Knowing how and when to use your array of whip lashing tactics, coupled with timely blocks, counter attacks and magic abilities still makes all the difference. There’s no denying the enjoyment in flinging 4 enemies into the air for a devastating whip combo, sending them crashing to the ground, just in the nick of time to counter block a mini boss in one swell swoop. Smooth and satisfying come to mind in regards to combat.
HD is bliss:
The graphical prowess of CLOSUE is the most obvious takeaway in this three year old re-release. The variety and detail housed throughout the terrains are absorbing. We found ourselves pausing numerous times just to marvel at the lush vistas and exposed art direction.
Additionally, the fixed frame-rate and hiccup issues present in the console iterations were nowhere to be found in the PC version. A silky 60fps casted itself throughout the entire campaign; even during the demanding titan battles.
Boss clashing cinematics dazzle from shot to shot and never cease to enthrall you. If you have rig that can handle resolutions at a pretty 2560 x 1440, then prepare yourself for an impressive visual escapade in Castlevania Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition. The presentation easily matches present day power houses. It’s that good.
Late as it may be, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition is still worthy of any gamers’ time. Obviously, if you own the console version, you’re set, but if you skipped the game in 2010, then a $24.99 - including DLC - price tag is more than fair. It may stray from the usual Castlevania plot line, but the essence is ever present, and the expanded mythology diligently adds to the legendary fable.
- Fun combat.
- Impressive boss battles.
- Stunning visuals.
- Reduced price with DLC.
- Dull platforming.
- Fixed camera is cumbersome.
- Limited exploration.