Everyone knows that 3D and Castlevania are two things that never seem to work together. Every time before a new one is released, we are told that they got it right this time; this will be the good one. And for once, it’s actually true. This is probably the best 3D Castlevania game ever. That may be considered a backhanded compliment at this point, though.
But Lords of Shadow gets a lot right – mostly through imitation. It follows the standard formula used in almost every action game of this era: simple 3D beatemup combat, cinematic platforming, and plenty of key and switch puzzles. Some of the ideas are lifted directly from its contemporaries, like the beam-balancing sections from God of War and the light and dark magics from Dante’s Inferno.
Most of those elements are handled well, and the story is interesting despite the flowery and excessive dialog. The story is narrated by Captain Picard, who occasionally escorts you as an ally. You are also sometimes helped by a horse that talks like a Dracula. But there are some rough spots. The camera is a mess, and it often zooms out until you are a mere handful of pixels or shifts suddenly and locks your movement to a direction that is no longer in relation to the camera angle. It is sometimes too picky about where switches are activated, and the control mapping is messy and sometimes confusing because it relies on too many shift keys and context-sensitive actions.
There’s little here to remind you of any previous Castlevania games. The music, art style, and tone of the game are completely different. It has to be said that this is a long game, and I feel certain that it took me at least twelve hours to complete its twelve chapters. Whether or not you enjoy those hours will not be determined by how much of a Castlevania fan you are, but rather how much you enjoy this type of action game.
posted by chuckles31 (LEWISVILLE, TX) Nov 20, 2010
Member since Nov 2010
I enjoyed the game. I played for a couple hours at a time. The game had a ton of cut sceens which you could easily skip but added to the storyline. Over-all the game play was good and the graphics really were amazing. Even though the game was good, I didn't feel it was as good as Castlevania Curse of Darkness. Some of the puzzles are challenging and it is hard to find some of the hidden items throughout the game. The bosses weren't that hard particularly the last boss. It is worth renting the game and playing for a while. I"ll buy it when it goes down in price or becomes and XBOX platinum title.
posted by Darkside18 (MIDDLEBURG, FL) Nov 18, 2010
Member since Dec 2009
Alright first, this is one of my first Reviews I've written, this isn't really my type of game. It maybe good for some people, but not really my thing. I was fair about the rating. I am going to write, what i thought where the Pro's, Cons, and Ugly of the game.
Pros: The game has good graphics, the puzzles are effective and challenging. The surrounding area is beautiful and well designed. The map detail is another sign of the graphics I spoke of before. The game is fun for alot of people, wouldn't recommend it to old time Castlevania players, it has changed alot.
Con's: While the story being longer is fun, it can get to be annoying. The game take's hours and sometimes days to play. Often you end up wanting to toss it out a window.(Personal experience.) The combat system get's boring after a couple hours, as does the looking for everything. If you miss a detail you have to back track through alot of trouble to find it again.
Ugly: Their wasn't to many ugly in the game, if anything. I would say it's soundtrack wasn't good, almost not even heard through the guy talking. The storyline is rather predictable as well.
Other then the few things, the game is certainly worth a rent. It will take you a couple weeks or a hardcore night. Well have fun if you rent it, you are in for a tough one.