Castlevania Lords of Shadow Review
TL:DR at the bottom.
Castlevania, is a game series with a long, storied past. I’ve been a fan of this series for quite some time, and have played a few other titles. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, flew under the radar for me. I heard a lot of controversy over Castlevania switching from a 2D side-scroller to 3D since Lament of Innocence, but was always willing to give it a chance. I kept my expectations low for this particular title, mostly because I didn’t know what to expect. Those expectations were met with flying colors. (Mostly red colors, red liquidy colors.)
At the very beginning of the game, you get PATRICK STEWART narrating, which is already an automatic +2. The first few stages do an excellent job of setting the stage for the game. Humanity is under siege from the creatures of the dark. Gabriel, a member of the Brotherhood of Light is dispatched to aid the village, and put a stop to the assaults once and for all. Gabriel is a grim, brooding man, which his voice actor Robert Carlyle, nails (lol vampires) perfectly. This game has some of the best voice acting I’ve heard in a long time. The story isn’t groundbreaking, but does compel you to find out what happens next. Regarding difficulty, I played on Knight, which would be considered the hard difficulty. I found the game challenging, but never unfair, with only one particular boss bringing me to frustration. The puzzles in this game were interesting. One makes you use the spilt blood of a recently-slain enemy, navigate said blood through a magic maze, and fill cups with it. If you don’t get the blood in at a certain time, the blood evaporates. Brutal.
The set pieces for this game are amazing. Several times I found myself stopping and just enjoying the scenery. The lighting is fantastic. I found myself taking screenshots of the scenery many times throughout the game. While some of the areas they send you to are a bit generic, the way the game presents those areas is what really counts.
The combat is great for an action-adventure game. It is deep, but not intricate enough to get confused by it. You have many options while fighting the smaller foes you face. That being said, some of the bosses can be rather tedious. However, they are still interesting to fight. Some of which you have to climb a la Shadow of the Colossus, and find their weak point and stab. While on the topic of climbing, the platforming in this game is great. The controls are nice and responsive, and there were many cases where I would feel my butthole pucker from a crazy jump. Many times I experienced vertigo myself.
Castlevania games are known for huge expansive castles, defeating huge bosses, taking their powers for your own and backtracking in order to reach places you never could before. This game carries that tradition, with power-ups for your weapons being on a ledge you couldn’t reach before but now can.
The music in Lords of Shadow is poignant. It captures the feelings of despair, regret, and anger, with melancholy sprinkled in. The soundtracks fit the game’s moments perfectly. Many of the boss fights were made even more epic thanks to the soundtrack.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. It was a fun experience that manages to bring you in, with great settings and characters, fun combat, and great presentation and story.
- Voice Acting
- Story drags at times
- Bosses can be tedious
8/10 would vampire hunt again.
Review by Yamazaki