Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – First Impressions

Its been a couple of years now since a Castlevania title has graced a platform that I’ve played. Last I played was Order of Ecclesia for the Nintendo DS. However, Mercury Steam and Kojima Productions have served up a new console outing for the long-running franchise.

It promises to do the world of Castlevania justice in a 3D on a home console, which no Castlevania has successfully managed to do to date.

Currently I’m part of the way through Chapter 2, and for the most part I’m impressed. The trailers and such made the game look good, but part of me was always unsure. Even though the game is only really a Castlevania by name at this point, it is still performing strongly. If you’ve played God of War, Devil May Cry, Dante’s Inferno then you should pretty much know what to expect from the combat in the game.

Probably the most disappointing thing I’ve discovered so far is a lack of interest in exploration, this comes from the game’s Devil May Cry stage-based structure. It isn’t a big weakness, but I do enjoy the ability to explore the world inside games and from the trailers it looked like this one was going to great to explore. Unfortunately you find yourself bound to progressing from one stage to the next. Again, this isn’t a giant weakness as the game still plays really well, I just would have preferred a more open structure.

The game looks really nice, except for a few character models that for some reason seem to be less detailed than others. And the score is fantastic. Definitely a must-get for anyone who considers themselves a fan of video game music, this is an example of it at its finest.

I’ll write up more as I progress further.

  1. MarkHarris
    October 13, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    I agree more or less with what you said about the game. Combat gameplay is really good, I enjoyed. There’s defintely a castlevania vibe to the stages too, even if it lacks the gothic overtones of the classic series.
    Story-wise it’s not that great, but hey, the story was never that much important in the vania universe.
    I just didn’t like the ending, which I thought was thrown there just to amaze players. (I won’t say anything, I hate spoilers and of course you have way more stages before the final one)
    The only other flaw I’ve found was the narrative pace, I found it too clustered between the beginning parts and the ending, resulting in too many cutscenes near the end and almost none in the mid-stages.

    • lemonmanx
      October 14, 2010 at 10:31 am

      I’m already worried about the ending, since we know a Lords of Shadow 2 is heading into development. As for the clustered cutscenes… maybe that is Kojima’s influence, haha.

      But yeah, I’m enjoying it so far for the most part. Hopefully it holds me.

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