PS3 Previews: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Preview

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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Preview

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Scheduled release date:

Q4 2010

Publisher:

Konami

Developer:

Mercury Steam

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action

While some of the long-time fans curse the day their beloved Castlevania franchise went 3D, we all have to accept the current state of affairs and realize that 2D action/adventure titles will never again be big-budget blockbusters on home consoles. Perhaps you will still find them on handhelds and mobile devices, and the advent of digital media could mean finding such throwbacks on the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live service from time to time. But for the most part, it’s 3D (and even true 3D, in some respects) all the way. And this might not be a bad thing at all, as Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is shaping up to be one heck of a game, and one that should finally placate all those bitter veterans still pining for a Symphony of the Night sequel. Besides, certain traditional elements will certainly return; we’ve got the chain whip and holy water, and even a nod to the past in regards to the design and structure of the environments. I’ll elaborate in just a minute but for now-

The main character is Gabriel and although story details are few and far between, we know he’s on a quest for the God and Devil Masks. Gabriel will be smack dab in the midst of an intense action extravaganza that will likely remind gamers of God of War III and Dante’s Inferno; developer MercurySteam is even including a variety of platforming and puzzle elements to help flesh out the gameplay. At the same time, we will have the now-familiar fixed camera that has proven quite effective in games of this nature, primarily because the combat typically requires all of our attention. Battling with the camera is often an annoying task when battling hordes of nasties at the same time, while on the other hand, there are those who would prefer to have that freedom. For our part, considering that we’ve seen excellent examples of a fixed camera philosophy for hardcore, slash-‘em-up action experiences, we’re willing to give Lords of Shadow the benefit of the doubt. And given the footage we’ve seen thus far, it all seems to work rather well.

That Combat Cross of Gabriel’s really is a nifty – and uber-deadly – weapon, even if it does immediately remind one of Kratos’ Chaos Blades. But based on the information we’ve gathered, it would be a mistake to assume that battling might come down to button-mashing: the combat should be very fast-paced, faster than that of either God of War or Inferno. In this way, one should probably expect the speed of a Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden, complete with plenty of player control; being able to quickly rip off diverse attacks is always a plus. We’re also hoping that we’ll be able to change up our combo attacks in mid-strike, and perhaps even switch weapons on the fly, ala Dante. See, Gabriel will have sub-weapons in addition to the Combat Cross. The Castlevania veterans will certainly remember these; they would come in the form of throwing knives, axes, or other special little extras, like the Holy Bible in Symphony of the Night. The sub-weapons for Lords of Shadow haven’t been detailed as of yet, but we know they’ll be important.

Then there are the Light and Dark magic tiers, which should add even more depth to an already intriguing combat mechanic. These magic abilities will either enhance your attacking ability or provide Gabriel with valuable defensive buffs, and we’re willing to bet that you won't be able to unlock all Light and Dark spells in one play-through. In this way, it seems like inFamous or Inferno, where you had two separate skill trees of sorts, and you had the option of spending your earned experience on abilities from either discipline. Speaking of earned experience, Gabriel will rake in the necessary points via orbs, which will be dropped by vanquished foes; a very common theme in action games today. Lastly, we’ve heard there will be references to the older Castlevania titles throughout your 50-mission adventure and if you wish to complete the entire quest, you must reach 200.6%. …now, if you’re not familiar with that number, you’re not familiar with one of the greatest games in history…

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, while definitely featuring familiar gameplay elements, should still be easily recognizable as a Castlevania entry. And with a stellar voice cast combined with beautiful sets, the game could very well be one of 2010’s best efforts when it releases later this year.

4/19/2010 Ben Dutka

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Comments (30 posts)

LimitedVertigo
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 9:53:17 PM
Reply

Oh SOTN how I adore you and keep coming back to you. I have no doubt this game will not come close to matching it in any way.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 11:25:57 PM

I'm with you. But then again, what COULD match SotN?

Perhaps the bar is just too high...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 12:34:11 AM

You'd think it wouldn't be too hard to take what made that game great and translate it into a 3D world.

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Dridion
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 1:23:44 AM

Was gonna say the same thing as Ben. I'm still skeptical about the game, but the fact that they gave us a nod with the 200.6% completion is a good sign indeed. I, however, never got that last .3%. Not sure why but I would always, and I mean ALWAYS, end on 200.3% lol. Still, we can dream that it'll return to it's former glory.

Last edited by Dridion on 4/20/2010 1:25:06 AM

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DemonNeno
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 10:00:53 PM
Reply

I am totally looking forward to this! I'm still wondering how the gameplay will tie into the historic 2D games. The Combat Cross IS what I thought it'd be.. Somewhat, which I'm very happy to hear! Thanks for the update, Ben!

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Darthvintage
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 10:04:55 PM
Reply

although i still wanna slap Dave cox

this new title intrigues me

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 10:19:38 PM
Reply

Hope it's as cool as it sounds, I really hope it is still very Castlevania-y because while I'll take all the GOW style game play I can get, there are certain staples that need to be adhered to lest it become a whole nother animal.

Regarding the fixed camera, I'm of two minds. I like being able to dash or roll with the right stick, but in order to be effective I need control of that camera. I can't tell you how unfortunate the platforming elements of GOWIII became just because the perspective was messed up or something was off screen.

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Alienange
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 10:35:51 PM
Reply

Well, the whip has taken second place to some combat cross... I guess I'll have to live with that. Although I think I'll switch to that huge hammer most of the time.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, April 19, 2010 @ 10:45:34 PM

yeah I'm not happy about my trusty whip being a support device.

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BigBoss4ever
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 1:09:59 AM
Reply

this one, The Last Guardian and FFv13 are my top three priority for the remaining of the year and next year.

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sunspider13
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 1:49:25 AM
Reply

Is Gabriel a Belmont? That's my main question. And yes I am still waiting for the return of Alucard. I still think that when Alucard comes back (yes I'm still hopeful) I think that they should have a 2D prolouge and then the main 3D game. Just my two cents.

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___________
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 2:28:04 AM
Reply

looking forward to this, ive never played a Castlevania game but its looking really interesting.
its a shame though, can some one show me the rule where it says 2D games must be confined to hand held systems or online stores?
i downloaded dishwasher the other day after hearing so many good things about it and that alone proves 2D games can be better than any 3D game out there!
hell even the weapon prototype mode of shadow complex, im having a blast with that.
or even bionic commando rearmed.

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Dridion
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 3:08:59 AM
Reply

Also Marvel vs Capcom 3 was just announce with teaser trailer. Can't wait and I'm glad 2d style fighters are finally back!

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Jawknee
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 3:17:52 AM
Reply

This game looks kind of ugly.

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kraygen
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 3:37:52 AM
Reply

when castlevania was big I didn't have anything to game on, so I missed out on all that, but that will allow me to go into this with an open mind.

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slimey
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 3:58:15 AM
Reply

I'm looking forward to this. I've never played SOTN or any of the classics, but did have a go at one of the new 2d games on DS. I thought it was really good but in the end it was too darn hard for me to get through, probably the hardest game I've played for donkeys years.

What I would really really love is a new Onimusha game for PS3. I really dug the slower more considered combat in those games, not to mention the lavish graphics & gorgeous art. Come on Capcom!

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 5:23:52 AM

You have a PS3...you have the PSN...you have $10...

BUY SOTN, you have no excuse for not having played this game.

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slimey
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 7:06:59 AM
Reply

No excuse other than that here in the UK on the Euro PSN we typically get treated like numpties by Sony and don't get such games.

Sony's treatment of Europe can be added to my list of dissatisfaction's with the PS3 from yesterday's blog

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 7:42:48 AM

I looked and it shows its been available since 2007 on your PSN Store so............

I do agree though, Europe sure seems to get the shaft when it comes to new content on the PSN.

Last edited by LimitedVertigo on 4/20/2010 7:42:53 AM

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___________
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 7:47:55 AM

yeah, theres not enough paper in the world to list the content the US store has that the EU store does not.

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rell
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 9:17:47 AM
Reply

The last castlevania I think it was call curse of darkness that was on the ps2 was ok. Im looking forward too see wat they bring to the table with this one. Off Topic: have anyone seen Marvel vs Capcom 3 trailer?

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slimey
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 10:25:07 AM
Reply

I've searched high & low on the store but no joy.
Presumably it's under PS1 Classics?

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 12:08:55 PM

Yes....it's a PS1 Classic..................................................................................................................

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slimey
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 12:40:12 PM
Reply

I got myself a US PSN account, and there it is, SOTN, not to mention other games I desperately want like FF Tactics. I couldn't believe the amount of content on there. Now Ihave to work out a way to spend some $ with a UK bankcard....

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BikerSaint
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 7:59:42 PM

Slimey,

Are you able to buy PSN money cards where you're at?

I'm not positive since I've never used one, nor do I have other country's account yet, but I think using a PSN card would probably be the way to buy without letting on you're in a different country.

(But If I'm wrong, then hopefully someone else here can also post some help to you).

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Vivi_Gamer
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 3:17:46 PM
Reply

Nevr really been into the series i have played one on the Snes before, but just did not get into it, looked at the introduction to SotN, Is the story well made, because i am curious to see what i have been missing. If someone could infrom me if it is necessary to play the previous titles, in chronoligical order, i would be rather greatful.

Edit:
Good lord!, just went on wikipedia to find out theres been like 20 titles... are there many spin offs, are a part of the main story?

Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 4/20/2010 3:19:42 PM

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LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 4:34:23 PM

They're old school games so the storyline tends to take a backseat to the gameplay. You really don't have to play them in order. Whatever you do play SOTN, NOW. It's really that amazing and everything about it holds up well even today.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 4:41:24 PM

Come to think of it most of them are pretty different and weave in and out of the main series. But the crux is usually the same: Kick Dracula's monkey ass.

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Kai200X
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 @ 8:16:05 PM
Reply

SOTN is my only favorite Castlevania game. I was kinda looking forward to this game until the producer? Dave whoever said something bad about Uncharted 2, so now I am sour and not really looking forward to it.

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slimey
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 @ 3:13:46 AM
Reply

cheers BikerSaint.
I've looked into this, and store cards are probably the way to go except they seem awful pricey. Typically a $20 sells for £20, which is a rip-of. Another option is possibly setting up a virtual credit card with someone like wirecard.com. At least there are ways to access all the great content on US PSN....

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