One of the highlights of my first E3 had to be Mercurysteam and Kojima Productions take on the Castlevania series, Lords of Shadow. If you don’t remember, gone are the days of 2D sprites, replaced with ultra-detailed graphics that are a sight to see. Did I happen to mention that the gameplay was as fun as can be? I’ll start from the beginning of the demo: Your start at a village under attack by a group of werewolfs, the local villagers are attempting to fight back with torches, with little luck.
Gabriel soon shows up and that is where the real fun begins. The controls are pretty basic and for those of you who think the game should be called ‘God of Castlevania’ from what they’ve seen and read so far, you aren’t far off the mark. Is the game a blatant rip-off like Dante’s Inferno? No way! It adds enough of its own twist to make everything feel fresh. For example, once you grab an enemy, a ‘ring’ quickly begins to close, once that ring is completely closed, quickly press the attack button to use a powerful move. This ‘ring’ returns later on as your ride on your house battling a couple of werewolfes through the forrest.
As the enemies slam into you, you begin to lose grip on your horse, so if you don’t hit the button as soon as the ring combines, your knocked off your house and have to battle more enemies. While some gamers I talked to said that the gameplay wasn’t amazingly new or fresh, I enjoyed it as it was still really fun to kill werewolfs and ghouls on your journey to resurrect your lost love.
One of my favorites parts about the demo was something you didn’t even have control of: The rain. As massive amounts of rain came down, rain begins to slide down the screen and splashes here and there. This effect has been used in every Metal Gear game since MGS2, so hey…. Hideo’s magic is at work, even if it was something as the way the rain hits your screen. But hey, this is a major AAA release, so even the smallest details matter to help achieve the best production values possible.
The game’s story was presented in an ancient book, as Patrick Freagin’ Stewart tells you Gabriel’s tale of love and war. The games overall style and design is fantastic and the whole gothic looked were represented beautifully in high-definition 3D graphics. Castlevania fans will be proud!
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow looks to successfully bring the series into the realm of 3D graphics. With the Lords of Shadow arriving later this year, I can easily say I’m excited for the title and can’t wait to get my hands on the final product.