I’m going to warn you right now that any preview you read for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is likely to have spoilers regarding the outcome of the first game. The entire premise of the game is based around exactly what happens at the very end of Lords of Shadow and any further reading on your part is at the risk of spoilers.
While not quite the classic Castlevania that many grew up with, Lords of Shadow 2 is a larger and more open world Castlevania than the original Lords of Shadow. Taking place 1000 years after the end of the first game, or very soon after the post credits scene, Gabriel Belmont takes center stage once more—this time as Dracula in a gothic setting within a modern day world.
Now that Gabriel has gone to the dark side, Dracula will be going up against the Brotherhood of Light, other Belmonts, the return of Satan, and even his own son, Alucard (which is Dracula backwards, if you aren’t a die-hard fan of the series). The dynamic of playing as a “bad guy” is always an intriguing one, and Lords of Shadow 2 is sure to include a large variety of easter eggs for fans of the Castlevania franchise while remaining accessible to the newcomers.
The E3 preview didn’t reveal much more than was previously known, but at least offered an opportunity to get our hands on the game and feel that it was very similar to the first game in feel, just on a larger scale. The level select system of the previous game is gone, opting instead for a more open and seamless world for the lord of the vampires to explore. The world features Dracula’s castle as well as the modern day city in which it is set. There is also a free camera to allow for more exploration and secrets within the environment.
The control scheme is largely the same as the original Lords of Shadow. For those not familiar with that, it is very God of War like, utilizing attack combos and magic. While Gabriel’s cross has been replaced with a whip and the Light and Shadow magic are now Void and Chaos, the combos and attacks work very similarly to the first one without many changes. Gabriel…err.. “Dracul” will gain some special abilities now that he is the lord of vampires, including sucking blood and being able to turn into a mist.
Lords of Shadow 2 will be bigger than the first in nearly every way. Konami has said that this adventure will be much longer than the first, with nearly 20 hours of gameplay. The traversal of environments will be on a larger scale. There will be more massive enemies that require platforming to defeat. As a fan of the first game, my preview of Lords of Shadow 2 felt like a great way to follow up. While it isn’t going to break any new ground, it takes what it does, and does it well.