Castlevania: Lords of Shadow of The Colossus?
With every 3D Castlevania game comes a promise, a promise of breaking the curse that haunted this franchise for years. While Castlevania gets it right every time in the handheld games, its 3D counterpart hasn’t shared the same success. This time Mercury Steamdecided to step in and break this curse under the supervision of Hideo Kojima himself.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a third-person action-adventure game similar to the God of War series. The game tells the story of Gabriel Belmont, a member of the Brotherhood of Light, seeking revenge for the murder of his beloved wife. He is set on a mission to defeat the lords of shadow and save the world. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is gorgeous. The environments you traverse are diverse and each location is well crafted. The fully orchestrated musical score blends well with the gloomy tone the game sets.
One of the best things about this game is the combat system. At first glance, the combat seems very similar to the God of War games, but as you progress through the game, many great elements are introduced. Using a combination of whip-like weapon (combat cross), aerial moves, light and shadow magic, dodging and four different secondary weapons makes the combat solid. And the fact that each enemy has its own strengths and weakness to the weapons you use keeps the combat fresh and fun. There are many puzzles that you will encounter throughout the game and some of them are really clever.
Unfortunately, this is where everything great about the game stops. If you take down the Castlevania name, it’s just your typical third-person action game we are we used to seeing these days. First off, nothing from the Castlevania franchise is carried into this game. No exploration, no RPG elements, and no Alucard! The story is unoriginal and no effort is put to keeping you engaged in the games fiction. The characters involved in the story are soulless and none of them leaves any lasting impression on the player. Even though the voice acting is good, all the efforts are wasted with game’s terrible dialogue. There is a lot of good platforming in the game, much like the Uncharted series, but it’s nothing new or original. While the battles with Titans are fun and epic, they are directly ripped off from the pages of Shadow of The Colossus, even one of the titans you fight is literally the same damn boss (Lords of Shadow of The Colossus?). Although the game sets a great bleak atmosphere, but traveling through the different terrains with that atmosphere for 20 hours kinda wears you out.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow had the potential to be a great 3D Castlevania game. While Mercury Steam might have succeeded in making a good action 3D game, it failed to preserve what makes this franchise so great; its identity. Some might argue this is a reboot for the franchise, even if it was, I’m a big Castlevania fan and this is not Castlevania. So the curse remains intact and the mystery of the bad 3D Castlevania games lineage will be unsolved till the next attempt.