I got this game late in the game, well passed its initial release. Of course, not going to complain as I got it for like seven bucks new and I got a nice side benefit, which I will get into later. I enjoy Castlevania games, mainly those of the earlier consoles. This is my first 3D one I have played through, I have played a bit of one of the ones made for the N64 system. Suffice to say, I enjoyed it a good deal, though it could have used a few more Castlevania touches to it. Though, from the little I have played of the N64 one, this one does feel more like a Castlevania game than did that one. This one has a lot of elements from other games within it as I was playing it I felt God of War's influence, Dante's Inferno came to mind during the last chapter and Shadow of the Colossus certainly came to mind when I had to fight those Titan bosses! There is a bit of Castlevania in there though in that your weapon is a whip, your character a Belmont and during the music box stage you hear a familiar tune being played.
The story has Gabriel Belmont on a quest to rid the land of evil by defeating the Lords of Shadow. He first travels to a region dominated by werewolves, then an icy landscape inhabited by vampires and finally to the realm of dead where necromancers reign supreme. He must fight and kill those beasts he encounters, solve puzzles and try and reassemble the God mask and take back the land from the Lords of Shadow. However, he is also on a quest to try and revive his wife, taken from him by the evil forces that have taken the land. This is his main driving force. He is aided by an elderly knight by the name of Zoback and awesomely voiced by Patrick Stewart.
The game plays a lot like God of War as far as the combat goes. You will gain more powers and level ups as you progress through the game. There is also a bit of Tomb Raider in this one as you have to do a lot of climbing and scaling, trying to get to seemingly impossible areas and you also must solve a myriad of puzzles too. The level that feels the most like a Castlevania game is the land of the vampires as it is the only level where you spend a good deal of time within castles. It also just has a look of Castlevania more than other levels. I do wish there was more of a Castlevania feel at times, but the story kept me progressing through the stages.
So, the game for me was fun. I especially liked the ending as I so want to play the sequel now that comes out in March which is the side benefit of getting the game after it had been out for a while. I would have hated having to wait like four years to find out what was going to happen next. Admittedly though, there are questions I have about the ending as well. I think some of those are answered in some of the other Castlevania: Lords of Shadow games released on 3DS and other systems though. I have heard that this game was not originally intending to be a Castlevania game, though I am not sure how true this is. At times, I can see how it may not have been one and that perhaps they just gave the character the name Belmont, but so much of the story, especially the ending suggests it was a Castlevania game through and through. I know I enjoyed it and look forward to the next installment.
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