I'm a die-hard fan of the Castlevania franchise. You can imagine my excitement when I learned Konami was making a new game called "Castlevania: Lords of Shadow". I was stoked when I saw the first trailer for the game. Visually, it looked amazing. They also recruited some top-notch vocal talent in casting Patrick Stewart in a lead role.
I couldn't wait to get my hands on "Lords of Shadow" and on October 5, 2010, I finally got my chance. With game in hand, I raced home as fast as I could and couldn't get the game in my PS3 fast enough. Finally, the wait was over.
As I mentioned before, visually the game is very impressive and the voice acting is superb. However, I'd be lying if I were to say I was totally satisfied with the game. In fact, I would be lying if I were to say anything other than the fact I was a little disappointed in it. Now don't get me wrong, it's a fun game, but I think there were certain things that could have definitely used improvement. And before anyone accuses me of being an unappeasable fan, no game is perfect, but some are certainly better than others.
One major flaw I found in the game was the inability to control the camera. This was a major annoyance in "Castlevania: Lament of Innocence," too, but was fixed in "Castlevania: Curse of Darkness." My question is How can "Lament" make a mistake with cameras that "Curse of Darkness" fixed and then "Lords of Shadow" repeats the same mistake as "Lament"? Gamers should be able to control the camera, especially in a game where it's important to be able to look around for various relics and such.
Also, why did they put the camera so far away from the character? This didn't just happen once or twice during gameplay either. It happened quite frequently. When you're having to jump between different platforms or trying to find hidden relics it does no good to have the camera pulled back so far the character looks like an ant on screen.
The puzzles in the game were very challenging. I think the solutions were far from apparent and unless you had some sort of helping hand from a strategy guide or walkthrough, you'd easily be toiling with some puzzles for at least a half-hour. Some puzzles were just fine, but some were pure hell.
For a Castlevania game, I didn't really feel like much time was spent in a castle. A lot of time was spent crawling around on the outside of various structures but not really indoors so much. This was a big disappointment for me, particularly when once I got closer to the end of the game and realized there wasn't a gigantic last castle to explore.
My biggest problem with the game was the ending.
The pre-credits ending was great then we're "treated" to a post-credits cutscene that is an absolute blasphemy to this wonderful game series, and to a game that had been great up 'til that point. What happened that was so awful? As it turns out: Gabriel Belmont, the main character you've been playing as for the whole game, becomes Dracula. No, that's not a typo a Belmont becomes Dracula. What the hell is that? And then to top it off they set the final cutscene in modern times. So, what do you think that means? I'll tell you what it means If they end up making a sequel to "Lords of Shadow", it's going to have to take place in this day and age. A modern day Castlevania doesn't make any sense and goes completely against everything the series has worked so hard to establish. Horrible, horrible creative choice by the game designers.
They don't even show you how he becomes Dracula. Last we know for Gabriel defeats Satan (who ends up being the mastermind of the whole scheme the game is based upon) with God's help. However, it's too late for him to save his true love Marie. She ascends into heaven taking with her the God mask that as it turns out only allows people to see what things are like through God's eyes, and doesn't actually bestow any godlike powers. Gabriel and Marie say goodbye and he falls to his knees and weeps as the credits roll. That would've been a perfect tragic ending to the game, an ending that would've explained why the Belmont family might hold such a grudge against the creatures of the night -- although, I think the epilogue of "Lament of Innocence" was so much better. The ending to "Lords of Shadow" just doesn't make sense. How do you go from being God's helper to Dracula in the time it takes for the credits to stop rolling. How can they not offer an explanation or cutscene explaining such a dramatic change? It's pure crap. It's a crap ending and that's why I can't say I love the game. I had fun playing it, the gameplay was great, the story too, but the ending ruined it for me.
I didn't like the fact the game didn't have Dracula in it, either. Sure, "Lament of Innocence" technically didn't either, but they pulled it off a lot better and the ending was a hell of a lot more satisfying. I'm a sucker for a good ending. You can have a less than stellar beginning or middle, but if you bring it back in the end with a great ending, I'm sold. This, unfortunately, didn't happen here.
I don't know what to make of the game now. I would say I'd be able to fully enjoy it had I not seen the final post-credits cutscene. Now all I can think of is how if Konami makes a sequel, it's going to suck because they're going to want to make it in modern times. Way to ruin an otherwise great game, morons!
0 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?