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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (2014)

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Dracula awakens after decades of slumber to find that Satan's return is imminent. He reluctantly teams up with his old enemy Zobek to stop the apocalypse from happening.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Gabriel Belmont / Dracula (voice)
... Zobek (voice)
... Alucard (voice)
... Satan (voice)
... Marie Belmont (voice)
... Carmilla (voice)
... Trevor Belmont (voice)
... Victor (voice)
... Raisa Volkova (voice)
Alastair Parker ... Nergal (voice)
... Guido / Cleric / Scientist / Soldier (voice)
Mimi Keene ... Euryale / Medusa / Stheno (voice)
Matthew Clancy ... Chupacabras / Scientist / Soldier (voice)
Aleksandar Mikic ... Agreus (voice)
Mark Healy ... Toymaker (voice) (as Mark Lewis Healy)
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Storyline

The game starts with a Prologue of the Castle Siege. Taking place after the Mirrors of Fate, Dracula's castle is being attacked by the Brotherhood of Light. After destroying their Mechanical Titan, and most of the soldiers along with it, he faces off with the Golden Palladin,then his estranged vampiric son, the vampire knight Alucard. In modern times, Zobek finds Dracula, who is in a weakened state. He offers to rid his old friend of his immortality, at the price of his help. Zobek fears that Satan's return is imminent, and needs Dracula's strength. Written by Jovanovic Djordje

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Blood is Family. Blood is Power. Blood is Everything.

Genres:

Action | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site | Official Site

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Language:

Release Date:

25 February 2014 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

Dracula was drinking blood from his gold chalice and then throws it away. But when the knights enter the Throne Room, the chalice is in his hand again. See more »

Quotes

Dracula: What is a man? Just a miserable little pile of secrets.
See more »


Soundtracks

The Stronghold
Performed by Óscar Araujo
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User Reviews

 
Gory, bloody and sexy Dracula goodness!
1 March 2014 | by See all my reviews

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is a vast improvement over the prequel. Excusably flawed in some areas, a well-rounded combat system, great atmosphere and a pretty decent story make it a tasty experience.

Story-wise, you continue a few .. centuries? after the events of the previous title. You play as Gabriel Belmont's evil incarnation Dracula in all his blood-sucking, finger-licking, fang-bearing glory. Good ol' Zobek pops up at the beginning of the game and tells you Satan is raffling a whoopass and you two have all the numbers. Considering the urgency of Bigredhorny chasing y'all around, he asks for a temporary alliance to prevent Satan's summoning in exchange for Dracula's ultimate wish: eternal rest.

I won't spoil any details of later sections of the plot but, for an action game, the narrative is surprisingly solid and enthralling. A lot of the good things happening in this reboot of Castlevania have to do with the atmosphere surrounding the game universe. The soundtrack is chillingly good, the feeling of utter devastation throughout the levels is awesome and the general design of characters and enemies alike is top-notch. Worth noting, some boss encounters come with an extra serving of epic sauce.

There have been a few changes in terms of how the game plays out in respect to the original Lords of Shadow. First off, the camera is now dynamic, which is a simple yet outstanding improvement over the fixed view. Also, we are now thrown into a sort of open-world format. However, the result is something closer to Darksiders or old school console action games where the freedom to roam is limited and what happens is you actually end up revisiting locations that (usually thanks to a recently-acquired ability) reveal a path that would've been previously inaccessible.

Combat is pretty straightforward: your go-to weapon is the Blood Whip, which is reminiscent of the Cross in the previous entry, but there's also the Void Sword and the Chaos Claws. The former serves as a leech-life-back weapon that also has attacks to freeze your opponents, while the latter is more focused on heavy damage and breaks defenses on certain enemies. All three weapons have similar attacks and the inputs are almost the same in all cases, but the whip is the only one that doesn't require a finite 'mana' bar to use. Besides these three puppies, you also get some secondary weapons and on-use items that have different temporary effects, like slowing down time or unlocking all attacks with all weapons. It can get a bit convoluted juggling both resources for the sword and claw plus the secondary abilities plus the inventory items plus remembering all combos, but all in all, it's a neat combat system that works pretty well and doesn't get in the way of fun.

Praises aside, there are a few flaws with Lords of Shadow 2.

For starters, while I can appreciate the intention to redo some of the things that were wrong with the first game, I'm not completely sold on the pseudo-open-world thing. Having to go back a bunch of screens just to pick up a health upgrade you may only get access to 6 hours in doesn't sound particularly enticing to me. Also, it might just be me being silly, but I often times got lost and couldn't really figure out where I was supposed to go next (there's even an objective marker, for Pete's sake!) and I attribute that to levels working the way they do with this kind of system. I found backtracking through scenery I've already seen really exhausting, particularly so when it came to collectibles and upgrades. To be fair, though, the game world is sort of circular, so you're not literally backtracking, therefore your mileage may vary.

Simultaneously, while the combat is good, solid fun, I would've liked to see maybe more instances with weaker but more abundant enemies to make things a bit more dynamic and feel a tad more powerful. Even with full upgrades, often times you feel like you're chipping away at those demons with a wet noodle. Despite urban legends, wet noodles don't hurt at all.

While we're on the topic of combat, some bosses and sequences are very underwhelming, either visually or mechanically, which is a shame because some others are absolutely phenomenal. The peeps at MercurySteam clearly know how to come up with great ideas but consistency goes a long way. Maybe some portions of the game were a bit rushed, which would make sense considering certain parts towards the end of the story also feel somewhat vague and inconclusive.

What it all boils down to is a very interesting and unconventional rendition of the Castlevania mythos that's even better than the first Lords of Shadow. Some details in the final product could have been a bit more polished, but the sum of its parts make for a really fun and engaging action game.


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