Kevin Lee II On March 26, 2014 at 10:30 am

Castlevania Lords of Shadows 2_Screen_06Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 for Xbox 360, developed by MercuryStream and published by Konami, is an action-adventure single-player only game that is a sequel to the 2010 game. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Lords of Shadow 2 is the thirty-fifth entry into the Castlevania franchise. After having defeated the Lord of Darkness Satan, Gabriel Belmont becomes the iconic Dracula. He becomes hated by the people and an icon of constant fear after various cruel twists of fate. The story of the game takes place in both medieval and modern worlds. In the modern day setting, Gabriel is awakened after centuries of slumber by his former enemy Zobek claiming Satan is back. For helping to stop the Lord of Darkness, Zobek offers to end Dracula’s eternal life to give him peace. Gabriel’s quest begins in Lords of Shadow 2, once again to fight his greatest enemy.

The story is very entertaining from beginning to end with various visions of Gabriel’s experiences of the past in his old castle and new ones in modern time in a near-future city. The modern time setting seems tacked on and relatively generic environments and will make you want to relive the classic feeling of the Castlevania series back in a castle. Lords of Shadow 2 is mostly an open world game that allows you to choose what route to take. It features a movable camera, something that wasn’t featured in the first Lords of Shadow. This allows a much easier time for the player to navigate the world with less frustration.

Dracula’s main weapon is called the Blood Whip, a whip, the staple of the Castlevania series. It allows you to slice and dice through various enemies utilizing combos and dodges along with counter-attacks. Along with the signature whip, you wield two additional magic weapons, a Void sword and Chaos fists. Each weapon has magic mana that is used to power the particular weapon. The Void sword heals you with every hit and also allows you to freeze enemies and objects. It is used both in combat and to solve environmental puzzles. The combat and action feels very smooth, free flowing and is highly satisfying. Defeating enemies earns you points to unlock more attacks and purchase boosts at the vendor. The Chaos fists helps you defeat enemies’ shields and also shoot small bombs. These weapons offer a different way to play but they aren’t necessarily as versatile as the Blood whip because of their limited range.

The game itself is a lot of fun and feels similar to the God of War series on Playstation consoles. You have to press a button to absorb orbs from hitting enemies and finishing them off. These orbs refill the two magic meters. You can also have a choice to carry consumables with you, from health boosts to time slowing potions but these are rarely needed. Similar to God of War and other games, there are different Quick Time Events that come up during cutscenes and boss fights. You can turn these off though if you don’t like them. Each enemy you face have different attacks and abilities adding variety to the gameplay of Lords of Shadow 2. Boss fights are frequent and enjoyable. Besides combat, Gabriel explores some platforming sections and stealth elements that feel out of place sometimes. You hack and slash for an hour and then you become a rat to sneak your way around air ducts to avoid security guards.
The orchestral score in Lords of Shadow 2 is quite impressive to hear yet the voice acting seems hit or miss with different characters with generic dialog. The visual aspects of the game are also hit or miss. Some areas contain gorgeous textures and lighting effects with others that seem lackluster like they are from an older game. The game never seems to slowdown, sporting a constant frame rate during heavy action sequences.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is a decent sequel. The combat is still fast and satisfying, but the new magic weapons aren’t that original or versatile as the trusty whip. The audio and visual presentation of the game is inconsistent except for the soundtrack. Overall, fans of the Castlevania series will enjoy the game for its story and classic elements but they will probably be upset with the modern day and stealth elements incorporated into the game.


The combat is very fun but stealth elements take you out of the fast, frenetic action.


Some locations look gorgeous yet some feel dated. Game could have used a little more polish.


Some voice overs were spotty and the game had mediocre environmental sounds. The only redeeming quality was the orchestral score of the game.


Castlevania fans will enjoy the game for its story and classic elements but they will probably be upset with the modern day and stealth elements incorporated into the game. It is on par with the first game in the series.

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