Feeds
80%
Castlevania Lord of Shadows

Castlevania: Lord of Shadows

More God of War, less Van Helsing

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Review The challenge to create an entirely new Castlevania game must have been a daunting one for developer Mercury Steam. Plucked from the relative obscurity of developing American McGee's Scrapland and Clive Barker's Jericho, the Spanish developer found itself dice-in-hand for Konami's big-budget gamble of rebooting its vampire-hunting franchise in 3D.

Castlevania Lord of Shadows

'We're on a diplomatic mission... from... Alderaan'

Given Konami had lost the gamble twice itself - with Castlevania N64 and the PS2's Lament of Innocence – it's no wonder Mercury Steam plays it so safe. What does surprise, however, is rather than mimic the Metroidvania formula, Mercury Steam instead plunders mechanics from other games – most notably the God of War series – to underpin Lord of Shadows with a solid foundation to combat and exploration.

So great is Lord of Shadows' homage to God of War, in fact, that for the first five hours narrative alone separates them. Gabriel Belmont treads in every one of Kratos' footsteps. Health restoration points, stamina and ability upgrades, beast riding, QTEs and Titan fighting – mechanics ripped wholesale from mythological Greece and replanted in the pestilent, cursed lands of Europe's Dark Ages.

Even Gabriel's crucifix and chain weapon bears more resemblance to Kratos' Blades of Chaos than any Belmont family legacy, as it grapples cliff faces and slashes through enemies in vivid, arcing neons.

Castlevania Lord of Shadows

'Can I get the name of your interior designer?'

Many developers would be content to wrap up the game with a few more hours of pedestrian plagiarism. But, to Mercury Steam's credit, Lord of Shadows doesn't finish there. New elements are introduced and old combined to enliven the remaining ten hours, with combat, puzzles and exploration interspersed to pace the game effectively.

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Man buys iPHONE 6 and DROPS IT to SMASH on PURPOSE
Yarrrgh! 'Tis Antipodean insanity, ye crazy swab
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM
Reg staff not allowed to enter, god dammit
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.