Hands-on with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

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Hands-on with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Editor’s Note: this article contains plot spoilers for the original Lords of Shadow.

Since time immemorial, light and dark have waged war — each side bolstered by heroes and fiends of immense station. In the Castlevania series, the Belmont family has long fought the forces of evil and sought out the end of Dracula by any means necessary. But in the first Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Konami and the developers at MercurySteam redefined the history of the Belmonts in a surprising twist. Gabriel Belmont’s tragic story will come to a conclusion in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, which launches for PS3 on February 25th.

Producer Dave Cox described Lords of Shadow 2 as a “strategic hack ‘n’ slash.” It places players in command of Dracula and his otherworldly arsenal of whips, swords, and gauntlets. With potions and relics in abundance, players will traverse a modern-day city in an effort to end Dracula’s immortal suffering.

But Lords of Shadow 2 invites players to develop much more complex battle tactics than the quintessential “mash Square to win.” Dracula has a rotating set of three combat styles that can be used to flow from one battle to the next in a river of arcane assaults. By transitioning from one weapon to the next, Dracula can chew through the opposing forces.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

The “default” weapon at a player’s disposal is the Shadow Whip, which licks the air in a sizzling display of ranged attacks. Using the Shadow Whip enables Dracula to build his Focus meter, which in turn allows him to wield more powerful abilities.

When weakened, players can switch to the Void Sword — a ghostly blade with a vampiric edge. This weapon drains enemies of their health, siphoning it into Dracula. It can also be used to freeze enemies and bosses alike, opening up a variety of combos.

Then Dracula has the Chaos Claws. These fiery gauntlets can shatter enemy defenses. Soldiers hiding behind a shield will find themselves quickly exposed after a ferocious pummeling. This weapon can also lob searing motes of flame at enemies to pepper them from afar.

Players can switch between these three weapons in real-time, and even in mid-combo. Learning this combat system, and the aggressive enemy AI facing Dracula, will lead to a healthy bit of challenge, pushing players to adapt to each battle and employ the proper weapons accordingly.

Potions and relics will also affect the flow of battle. The Stolas Clock, for example, slows enemies down and even stops them in the air. Dracula can unleash combos on them as they hang helplessly, which allows him to build Focus. It’s also quite fun to watch.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Combat aside, Lords of Shadow 2 is designed for exploration. The world is much larger and more open, riddled with secret paths and treasures that may require a return visit to find. Players, for example, may stumble upon an impassable gate, but later return to phase through it with a newly acquired mist power. There are also a number of mini-games and additional challenges throughout the campaign designed to vary its pace.

Cox noted that a focused run of the main story will take approximately 20 hours to complete. Tackling additional objectives could stretch that into the 30 hour mark, promising a great deal of content for dedicated gamers.

Lords of Shadow 2 is scheduled to launch on February 25th, and boasts new weapons, abilities, items, enemies, and secrets. It’s a fast-paced, complex action game, with rich strategic potential. Castlevania fans both new and old have a lot to look forward to.

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6 Author Replies

  • Cool can’t wait, it be cool to go through a modern setting in a full 3D Castlevania game. I’m wondering what’s next for Castlevania after this game since it is the last in the Lords of Shadow saga.

  • That guy in green looks like Joel form The Last of Us =).

  • Love this at E3 and will be getting it DAY !.

  • @ gemuvan good catch lol.
    Can’t wait for this one, I really enjoyed the first one even though it wasn’t a traditional Castlevania. It’s great news to know that the game will be more open for exploration and longer. Picking this up on release day! Btw it would be even better if MercuryStream had made this for the PS4 just saying

  • Should’ve been PS4. Just sayin. :-/

  • by far, my most anticipated game of 2014! Look at how amazing those graphics are…and this is coming from the PS3 instead of the PS4! I can’t wait to see the conclusion of the “Lords of Shadow” saga, because Gabriel really got screwed over….

  • i cant wait for this game however im still mad that we arent getting a LE.

  • Castlevania is always a must have in life, to complete my collection, this game is awesome!! I enjoyed the demo a lot, feels better than the 1st one. I am still hoping for more Castlevania/contra/yugioh games for PS4 :D

  • Yes should of been PS4 too.

  • This is my most anticipated game of 2014….I’ve been drooling to play this baby since it was announced at E3 2012…the 1st Lords of Shadow is actually one of the best multiplatform games….sadly its too underrated….I already knew everything in this article but anyway it was good to read….this is a day 1 buy…sadly it may be the last of the amazing games on PS3.

    Also the graphics in the 1st game were incredible and LoS 2 look even better,hard to believe its a multiplatform game.

    Devs like Mercurysteam must be supported.

  • Wish this was coming to PS4 as well because I no longer have my PS3. I guess I can hope that it will come to Steam eventually like the first Lords of Shadow did.

  • Or perhaps it’ll come to Playstation Now. I’d prefer to play it on PS with a DS4 rather than PC

  • I have to say I will be picking this up the day of release for sure. I have been playing the Castlevania games since the original Nintendo system. I couldn’t say even what my favorite part of Lords of Shadows part one was. I enjoyed the story, leveling & learning skills, the God of War style combat & the incredible boss battles. I can’t wait to see what Lords of Shadows 2 is going to be like!

  • Since this is a big open world does that mean we have camera control? Game like the 1st and GoW look great but I’ll gladly trade a drop in graphics for Darksiders like camera control. Playing Into the Nexus now and it’s good to have my camera back that was taken away in All 4 One (understandably so for the multiplayer).

    So, does this take place after the final boss battle in 1, the ending cut scene in 1 (which the modern city kind of makes me think it does), or after the 2nd DLC game?

  • Looks absolutely stunning! Can’t wait! :)

  • Awesome! I can’t wait for this game! Lords of Shadow 1 was one of my favorite games on PS3. Looks like this will not disappoint!

  • must have game on the ps3..i had a blast with LOS1..seriously looking forward to part 2..this is the most mature and polished game ive ever played..konami did a fantastic job with this concept.Keep up the amazing work!

  • This game needs to go next-gen as well. It’s going to get lost in the mix.

  • @ 14 rjejr – Its after that cut-scene and the 2nd DLC…Resurrection…which is before the ending cut-scene…both DLCs Reverie and Resurrection were to explain that cut-scene in the end of the 1st LoS.

  • I’m not a Castlevania fan but I was able to play this at E3 2013 and I was really impressed, I loved the gameplay and overall it looked outstanding, I may want to give this game a try :)

  • I bought LOS1 when it was first released and played through it 2 or 3 times, but I never played the DLC. Will I be lost story-wise or does LOS2 mainly pick up on how the main game ended?

  • Is that an ancient-looking magical obelisk in a modern-day kitchen? Looks awesome. Can’t wait for this game. =D

  • hey, I know this probably isn’t quite the post to ask this on, but ive been looking around online and found next to nothing, especially relevant and current, on different games that’s been pushed back or were supposed to be released around now, and there’s nothing on this blog, so would it be possible to have some information posted on upcoming games?

    some to mention, but definitely not limited to are:
    mercenary kings
    planetside 2
    rouge legacy
    binding of issac rebirth

    theres a serious lack of information on them, thanks in advance, or anyways, whatever the outcome

  • Im gonna have to close my eyes and pretend this game never came out as i have no longer a ps3, only ps4. This game should come out on ps4 as well.

  • Is there going to be a PSN demo? I know there was a demo with the Collection title, but what about those who did not purchase that?

  • This game looks amazing.! I have been waiting for this game for a long time know and the graphics look stunning. The story from the first was amazing but i think this game will top it off with a bang.! Castlevainia should live on and im hopeing after this one there will be another. But besides that the surroundings of the game look awsome and the setting of the town looks perfect. I can not wait to buy this game when it comes out.

  • Thank you Welmosca. As much as I liked the 1st game I never played the DLC as the game was a rental.

  • Looks pretty awesome i have never played any of the Castlevainia games. This makes me glad i kept my PS3 when i got my PS4. I’ll def try this game when it comes out.

  • I got extremely fed up with the Music Box section of the first game to the point I had to download a save to continue and it locked my trophies. I just continued the game right after the Music Box and completed it.

    If this game is as heavy on the puzzles as the first game I won’t want to play it. Even basic platforming elements became puzzle influenced and it was really annoying. Some people love the game for that but I don’t enjoy it.

    So, is this game as flooded with puzzles?

  • games like this bolsters my already made decision that I am going to hold onto my PS3 even after I get an PS4 [coming month! XD]. And this game brings back so many memories!

  • Hello Ryan Celements,the article is very well written but I would like to ask you a question and would be very happy if you took the time to answer it :)

    Since this is a hands-on preview I believe you played the game? So,did you actually play this particular section on the PS3 or a different platform? What do you think about the visuals,did it improve from Part 1?

    Would truly appreciate if you replied! :)

  • I feel bad being Dracula and killing innocent people though. I really liked Lords of Shadow 1’s theme of good vs. evil, with Gabriel being stoic and humble fighting the creatures of darkness. I might need to Youtube the ending to Lords of Shadow 2 first before giving this game a go. I don’t like playing as the villain in the game.

  • Ryan is there any news or leak about PS VITA version?

  • Glad to see more of the setting from the ‘reveal’ at the end of LoS1, definitely looking forward to this. Combat sounds very similar to the new DMC, which also worked out fantastically.

  • It sucks that australia is getting the awesome collector’s edition to this game. U.S. gets screwed a lot when it comes to CEs. Looking forward to the game though.

  • Any plans on making a version of the game bundled with the first Lords Of Shadow?

  • IGAvania crew, represent. Still waiting for a new Koji Igarashi Castlevania, and hoping we’ll see one announced in the next year once LoS2 is on the market. Crossing my fingers.

  • I can’t wait to play this game it’s gonna be amazing

  • Does anyone know if this will be available for psn?

  • Is there any way to know if this game is going to be downloadable from the Store? In general, is there a way to know if any game is going to have a digital version? Thanks in advance!

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