Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 review (PS3)

cleft5 | 232d ago | User review
Reviewing: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
Konami should be a shamed of themselves for attaching the Castlevania name to Lords of Shadow 2
Konami should be a shamed of themselves for attaching the Castlevania name to Lords of Shadow 2. I say that with a heavy heart as I greatly enjoyed Lords of Shadow 1 up until the ending boss fight against Satan, which was weird. Lords of Shadow 2, and yes I am intentionally leaving off the Castlevania name like Konami should have insisted on Mercury Steam doing, started up with a bang. The introduction is cinematic and fun, the combat feels really nice and heavy, the dialogue is solid, and you get that general feeling that this game is intended to be epic with a serious story. That first 15 minutes of Lords of Shadow 2 hypes you up for the game and Dracula even does a classic line from Symphony of the Night, "What is man, but a miserable pile of little secrets." The game feels like it is going to live up to and surpass everything that Lords of Shadow 1 delivered.

Then you face off against this huge Titan and that's where the game starts to go wrong. It isn't that the fight isn't grand in scale or epic feeling. The problem is that you have to do a bunch of platforming to climb up the Titan while an enemy is firing explosive arrows at you that can knock you off the Titan and apparently one hit kill Dracula, why Dracula just doesn't turn into a bat and fly up the Titan is beyond me. In fact, why Dracula doesn't just fly and avoid all the platforming together in the whole game is beyond me. This is as annoying as it sounds, now add to this to the fact that the platforming doesn't flow well and you have a formula for annoyance. Even this could be forgiven if Mercury Steam made the decision to keep these parts to a minimum, but no Enric Alvarez (Writer and Director) seem to think it would be cool to have as many platforming/climbing sections as possible. Even when you aren't being attacked while platforming and climbing, the mechanics just don't work properly or there is no real freedom of movement. For instance, when the player has to jump from one chandelier to the next they need build up momentum than make the jump. Unfortunately, all of a sudden four directional tank controls are being used, because why not. If you ever played an older game with four directional tank controls you know how well they work, which is to say not very well at all.

On the issue of controls, you aren't explained all of the controls in the game at all. One of the most essential controls of switching items isn't explained to the player at all. You have to stumble upon it by randomly guessing at what to do. This becomes a major issue as you constantly collecting items yet you have no idea how to actually select them.

Then there is the stealth parts of the game. Quite frankly, every single stealth part is just horrible. In these parts, your character (Dracula) needs to sneak past guards by turning into a rat. Yep, a RAT. Not just any rat, but a rat with eight way, limited movement, tank controls. This would just be "interesting" if you weren't expected to do some miniature puzzle solving/platforming like jumping over electric wires to eat through a cable. That sounds easy, but because the controls for the rat is bad and the electric wire is jumping around something as simple as making a small jump becomes a monumentally annoying task. Then there is the stealth mission in the later part of the game which is just terrible. This mission is easily the worst part of the game, but don't worry because there is still plenty of other bad parts of the game to go around.

The writing in the game is laughable at best and offensive to Castlevania fans at worst. The problem is that the game takes itself incredibly serious while saying some of the stupidest stuff imaginable, that barely fits in the Castlevania universe at all. The whole Satan versus God storyline turns into Satan versus Dracula. It is just absurd and very poorly written, but well voice acted and delivered. I really must say that Patrick Stewart (Zobek) and Robert Carlyle (Dracula/Gabriella) did a fantastic job of delivering this absurd, poorly written story. The character development, is fairly solid right up until the end. In the end Dracula/Gabriella makes a statement that is completely opposite of the character and the relationship that has been established up until that point. The statement he makes erases the character progression up until that point for no real reason at all and just leaves you wondering what was even the point of the entire game that spent building up that relationship.

Overall, I would advise people to play this game. Rent it of course, because no way is this game worth $60. People should experience this game so they can understand what a truly horrible game Lords of Shadows 2 is and how close this game was to being really good. There is something so good about Lords of Shadow 2, yet it is covered in incredibly poor level design, gameplay design, and extremely bad writing. Truly, Konami should be a shamed of themselves for attaching the Castlevania name to Lords of Shadow 2.
Ups
Graphics
Voice acting
Sometimes the story is really solid
Downs
Gameplay controls, platforming
Story is ridiculous
Stealth segments
Score
8.0
Graphics The graphics was very nice on the PS3, particularly when visiting parts of the old Castle. The City was bland.
8.0
Sound The sound was well done. The combat sounds and the music is top notch.
5.0
Gameplay The combat worked and wasn't that different from the first one. Unfortunately, the gameplay for the stealth segments and platforming is horrific.
4.0
Fun factor The game started out really fun, but the more I played the worse it became. In the end, I forced myself to beat the game to finish the story, which isn't that great.
0.0
Online
6.3
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
InTheLab  +   227d ago
I would disagree with this review but only that it should be lowered as the combat is every bit as garbage as the first.

I'm Dracula and I have no unblockable attacks yet rank and file baddies all have it....and they spam it all day long....off screen. The timing for these attacks are also off and damn near every enemy has perfect tracking kinda like a cheap version of Demon's Souls. So of the larger enemies attacks have this weird splash damage thing going on so even after evading you still get hit.

It's the same problem with the last title. Powerful badass regularly has his attacks ignored so in the middle of a combo, even the weakest enemy will break it. Break Dracula's combo....wtf.

I stopped playing right around the 2 hour mark as it's clear it won't bet any better. I'd agree that anyone interested should rent this game or go play a better game.

This game reminds me of Dante's Inferno. Wants nothing more than to be a cheap clone of better games....
Maldread  +   226d ago
Good review of a huge disappointment of a game for me. I`ve just played Lord of Shadow of the Castlevania games before this one, but i never think i`ve been this close to throwing the controller into the TV in frustration.

It really is a shame because there is a great game in here somewhere, but it`s just ruined with horrible crap that dosn`t make sense. I mean in some cases i could`ve just jumped and grabed a ledge to collect a pain box, but guess what, no you have to go around and use the fog ability instead. Right. I guess Dracula can rip ten buliding tall demons to shreds in cutscenes, but can`t bend some bars when you`re playing.

The map system was to be the most horrible that i`ve seen in ages and the dodo`s that is supposed to help you find secrets dosn`t do a damned thing.

The ending was also the worst i`ve seen in ages. Didn´t make any sense.

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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Average Score 6.7 Reviews(147)
Release Dates
PC Release Dates
US 25 February 2014
EU 28 February 2014
AU 28 February 2014
PS Vita Release Dates
PS3 Release Dates
AU 28 February 2014
EU 28 February 2014
US 25 February 2014
Wii U Release Dates
Xbox 360 Release Dates
AU 28 February 2014
EU 28 February 2014
US 25 February 2014