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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Preview

Telkom Do Gaming has been lucky enough to have received some test code for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 courtesy of Ster-Kinekor.

The game is scheduled to release on 28 February across PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Developed by Konami, players will take on the role of Dracula starting by defending his castle against the Brotherhood of Light. After some hectic battles and a really powerful speech directed at the Golden Paladin involving him being God’s chosen one, a massive eruption takes place and shifts things towards modern times. After ages of sleep and nothingness really, Dracula awakens to find himself weakened. Players then continue to take on the role to gain back your immortality and are then tasked to stop the Devil at the price of that immortality.

Gabriel Belmont, or Dracula is the main protagonist that traverses both a modern day city and his ancient castle battling against the Brotherhood of Light and the forces of Satan. The combat itself is largely based on the previous game and for those who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing it, it’s all very similar to God of War. Players will string together combos with strong direct attacks and weaker, sweeping attacks to conquer their enemies. There is an option of collecting blood from victims which can restore your health, but only once enemies are in a weakened state. Cleverly, the developers have introduced a few different weapons into the game and the one is a life-draining sword, while the other is a powerful, fiery fist attack that can shatter armour. These two modes are known as “Void” and “Chaos”.

Each weapon has its own skills and combos and players can switch weapons mid-combo which is a very interesting dynamic in the heat of battle. As players venture later into the game, they will get other powers such as possession, where Dracula can control enemies to help swing the tides or turn into a mist to get past enemies in a stealthier manner.

One thing I really enjoyed about Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 was how powerful the combos actually felt. I’ve struggled in similar games in the past where it didn’t feel like the weapons added much power to the attacks but it’s almost like you can really feel it in Lords of Shadow 2. Players also take part in what can almost be called “mini puzzles” but don’t have any breaking effect on the game. What I mean by this, is that there are often little mechanics that players will need to do in order to overcome an obstacle, but it doesn’t break up the flow of the game.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is really fast-paced and while players dodge, block, counter and riposte, they will find it easy to use and a lot of fun to play. Perhaps the best thing in the new addition to the Castlevania series is that the developers have finally introduced a movable camera which means that players will no longer feel blocked from the action.

It feels like it’s been way too long since this type of game was around and I’m glad it’s back in this instance. While many of the aspects of the game have been seen before, they have been almost perfected in certain situations. With the help of the camera, the clever combos and dodge mechanics, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is destined to be something great and players who enjoy the open-world, action-adventure, slaying-type of game should definitely look into it.

Aside from the fact that the game plays really easily, the protagonist is a real bad-ass and the story itself is very well written and players will be very interested as the plot keeps unfolding.