Xbox 360 Review: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Can Konami strike twice with this Castlevania sequel?

The first Lords of Shadow was a departure for the Castlevania series, but one that was welcome and enjoyable from start to finish, while setting up an inevitable sequel thanks to the twist that the character you were playing as all along becomes Dracula. Lords of Shadow 2 takes place just before his castle is attacked, afterwards the game skips forward to modern day and Dracula awakens once more to stop Satan from rising.
I know what you’re thinking, Dracula’s a goodie? Yeah I thought the same and although he doesn’t always perform heroic deeds, his task on defeating the devil takes top priority in Lords of Shadow 2. The story itself isn’t that great though and the script isn’t either, not even the legendary Patrick Stewart’s great performance can make it memorable, while Dracula who is voiced by Robert Carlisle sounds completely uninteresting and unbelievable.

The gameplay itself tries a few new things from LoS, some work and some are just plain awkward. The combat tries to compete with God of War, but is clunky for the most part while platforming can be a nightmare and the less said about the stealth sections, the better. Dracula can hide in the shadows and transform into a….RAT! Not a BAT, but a RAT! The modern day setting doesn’t help things much either, with a bland city and nothing memorable to take from it.
The visuals are a mixed bag, the character models looks great and the cutscenes are done very well, but the modern day look isn’t that good, while the framerate does drop from time to time and the load times seem to drag out longer than it should.

The Verdict

Despite all these grievances, I still carried on till the end and I still couldn’t stop playing. Why? Maybe the nostalgia of the original made me see the Lords of Shadow saga to the end, or is it because underneath its flaws it’s actually not as bad as it seems? Whatever the answer, all I know is that I had to see it through and I suggest if you are a Castlevania fan, then you owe it to yourself to do so too.