Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow Feels Like God Of War Lite - Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - PlayStation 3 -
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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow Feels Like God Of War Lite

The new Castlevania game has been high on my most anticipated games list since it was revealed last E3. Konami finally allowed me to get my hands on the game, and I got to play enough to get a good idea of how the story and combat fit into the experience. Is this the game that will revive Castlevania for consoles? I’m not so sure yet.

We join Gabriel Belmont on his quest to resurrect his wife as he entered a town being attacked by werewolves. Villagers with torches and pitchforks trail Belmont as he attacks the agile monsters with direct and wide-radius attacks. Peppering in daggers deals easy long distance damage. As Belmont slogs through the mud and rain he’s confronted by a werewolf bigger than all the others combined. After dealing some light damage to the beast, it climbs a rock and pounces. Upon pressing a button prompted onscreen Gabriel lifts a gigantic stake and the huge beast impales himself upon it.

Everything from the werewolves’ red, glowing eyes to Belmont’s whip animations looks solid. Tons of cinematic interludes and quick-time events are sprinkled in to show off the game’s moody world. At certain points they seem a bit heavy-handed, but it certainly beats the bland experience of recent past Castlevania console titles.

Next the actions takes Belmont on horseback, riding along charging werewolves at top speeds. The horse appeared to be the embodiment of some protective spirit, which was guiding Gabriel. As of now players can only whip enemies to the left and right while the horse automatically runs, but Konami insists that Belmont will be able to train beasts and ride them at his will in the final build. After leaping across a chasm several werewolves fall into the abyss below, with Belmont’s horse dissolving just as he safely lands on the opposite side. Suddenly he’s in another encounter with a big bad wolf. Here hit and dodge tactics are used against the big brute while taking out the little guys with light attacks. Everything feels familiar about the combat, and though the controls are tight the execution is feels a little bland right now. Perhaps new moves purchased with experience points will spice up the action in later builds, but the current demo is a little underwhelming.

At its best Lords of Shadow is a watered-down God of War clone. We’re seeing the game at an early stage so the huge set piece moments and notable story elements could still be further down the road. The game can only succeed if Konami manages to capitalize on its satisfying combat engine with more interesting enemies and locations. Let’s hope it hurries though, as the game is due out this fall.

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  • This picture of the game looks descent. Let's hope the game measures up to it.
  • ha, epic double post

  • This is good news, this could be a sleeper hit..

  • Is it possible for any game like this to NOT be a God of War clone

  • i have really high hopes for this game, and i hope it strikes a dramatic, emotional chord.

  • Dear Konami,

    Just make a super-huge, 2D, sprite-based Castlevania for consoles. It will sell. I f'ing promise you.
  • Mod

    if i get a whip ill be fine lol.

  • Its funny how so many games are compared to God of War.It just shows how awesome that game was

  • God of War Lite?  Yeah, I figured as much when I saw a gameplay video earlier today.  I've been keeping an eye on Lords of Shadow, but after how disappointed I was with what I've seen of it, I think Konami should delay the game into next year.  It just doesn't look too good right now.

  • I just watched a video of this, and yeah, I'm worried it'll have trouble keeping up with other 3D action games like God of War 3 and Bayonetta.  It's becoming a very saturated genre, like FPS, with tons of games that all do a good job, so only the truly great ones even stand out at all.

  • Hm, I feel that this game will not do as well as Konami predicts. Maybe then they will take it back to it's roots. Guess we'll wait and see.

  • The way its being described it will end up being another Dante's Inferno, good hype and cool videos. But the actual games is nothing more than a watered down blatant rip off that isnt very fun.

    The last few games on the DS have been so great with its intricate weapon/magic systems I hope this game lives up to that standard despite the apparantly GOW Lite type demo...

  • I have one question for this article...Why are most hack n'slashers now being considered a "God of War clone?" I honestly don't get that.It seems like every hack n'slasher now is being called one.I won't even be surprised if the next installment to Devil May Cry will be called one as well.I'm just curious is all.

  • If I get this it will be my first Castlevania game. Hoping it will be good.

  • Aww man, I was hoping this wasn't a God Of War clone...

  • "At its best Lords of Shadow is a watered-down God of War clone."

    really? it looks more like Dante's Inferno ...wait
  • "At its best Lords of Shadow is a watered-down God of War clone. We’re seeing the game at an early stage so the huge set piece moments and notable story elements could still be further down the road."

    Can we stop with calling every hack and slash a God of War clone? Seriously, last I checked, you all are journalists. Try coming up with words to describe the experience other than  calling it a clone of another game. Especially when its not even in its final form for you to even review.

    How often do you hear movie reviewers refer to a movie as a clone of another? Think about that for a second GI.

  • That doesn't inspire me with confidence.  It needs to feel like legendary Castlevania, not the next in a long line of aping GOW.  Don't degrade the series.

  • This looks Awesome, can't wait.

  • Uh-oh. I'm excited for this game, but this preview doesn't look to good. Hope Konami can keep it together.

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