Review by 30plusgamer
"Modern style Castlevania. Gotta love it."
Ok, I know how many people are going to review this one. You COULD compare this game to any action game that came out during the last few years and say it "stole" many of the ideas from those games. And you COULD end up with a so called snappy review title, something like God of castlevania may cry while in inferno (insert and mix any half-baked refference to another title).
You would not be doing justice to an absolute GEM of an action game. Yes, many of the games concepts can also be experienced in games like devil may cry, bayonetta, dante's inferno and the ever popular god of war series. But I argue that some gameplay similarities simply define the current form of the genre.
That being said, this game implements those elements very smoothly. Gameplay is diverse, and feels like a good mix of platforming and combat. Some of the boss-battles are platformers, but most are combat oriented with a finishing sequence. Backtracking is optional, but rewarding. 9/10
The game features some great artwork, and manages to convey a convincing and diverse setting. Camera angles are sometimes a bit off, but the overall feel of the scenery is amazing in my opinion. The soundtrack only adds to the impression. Long time fans of the series may be dissapointed by the fact that a great deal of the story takes places outside of the actual "castle", although this does add to the feeling of an immense envirement. You will move through swamps, forrests, mountains, caves, ruins and they are all perfectly done. 10/10
I understand that the story takes a bit of a turn from what fans call "series canon". I liked it. The story is grim (as it should be) and the set-pieces are memorable. The ending (or rather the epilogue) is something you will either love or hate, it's certainly a twist. However, the game does give you the feeling of running pointless collection quests from time to time (collect 3 of this, 4 of that etc.) 9/10 (8 without the ending)
A 3D Castlevania game with a good story, descent lenght, great graphics and gameplay that's solidly based on modern action game standards. Deserves a solid 9, although symphony of the night still gives it a run for it's money. If you love the series and can stomach a breach from "canon" you will find a worthy 3D installment to the series. If you're not a fan of the series, you will find a great action game with diverse gameplay and a memorable plot.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/22/11
Game Release: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow (EU, 10/08/10)
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