Casltevania: Lords of Shadow E3 preview

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A big name since the 8-bit days, Castlevania has had gamers the world over whipping bats, mummies, and all manner of monsters for decades, leading up to a climactic showdown with Dracula himself. Now, the series is pulling out all of the stops with its next entry, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Lords of Shadow is an action-packed experience that looks to reinvent the franchise, namely doing it properly in 3D where other iterations have failed in this regard. At E3 this year, the latest entry to the monster slaying franchise was on display and playable for the first time, letting GameZone get our hands on it.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow’s E3 demo had us fighting off giant wolf beasts as they attacked a medieval village. As Gabriel Belmont, we were able to whip our way through these beasts utilizing a variety of combo moves, light attacks, heavy attacks and air juggles with little effort. Additionally, you could dodge and roll away from attacks and block. The game felt a lot like God of War, fitting into the same mold as other action titles like Dante’s Inferno, Darksiders, and so on.

Even in the 2D games in the Castlevania franchise, items have always played an important role in the action. Lords of Shadow is no different, offering you a variety of items to pick up and use against your enemies. You’re able to find things like daggers to use against your foes, and while they have finite ammo, they’re still very helpful in taking enemies down at a distance. Another part of the demo had us riding quickly through the woods on horseback. While the horse itself was on rails, we did have fend off several baddies while riding to the end of the demo.

Lords of Shadow certainly is a lot more fast-paced and intense that most Castlevania fans would expect, and the gameplay feels quite a bit like other competing action titles. The genre is getting pretty crowded, with games like God of War already representing the top tier of what it has to offer. Hopefully Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will be a welcome addition.

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Steven Hopper
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