One of the worst experiences at E3 2013 was waiting in line for two hours to play Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2…. or at least that’s what we thought. Turns out actually playing the game was worse than any wait.
Once again Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is a 3D button mashy action game. While Castlevania: Lords of Shadow tried very hard to rip-off God of War, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is trying to rip off Devil May Cry.
You play as Dracula, who fights with three weapons: The Blood Whip, the Feral Gauntlets, and the Void Sword. The Blood Whip is your basic weapon. It has tons of range and deals moderate damage and, unfortunately, you will never use it. The Void Sword has slightly less range and does little damage but each time you hit an enemy with it, you regain some of your life. Each hit gives you back about an eight of your life bar, so it doesn’t take much to bring you back to full life in one combo. Finally, the Feral Gauntlets have the least range but do tons of damage and break through enemy defenses, keeping them stunned for an incredibly long time.
As before, you can either attack with light attacks or heavy area attacks. Unfortunately, the only thing you ever need to do is mash on the heavy attack button with the Feral Gauntlets equipped. They will instantly break through any enemy’s block and will deal a ton of damage in the process. Of course, this will get you hit by the odd stab in the back, but that doesn’t matter. Switch to the Void Sword, hit your enemy once or twice, and switch back. It’s all incredibly button mashy.
Lords of Shadow 2 also brings back the broken platforming that everyone hated in Lords of Shadow 1. However, this time around you can use your “vampire sense” to highlight the next platform you have to jump to in red. It doesn’t matter though because there are plenty of red herrings that cause you to jump in the wrong direction and fall to your death, and these are highlighted in red as well. This Is, perhaps, one of the dumbest ideas ever to be implemented in 3D platforming. The fact that getting hit by any stage hazard essentially makes you start from the beginning of the platforming segment all over again doesn’t help. Platforms were far more dangerous than any of the enemies the game threw at me.
Long story short, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 wasn’t fun. Playing the game didn’t make you feel like an all mighty vampire lord, or a hero, or even a semi-competent adventurer. Nothing but the platforming posed any threat, and even then it only posed a threat due to stiff controls and highlighted paths that literally lead me to my death. The only question we have left to ask is, "Why would Robert Carlyle and Patrick Stewart put their names on a game like this?" You guys could do so much better. Just look at Keifer Sutherland and Metal Gear!