E3 2010 games to watch: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow preview

As we mentioned earlier this week, E3 is rapidly approaching with the inevitability of giant stomping bosses appearing in action games. As the second part of our twice-weekly previews showcasing the most aniticipated titles, we're taking a gander at the could-be-good, could-be-meh latest attempt at a 3D Castlevania, the eerily God of War-like Lords of Shadow.

Above: Well, they definitely got the "gothic" feel in there

Why Castlevania: LoS is one to watch:

  • While it's being done by outside developer Mercury Steam, Konami's creative maestro Hideo Kojima is overseeing the project to ensure quality. He's even said, quite humbly we might add, that he can learn something about game design from the developers. WHA?!?
  • It focuses on cerebral combat instead of mindless flailing. Button mashing, in fact, will probably get you killed. You'll start off with basic attacks, but then develop secondary weapons like daggers, and graduate to magical abilities that can then be combined with your weapons to produce even more effects.
  • You get to play with the Belmont family's signature weapon - the whip. Of course, it's been dolled up and now goes by the moniker of Combat Cross, but c'mon, it's still a whip. There are not enough whips in videogames.

Above: We think that's a leg there

  • Giganto bosses make an entrance. After Shadow of the Colossus popularized them, and God of War III refined them, Castlevania will... um... have them also? Okay, so it feels a bit "me-too" but will we ever get tired of scaling giant monsters and chopping them down? Maybe, but not yet.
  • Despite how it looks, it's not trying to pull a Dante's Inferno and copy God of War - at least according to the developers. They liken it more to Prince of Persia because of the greater emphasis on platforming, puzzles, and exploration, as opposed to visceral combat. The combat will still be more combo-y than previous Castlevanias, but not quite Kratos-levels of slaughter.
  • Boss fights won't involve quick-time events. Everything will happen in real time, with you in control, climbing and slaying the boss inch by inch.
  • While it might not eat up your life as much as Symphony of the Night, it still claims its stake in 50 “levels” and a playtime of about 15 hours, so it's nothing to sneeze at and avoids the current trend of 6-8 hour games. We've also seen Gabriel astride a horse and a giant bird, which might imply a huge world to explore, although we're not sure just yet. 

Above: It also seems to have werewolves riding even bigger werewolves. We hope it's true, because that raises the Stupidly Awesome Quotient (SAQ) by 234%

So are you excited, or worried? Or both? We're all hoping to avoid another Castlevania 64 incident (shudder). Are the Lords of Shadow, whoever they may be, on your E3 2010 gotta-see-its? Or is it at the bottom of your list? Let us know in the comments, or through our portals on Facebook and Twitter.

April 24, 2010


E3 E3 2010


  • Melvinious - June 14, 2010 10:15 p.m.

    K a couple of things here.. The fact that Kojima has woken up to this title 3/4 of the way through its development means he sees it as a potential blockbuster, which is why he wants his name on it. The gameplay, in general, was probably finished by the time he pinned his name to it thats how it works most of the time. The way this works is that he will see potential and pin his "brand" on it. In reality he probably hasn't had anything to do with the game except some tips here and there, which is probably a good thing. This feels like something new without loads of cut scenes and quicktime fill in crap and a focus on real gameplay. Most people missed the fact that the stuff in the last trailers was actual gameplay and not cut videos so for me its looking good. Also the fact that they are getting people like Robert Carlyle, Sir Patrick Stewart in for the voices seems to indicate that the producer David Cox is really pulling out the red carpet on this as they were already on board before Kojima stamped his name on it. Definitely in my top 5 for E3 2010.
  • JADENkOTOR - April 26, 2010 6:03 p.m.

    Still looks more like darksiders to me.
  • sixboxes - April 26, 2010 5:31 p.m.

    Why are people crying about wanting more Igarashi and 2D 'vania games? Like there's any doubt there will be more of those. Every one of the DS Castlevanias sold like mad (To which I contributed, thankyouverymuch), and there's no doubt there will be more. In playing a couple of the last gen's attempts at 3D Castlevania, I really don't think Iga's into putting the franchise into that format. Having Kojima work on Lords of Shadow gives it promise. And seriously? werewolves riding BIGGER WEREWOLVES? Stupidly Awesome indeed.
  • Zeipher - April 26, 2010 3:50 a.m.

    @Imgema: Its just you. All the latest Castlevenia games have sucked. Kojima will bring a refined taste and several fans to the franchise.
  • masterj2k11 - April 25, 2010 11:05 p.m.

    I've never been a castlevania fan, only playing it in passing over the years. but it never held my attention (I was too young I guess) this one looks badass though and will definatly be worth a play through. Also I'm a kojima devotee so that helps too I guess.
  • OnyxOblivion - April 25, 2010 11:01 a.m.

    How to get me excited for Castlevania: Make it a 2D DS game. That said, I'm still looking forward to this. Even though I HATE all of Kojima's work.
  • Kisokuiki - April 25, 2010 2:08 a.m.

    I wish Igarashi was overseeing this instead of Kojima. Then it might feel a little more like an actual Castlevania game, mainstream appeal be damned.
  • Stebsy - April 25, 2010 1:14 a.m.

    @flameking1087 dude as if theyl put this on the wii there trying to make a next gen game not a shit game lolz
  • Imgema - April 25, 2010 12:13 a.m.

    Is it just me, or the fact that Cojima is overseeing the project is not such a great thing? I'm just kinda tired of games that try to be movies. I want to play more, instead of watching endless cutscenes and videos. I'm just worried that its going to be another MGS4 in gothic suit, that's all...
  • flameking1087 - April 24, 2010 11:05 p.m.

    i really wish this was for the wii... but i doubt it is. i want a new Soma Cruz castlevania...
  • BurntToShreds - April 24, 2010 9:03 p.m.

    Please tell me I get to fight Death in the Clock Tower again, annoying mini-sickles and all. That's always my favorite part.
  • Ogrebattle64 - April 24, 2010 8:51 p.m.

    @skynetiscoming he does the voice for someone in the game. The trailer also has him narrating
  • Stebsy - April 24, 2010 6:32 p.m.

    meh, most likely wont be very good
  • Peloun - April 24, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    HMMMM I thought it would be mindless like god of war 3. Now I am interested
  • skynetiscoming - April 24, 2010 6:02 p.m.

    Only halfway through, but why is Capn Picard on the box art on the side bar?

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