Review: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 PC Version

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Gameplay

So.. you want to be a vampire eh? Well, fear not, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is upon us! My excitement was almost uncontainable whilst downloading from Steam (Hurry gigabit Internets!) and even more so as I saw this gorgeous game running on my rig. While not doubt beautiful, I had to wonder about the gameplay and game as a whole. The story continues right were it left off and the first 30 minutes is stunning to say the least. I was floored but the graphics, voice acting and solid gameplay. Then, as time went on, things slowly, then more quickly, just started to fall apart. The game feels extremely disjointed after the amazing intro. It's hard to explain but it's almost as if the design team just fell apart in the middle of development. Either way, there is plenty of solid action, cool bosses mixed in with design frustration. Gone are the epic jungles, forests and rivers of the original title and now it is a mixed bag of horrible cityscapes and ancient flashbacks... Instead, why is everyone in this game either a jerk, scumbag or just plain unlikable? Despite many improvements, I had many more head scratching moments.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode, Age 65.

Graphics and Sound

If there one (or two) major redeeming factors of LOS2, it's the mind boggling graphics, crisp sound and lush music that is present here. I took well over 240 screenshots while playing this game, that is how amazing it all looks. With an improved camera system, this sequel really let's you get right in the middle of the action. Even though the environments are limited, all of them are breathtaking. Not only that, this game pretty much ran 100+ FPS the entire time on our Qnix gaming monitor. It's dark, beautiful but the special effects are some of the best I have ever seen. This engine could absolutely be used in so many other titles but who knows if that will ever happen..

Graphics not your cup of tea? Well, never fear, an amazing voice cast is here along some gorgeous melodies and disgusting (in a good way!) sound effects. The music is probably some of the best I have heard in a very long while. I just wish the game was as good as the artistry on display here. Either way, this is a game to crank up your resolution, blast your sound and enjoy some eye and ear candy. Be sure to check out our 1440p gallery and full res video below if you don't believe me.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

I bow before you artists of Mercury Steam!

Fun

After all is said any done, is this game fun and really worth your gaming dollar? It depends. If you want more along the lines of the first game, you will be sorely dissapointed. If you want a leaner, meaner, bloodier and less brains a la Devil May Cry, this is definitely up your alley. For me, I found the disjointed story and gameplay elements from stealth to button mashing to puzzle solving to be poor at best. For every amazing moment, there were 10 WTF moments. The action is solid, the graphics and sound are GORGEOUS but other than that, I felt like my gaming joy had been sucked out by the end..

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Final Verdict: 

If you looked up the term "mixed bag" in any gamer dictionary, I am pretty sure Lords of Shadow 2 would be mentioned in the entry somewhere. While some parts of the game are absolutely breathtaking, there are many more that just leave you wondering, what in the name of all that is holy (or unholy) were they thinking?! While some of the combat feels better than the first, this is entry is too dark, too mean and too disjointed to really stoke much excitement. If you don't care much about cohesive storytelling and just want to tear about some baddies rendered in high res glory, pick this up on PC. Otherwise, it's an overpriced hot and sad mess.

Rating -- 3.5/5 Stars
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2