Platform: PS3,XBOX360 and PC
Release date: August 27th, 2013
Price: $29.99 / € 24.99
*review copy provided by Konami.Tested on PC.
There is a recent trend in the gaming industry of releasing console exclusive games to PC. Namco Bandai did it with Dark Souls and soon to do with Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, Warner Bros with Mortal Kombat and now Konami joins with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, a game that has been out on both PS3/XBOX360 since 2010. Should the PC gamer give this game a try? Keep reading.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow takes place on a collapsing earth, where boundaries between Earth, Hell and Heaven are broken. Humans are being hunted by darkness creatures and on the verge of extinction. This is the time that the Brotherhood of Light must take its place and bring peace to the planet once again.
The main protagonist is Gabriel, a brave warrior who was sent by the brotherhood to investigate the current situation and hopefully save mankind. Soon enough, Gabriel finds that the gods are unable to help because demons interrupt the connection between heaven and earth, thus he seeks a way to resolve the problem. The story also mixes with Gabriel’s personal life, as he encounters his dead wife and tries to bring her back.
Castlevania’s plot is merely fictional, and somewhat based on the original game from 1986, so even if you are not familiar with franchise you can still understand it all, just take into consideration that you must be a fan of fantasy settings where werewolves, goblins, dwarf, skeletons are fighting each other.
As for gameplay, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow plays like most Hack N’ Slash. There are 2 action buttons that you can use in battle, combining them will execute combo attacks. Each time you finish a battle, you will earn XP points to use at the combo store, so you can always upgrade your movements and try new stuff when fighting. The unique thing about the gameplay mechanic is that the game features Light/Dark modes that Gabriel can use to defeat enemies, similar to the burst option that is available in many games of the genre. Light mode will help you gather health points, the more damage you cause the more greens you get, while Dark mode makes Gabriel significantly stronger.
Besides fighting, Castlevania also features some puzzles that will require you to think and act fast. Sometimes I find myself enjoying the puzzles more than the action, because they are getting more and more challenging as you continue through the game.
Sadly, the biggest problem I have with this game has to be its control. In order to execute different attacks you will have to use “J” and “L” buttons, jumping goes with “K” while secondary weapon can be used with “O”. And that not enough, gathering MP points will have you go all the way to “F” and “H”. I tried playing this game with a keyboard, but after some time I just couldn’t keep with it anymore because there are too much buttons to use and they are all far from each other. I know that this issue isn’t something that you can blame the developers, but I will more than recommend you to play with a 360 controller.
Another thing that bothers me is that MercurySteam didn’t improve the built-in camera, a problem that was well-known since the release of the console’s version. In Castlevania there is no option to control the camera, so sometimes you will find yourself in messy situations where you can’t see your foes.
As for the technical side of the game, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow runs really great on standard builds, and will only require you to have a video card with 512Mb Ram and Direct X9 support (even my 8600GT handles it well). That’s of course if you are aiming at the minimum. Hardcore PC gamer will be happy to find that the game support full-HD resolution, improved shadows, anti-aliasing that make the game look stunning.
Conclusion: If you already played Castlevania: Lords of Shadow on consoles, there aren’t many reasons to justify another purchase, unless you want to try it with improved graphics. PC gamers who haven’t played this title and interested in a great Hack N’ Slash should give this on a try.
+Deep combat system
-Better to play with a controller
We give it 7 out of 10