Most Anticipated of 2014 – Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Well, it’s that time again – time to kick off our most anticipated of 2014 series. Our first title is one that made my list last year, but unfortunately didn’t end up making it this year sadly… Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a game that did something people thought couldn’t be done: taking Castlevania into the 3d realms successfully. It had been tried before, and met with nothing that anyone would call success, but then LoS came out and made us all believe.

Lords of Shadow provided a big surprise at its ending, and LoS2 promises to make full use of that twist. Your character, Gabriel Belmont, appears to be a typical Castlevania lead character at the start. As the story progresses, he gradually begins to show signs of darkness… during the final cutscene, it is revealed that Gabriel has actually become Dracula. Lords of Shadow 2 finishes the origin story for the villain we’re all so used to killing.

Konami really knows how to sell a story. That trailer is fascinating, providing enough details and taking complete advantage of Sir Patrick Stewart’s amazing voicework to keep your attention locked to the screen. Our story picks up years after Lords of Shadow left us, with Dracula having hidden away throughout the years and now returning into the world to find that things aren’t quite the same. We have a fascinating anti-hero here, and the potential for an interesting continuation to Gabriel’s fall from grace into being a true villain, saving the world along the way.

They aren’t nearly as successful in selling the gameplay, although if you can ignore the obnoxious narration… this trailer presents an interesting tease of gameplay building on Lords of Shadow’s foundation.

Balancing between strategy and pace is a real challenge in an ARPG, and Lords of Shadow did a fairly good job of that, with a few minor flaws. Lords of Shadow 2 seems to be building on that and really playing on the fact that you are Dracula. Hopefully it utilizes that fully and lets you get the full experience of being the Prince of Darkness. Good start, if the trailers are any indication, but we’ll have to wait and see when this game comes out on February 25th of next year.

Lords of Shadow featured exciting gameplay, some of the best voicework of the generation, and an intriguing and surprising story… will its sequel deliver on its promise… we won’t know until next year, but I’m excited to find out.

And don’t forget to check back next Tuesday as I will be talking about a company near and dear to my heart… Square Enix.

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