E3 ‘09: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Revealed (Updated)
If you’re not excited about this title being worked in conjunction with Kojima Productions, then I don’t know what will excite you. Given Kojima Productions approach to long cut scenes, it may the only thing that you should worry about. The game already has a stellar voice cast, including the likes of Patrick Stewart, and Robert Carlyle. For those of you who don’t know Carlyle, he has worked on movies like James Bond: The World is Not Enough, and 24-Redemption movie. Carlyle is doing the voice over for Gabriel.
It is obvious from this video that the game plays as a third person action adventure with combat, platforming, and puzzle elements. What is also noticeable are all the trademark elements from the original main character, Simon Belmont. Including the use of the whip in one of the scenes where he breaks through ornate glass in what appears to be a cathedral like structure, we also see other weapons common to the series. In the case of the crashing through the window in the cathedral, it could suggest vertical platforming; something not really explored in the 3D versions. You also see Gabriel wielding a large cross. Another weapon that seem to stand out was a massive hammer which Gabriel bested a hulking wolf-man with. It would be pleasure if this becomes a successful game as the previous iterations of Castlevania in 3D have been down right insulting.
In the official press release, Konami points out that Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will be Developed by Madrid-based Mercury Steam, the game also marks a ‘dream’ development collaboration with Konami’s lauded Kojima Productions studio, led by Hideo Kojima himself. The expected release date for the title is 2010, and no other information is given but one thing was also made clear, this title will be a “radical re-imagining, and the result” will be “an epic tale of love and loss that befits the series”. The tone definitely comes across in the trailer. Kojima and MecurySteam have a lot of baggage to deal with and will suffer a lot of criticism if this isn’t done right, especially since gamers will expect the game to good given Kojima’s track record and MecurySteams history. They have worked on titles like American McGee and Clive Barkers: Jericho; which explains the fish eye camera.
Plot wise the story takes place during Revelations, or the the End of Days. There is a dark force that threatens the relationship between mankind and heaven. This force is known as the Lords of Shadow that has caused darkness to spread over the land resulting in death and misery throughout. There is no mention of Dracula. You take on the role of Gabriel, a warrior within a collective known as the Brotherhood of Light. Their main purpose, as the elite force of good, is to eradicate evil. Gabriel, however, has a more personal motive; his wife has been murdered by the same evil force and her soul has been trapped, for eternity, in Limbo. He is, as he believes, motivated by her spirit to save her soul.
The environments within Castlevania: Lord of Shadows are set in an open world as pointed out in the press release. Expect to see dynamic locations that the series have been known for and extreme boss battles which seem to be finally replicated to the right scale in this 3RD person version.
This was a pleasant surprise and one can only hope that this will be successful. Hopefully the action will be non-stop as gamers have complained in the past 3D outings that traversing long halls of nothingness in Castlevania is not Castlevania at all. This was a major complaint for me as well, as the long empty halls of the previous 3rd person versions were very boring. If MecurySteam and Kojima can keep the action heated till those climatic boss battles, the game may be nothing short of awesome.
Below you will find the YouTube video that has the official press release announcement that includes Hideo Kojima and Dave Cox!