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Generally favorable reviews- based on 194 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 24 out of 194

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  1. Mar 20, 2014
    I originally played a portion of LOS when it first came out and it was ok... Fast forward to the launch of LOS-2 and I never realized how great this game is! I am still in the middle of playing put for some reason, I don't remember how great it looks and how fun it is to play! Was I just not looking to have fun with this game? I don't know. All that matters is that 4 years later I can't wait to play when I get home from work. I decided to start with this before I move on to the sequel. I have always had fun with Castlevania games and believe this and the sequel will be added to that list! Expand
  2. Feb 22, 2014
    i love the castlevania series specially castlevania sotn that's i castlevania lord of shadow on xbox 360, and i was kinda dissapointed because it doesn't feel like castlevania it feels like I'm playing God of War or a DMC game and it feels so linear that you don't have any other options while playing but eventually there are hidden items and upgrades along the way,

    The game is
    beautifully made the, details the animation and the cutscenes are amazing, and i'm just wondering why the game is not set up in a castle i mean cmon it's a castlevania game, but as you play the game you will know why.

    It's a cool game gameplay is good like GoW, Boss Fights are engaging that you want fight them over and over again, and the puzzles are well made simple and rewarding, however it's not a castlevania game, and while playing the game there are some times that i'm just playing the game because i want to know the story not because im enjoying the game
  3. Jan 1, 2014
    Lords of Shadow is the most beautifully realised and designed game I have ever played, hands down. The artistic nature is enough to draw you in, but the story and the emotions you feel throughout the game just pile on to the positives. Mechanics can feel clunky, but this is hardly a drawback. It also transitions neatly between platforming and climbing, a la Uncharted, and grueling combat, which can at times be more than just a little tricky. The boss fights are tremendous, some reminiscent of shadow of the colossus, where you must climb all over the monster to find it's weak spots, and then strike. The game, like most others these days, does have it's QTE's, but these aren't strictly a problem. As a matter of fact, some even feel as though they are adding to the experience, making cutscenes feel more involving to the player.

    I could go on and on about positives, so how about the downsides? Well I mentioned one earlier; the clunkiness of the combat and the climbing can be rather disorientating, but nothing strictly problematic. Besides that, I genuinely cannot think of anything to complain about this game. It's very almost perfection, which is insanely rare in games these days. The one thing I must say about this game; playing on the highest difficulty in boss fights is hard. I mean, it's HARD. I attempted the final boss fight on this difficulty, and was dropped in with minimum health, making for a frantic battle to recover my health before I was obliterated. This is by no means a bad thing; a game SHOULD challenge the player, only unlike Dark Souls, such a challenge should be left an option for the player, rather than being mandatory. Because if you wish, the game can be a breeze, with amazing puzzles, beautiful backdrops, fantastic art style, unique story uniting many different myths and legends from around the globe and across the span of time (probably my favourite feature of all), and an emotional ending leaving us wanting more...far, far more. Good thing the second is just around the corner, huh?

    So, if you have not already, buy this game...I mean, do it now. You do not want to miss out.
  4. Dec 28, 2013
    that s best game i v played ever. If you have not played this game then you are missing out on a 50% of ur life!!!!!! story: Gabriel is a member of the Brotherhood of Light, an elite group of holy knights who protect and defend the innocent against the supernatural. His beloved wife was brutally murdered by the evil forces of darkness and her soul trapped for eternity. Neither living nor dead she realizes the horrific truth of what is at stake and guides Gabriel to his destiny and hopefully salvation for the world... but at what cost?

    Thus, Gabriel must travel the destroyed world, defeating the evil tyrants in order to use their powers to bring balance back to the world. Armed with the versatile Combat Cross the world's last hope must encounter the three factions of the Lords of Shadow and end their unholy rule.
  5. Oct 27, 2013
    Ok so this one was a bit of a surprise. Being a long time fan of the Castlevania franchise (Castlevania IV infact on the snes being the first game I ever played) I had my reservations about this game. Most of the really excellent entries in the series have been in the classic 2D and I feel there's a certain eerie quality to the animations that just cannot be captured in 3D. There's also the matter of the game play and the game feel usually being completely altered once the transition is made often removing many of the qualities that make a great Castlevania title. My surprise then when I actually found this game most enjoyable and actually found myself a little addicted to it.

    Lets not beat around the bush, there are many faults in this game some of which could be game ruining if not for them just not quite prominent enough to be really damaging. For example some of the enemies are pretty standard fare, the warewolves in particular are super generic and grow tiresome especially as they are the main enemy for the majority of the early stages of the game. However when you realize just how long the game is this becomes less of an issue. The game totals at around 20 hours which is a huge amount of play time for this type of game. As a result you tend to end up fighting enemies specific to the chapter/area of the game you are currently engaged with and many of the later enemies designs are actually very interesting. I have to say I don't care much for the titan battles as they become very tedious very quickly and feel really unnecessary in this game. Its like they tacked them on to play it safe and try their hand at GOW style gameplay. It would have been far superior if they'd gone with more traditional bosses in place of these. Anyhow, its true in terms of game play style the game doesn't really have an identity of its own, I found the combat to be very fluent and it can be quite satisfying also but it is taking all its ques from GOW and Devil May Cry. However, the game world is frankly stunning on many occasions and while the ageing xbox 360 hardware chugs the frame rate down pretty drastically on occasions its never awful. I honestly think graphically this game is woefully underrated and I take my hat of to the designers.

    All in all there are problems with this game and it won't be for everyone, there are elements of old school 'vania to be found in the atmosphere and Gothic decadence of many of the environments however there also modern gaming trappings applied and stylistic choices by the developers making this an interesting game in its own right. Also the game is difficult to an extreme degree in some instances, its never too difficult though and makes you test your abilities in ways that many modern games shy away from in order to appeal to a wider audience. I was pleasantly surprised by this title and as a result look forward to playing the sequel in a month or so.
  6. Oct 6, 2013
    This game was not that bad, but It did not capture my attention for very long sadly. When I first played this game I though it was a holy game because of the armour well I was mistaken by the surprise that awaited me. Over 20+ hours.

    Graphics ***
    Gameplay **
    Sound ****
    Lasting appeal **

    This game I would say is good for casual-hardcore gamers.
  7. Mar 10, 2013
    i love this game, and the castlevania franchise, besides some flaws, this game still is okay! sure, you have no control over the camera, and yes, i know, some bosses are ripped of shadow of the colossus, and i don't know how people are hating on that, it brings back memories for me! and i'm sure for many other people who have played both Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and Shadow of the Colossus
  8. Sep 3, 2012
    Expansive and varied environments, awesome NPC's, enemies and bosses, and an awesome use of the Castlevania IP makes Lord Of Shadows a must have for fans of the series. This is a fairly standard 3D exploration combat game but what sets it apart is the excellent use of the trademark Castlevania whip mechanic along with some of the best locales, vistas, and mythological characters you're likely to see in a single game. Expand
  9. Jun 1, 2012
    9.5 - Forget everything you know about adventure games and play Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. This is a remarkable and extremely phenomenal game. Castlevania is an astoundingly epic adventure that will take your imagination on a joy ride. The story is action packed and intense (a little sacrilegious at parts), balanced combat is deep and rewarding, and the boss battles can only be described by the carbon copy term of the decade: Epic. Castlevania is an absolute epic from start to finish, I can't stress that enough. It does suffer from some blemishes, such as some very strange camera angles leading to confusion on screen, some imbalanced and downright cheap moments during later battles, and iffy platforming. But to be honest, you can easily look past these blemishes. The graphics are incredible and the attention to detail is astounding. The art design and level design is bar-to-none some of the most genuinely creative, and the world that you journey in is an incredible feast for the imagination and the senses. Lords of Shadow creates such an intense sense of insignificance and smallness as you journey to the different and often gigantic locales, a feature that is missing from adventure games of late. A gorgeous original score accompanies your adventures, and the sound effects and voice acting are top notch. (Although it is sad to see Sir Patrick Stewart a...whoops spoilers!) The puzzles in the game actually require some thinking as well, a welcome change of pace for "god of war" style games. It may have it's blemishes, and they may even be frequent, but I could care less. This is an expertly crafted, intense, epic, and downright phenomenal game with a great sense of scope and imagination that never ceases to impress me. A must play for Castlevania fans, and a must play for any gamer looking for a refreshing twist on epic action adventures. Expand
  10. Mar 6, 2012
    Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is an AWESOME game!, one of the best games this generation.. Its really underrated, i dont know why it gets much hate from castlevania fans! I know it not a side-scroller caslevania but that doesnt mean it a bad game! Its a GREAT game
  11. Mar 6, 2012
    I dont care what people say! This game is AWESOME!!! one of the best games this gen.. Its sooooooo **** underrated, i dont know why it gets much hate from castlevania fans! Just because it not a "TRUE" caslevania doesnt mean that it sucks! Its a GREAT game
  12. Feb 21, 2012
    When is Castlevania not Castlevania? When it's a poor immitation of God of War + Devil May Cry + Shadow of the Colossus. All forms of entertainment media nick ideas from others - it's what helps create great games, music, films etc. - but when something does that, but does it very poorly then it really isn't worth bothering with. CLOS as you may have guessed is such a game, from the very outset you just don't feel as if you are playing anything other than a poor rip off. The game itself is gash, playing with a weird, sloppy feel to the combat and a very linear approach to levels and bosses........which wouldn't be so bad if any of it was any fun. However the design of the game itself really feels ported from a bygone era and there's just not very much fun to be had at all. Decent graphics and environments are complemented by some good sound, but boredom poor gaming are all that await under the surface. Awful game and a disgrace to the Castlevania name. Expand
  13. Feb 19, 2012
    Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is an awesome game. I've played some of the 2D Castlevania games and I enjoyed them but I can honestly say that I think this is a great new direction for the series to take. Lords of Shadow has a few flaws, and can be a bit frustrating at times, but the rich world, excellent combat, and epic story combined with the game's length make up for that in the long run, which is why I'm giving it a 9 out of 10. Anyone who likes grandiose adventures should go buy this now! Expand
  14. Jan 21, 2012
    As a long-time fan of the series, I went into this game with tempered expectations. I already knew it was going to be Castlevania in name only, despite the developer promising over and over that this was going to be the most castlevany Castlevania ever. It's God of War plus the wall climbing of games like Uncharted and Assassin's Creed plus a couple bosses ripped off from Shadow of the Colossus. This would be fine if the game mixed these elements well, but it doesn't. Basic combat is fairly well done even if it lacks the variety of God of War and is even more focused on QTEs. Most other aspects of the game are pretty mediocre. Handling Gabriel is a chore... mostly because of the fixed camera constantly changing angles forcing you to take a few moments to readjust the controls while Gabriel runs into a wall. Sometimes you'll flip a switch, the camera will cut away from Gabriel for an instant, before coming back to Gabriel standing on the opposite side of the room. Sometimes the camera will change and your view of Gabriel or a ledge you need to get to will be blocked. Even simple things like getting him to face a statue so you can push it are frustratingly different. The puzzles (and there are a lot of them) are among the most poorly explained, obtuse imaginable in a game. Even the game's mechanics are poorly explained to the point that 15 hours into this 20 hour game, you'll still be getting tutorials on what buttons you need to press to get Gabriel to smash through a wall. The battles against the "Titans" look great, but are pretty dull to play and are so heavily scripted that you will watch the bosses do the same animations over and over while you scale it looking for the glowy parts. They totally lack the dynamism of the boss fights in Shadow of the Colossus. The game in general looks absolutely beautiful and makes some of the game's flaws a little more tolerable, but again, some of that beauty is diminished when you realize that the world is fully of annoying invisible walls. There are better ways to keep players on the proper path, but Lords of Shadow does not bother. It makes it really hard to tell what platforms you can jump on and which are just part of the background. Finally, platforming, combat, puzzle solving and cutscenes just seem to be thrown together over the course of the game's length with little regard to pacing each element properly. I realize that pacing a 20 hour game is a daunting task, but maybe that means they should have focused on making a good 8-10 hour game instead of a mediocre one that's twice as long. Lords of Shadow is not terrible. It's beautiful and has some good voice acting (Robert Carlyle and Patrick Stewart are great, even if the latter's monologues between levels start to get really cringe-worthy in the second half of the game) and the combat is fairly satisfying. I think MercurySteam could make a really good Castlevania game their second time around by refining what they've done here while also making the game feel more like a real Castlevania game (how about throwing in some of the old tunes, for example?). As it is, I can't really recommend this to Castlevania nor to God of War fans. Expand
  15. Jan 18, 2012
    The game is pretty good. I loved the graphics, they make the game look cooler. Not just cooler, but they make the game don't get really boring. Each map (or dungeon) is the same: You climb, run, climb, run, all the time. If the game was like Tetris: just square blocks, it would suck. You climb, run, fight some guys, climb more, and more and more...good thing the graphics make the game cooler.
  16. Sep 23, 2011
    I give it an "8". The game has some breathtaking scenery and is fun to play once you get a couple hours into it, but the difficult boss battles and frozen camera angle kind of detract from it. Game does borrow heavily for God of War, but is that necessarily bad? I enjoys Dante's Inferno, and that was a rip off as well , but very fun none the less. It's a fun game, but a little too long. I'm about 10 hours in, and just put in disc number 2. At my age I kind of want to wrap up a game in 10 hours and move onto something else, but ill probably finish this up anyway.... Expand
  17. Sep 18, 2011
    This game tells an epic (maybe too epic, if that's possible) tale of Gabriel Belmont, the latest, and in my opinion greatest of a long line of Castlevania vampire hunters. The game is gorgeous. The monsters and characters are well done enough, but the backgrounds and levels look FANTASTIC! I got nearly creamed by more than one troll or vampire spawn simply because I was in admiration of the scenery. Konami rebooted Castlevania in a wonderful fashion and I look forward to experiencing the now re-sparked future of this series. Expand
  18. Aug 2, 2011
    There's not much redeeming about Lords of Shadow. It's a betrayal of the series that smacks of pandering and a complete lack of an understanding of the franchise. When the last 10 minutes of the game, all in cut scenes, are by far the best of the entire endeavor, you know something's really wrong.
  19. Jul 8, 2011
    It bad. it's a rip off of other games that are just as bad. All you do is mash buttons, theres no multiplayer, who makes a game in 2010 with no multiplayer? yikes...super embarrassing.
  20. Jul 7, 2011
    Your kidding me, right? Liking this cheesy nacho of a game is the equivalent to praising the cover. And you didn't buy the game because of the cover did you? It's not worth your time, or your fifty bucks. It's just a overrated cheesy tub of cliches and plotholes. The fun factor is sickening, and the length is average, but you'd want it short. Trust me.
  21. Apr 6, 2011
    i originally said the game wasn't bad, i'm gonna stick with that due to the fact that i like to destroy baddies with all of furry of a thousand gods. what i feel they got wrong, the antagonist didn't transform over the corse of the game. he felt very stagnate. the story itself didn't get me hooked early on. maybe b/c killing the evil hordes of vampires, lycan, zombies, etc. as holy crusader just seemed all to blah. the combat system seemed a lil' to over the top and felt a bit clunky. it had to many moves while i only used the same move over and over and over again to get the job done. the puzzles felt like they were just thrown in at random times. finally, the main character is supposed to be some sort of savior and has to go where no mortal has gone before, so throughout the game you find gems and the like to help advance his cause, off of dead allies bodies. my issue with this is if i've gone further than any mortal has ever gone how can i keep finding my fallen brothers ahead of where i'm at and looting their bodies to advance in the game. little things like this can, for me, make the story just average or great. what they did right was the graphics of this game, there is some really stunning artwork in it. they took a few things from other games that were and made it their own in a new light. so all in all if they adjust a few things here and there like the voice acting for the MC, the sequel has a chance to be great. this game doesn't have a high replay value for me. Expand
  22. Mar 15, 2011
    This game was frikin awesome! I loved the boss fights they were wicked! Okay so the games REALLY long but thats a good thing to surely right. Value for money. I enjoyed this so much and I'm glad I went out on a limb to buy it. They can thank their trailer team for that as thats why I bought it. Damn my impluse.
  23. Mar 4, 2011
    Castlevania is a great game, which takes you through an amazing journey that never stops being entertaining from start to finish. Is it derivative? Absolutely! But it's also a great game.
  24. Jan 31, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Score (10.0) It's a really good game. I recommends this game. If you look for an adventure game with a good story maybe you should to try with This game. I hope can to rate more games. Expand
  25. Jan 22, 2011
    No. I tried to like this game, I really did. And it's gorgeous. I forced myself to finish it because I kept hearing and reading how great the ending was. The sad truth is that everything the game does has been done before, and better. Like many reviewers said, this is God of War meets Shadow of the Colossus. Except in God of War and Devil May Cry, you obtain a wide variety of extra weapons, as in Castlevania LoS, you are stuck with the same sad whip and only obtain useless upgrades that dont affect combat in any way shape or form. You also obtain a very limited amount of tossing daggers, some holy water, a crystal that breaks after 1 use and some utterly useless fairies. That's it. The level design is linear and tedious, you are forced to revisit levels again once you have upgrades just to obtain the ability to carry extra worthless sub weapons and I hope you are familiar with gamefaqs because you will be referring to it frequently, not because you are stuck on a boss or puzzle, but because the horrible level design makes it a choir to find that one obscure little ledge you need to climb down to proceed. The last few levels especially made me want to hurl my controller out the window. Horrible cheap pit placement, cut scenes after checkpoints, ensuring I had to watch a titan move its arm over and over again, terribly inconsistent placement of healing statues. I would often start levels with a sliver of life only to die and come back with a sliver of life. If its a new level, why am I not starting it at full health? In any case, I those last few complaints may have come as a result of my finishing the game on the Hard difficulty setting, but over all, I thought the random end was not enough to compensate for suffering through this tedious game. The cut scene after the credits sure was cool and opens the path to some hopefully better sequels. Maybe ones in which we fight Dracula, or maybe explore a castle for more than a few levels? Here's hoping. Expand
  26. Jan 10, 2011
    The first and the most important is strong 10 for enjoyability. I hardly remember any other game that would keep me spending days playing it without getting bored at all. The gameplay is a perfectly glued mixture of hack'n'slash, platforming and puzzle which in conjunction with loads of very well done cut scenes and choreographed boss battles resulted in a dynamic and consistent action game.

    Visuals. Design and look are most admired by majority of gamers and reviewers and here is where I totally agree that it's a "pinnacle of awesomeness". The game is incredibly beautiful.

    Though many people speak negatively about the linearity, locked cameras and "invisible walls" that limit one's possibilities to investigate the locations I see these as a big plus. Linearity and fixed cameras give a feeling of "playing a movie" created by a feature film director and where-can-go limitations do not let one distract from the storyline with getting stuck on looking for some possible treasures hypothetically hidden somewhere on an enormously huge location. As for me locations are just as big and stashes are just as well hidden as it is needed for making the game entertaining rather than frustrating and boring.

    Another thing in gameplay I've found quite useful is that one can skip some puzzles in the game which is a good thing for those who haven't got a big affection towards logical mini-games. However, puzzles are easy and some can be solved within minimum effort, so good idea to give it a shot before skipping.

    Next stop - animation. I am far not new to this craft ( for some years now I've been working as a creature technical director / character animator for feature films and animation movies ) and must say guys at Mercury Steam rock! the animation is fantastic, both in-game 3D and 2D combo demos in the book (special thanks to MS for that one). The battles are dynamic and not messy as ALL combos are easy to perform and lots of incredible combinations available once you obtain the relics, magics and secondary weapons. Boss fight choreography is just fabulous.

    There's just one thing that pissed me off: if doing such stunningly awesome characters with brilliant job on handling really challenging technical tasksâ
  27. Dec 8, 2010
    On the technical side, the controls are responsive and the actions in the game are really fluid and intense. The platforming (climbing and stuffs) sections are 'okay', they worked but I'd imagine them being more fluid like of those in Assassin Creed, Prince of Persia or Saboteur games. It's not a hack and slash game where you can pound through hordes of enemies by constantly pressing the attack button, there are many puzzles in the game (with unlockable hints which would prevent you from receiving EXP for clearing them) and the difficulties of the puzzles are moderate and reasonable. And there are a lot of moments which you face non-stop enemy respawning unless you clear the puzzles which intensified your gameplay experiences. The enemies are interesting to fight with because they all had different behaviors and fighting patterns as well as methods to kill them, boss fight are epic and difficult but not cheap at all. Hidden items and collectibles are easy to miss, but usually visible if you're careful enough, they were never placed in some crazy secret caves like some other games that forced you to go use walkthroughs or go nut.

    There are quicktime events, but not quite 'quicktime-esque' because instead of matching the colors which appeared on-screen with the correct face buttons on your controller, you will have to match the timing with any action button which I personally think are more challenging and they work better than the regular quicktime events in any other games. If you failed, you would know that it was your mistake and can't blame it on excitement, the intensity of the battle and adrenaline-rush for making you press the wrong button. Quite a smart move on the developer side.

    Replay value is high because you can try to finish all stages playing hardest difficult and try to clear them 110% (just like how you love the recent Castlevania games to be) and each stage also has its own trial challenge which you will have to clear it under a specific condition which I think is really fun. The graphics are nice but definitely not topnotch and the game has bugs here and there but from my experience, I haven't faced any problem that prevented me from advancing and finishing the game. The usual bugs which happened to my experience were getting stuck in free fall animation when land on breakable objects after a double-jump (the object will break eventually and you will land safely after), clipping to the ground (which can fix by just jumping out of it) and sometimes I was able to get behind wall or boundary which led to a free-fall death (most annoying but happened only twice since I started playing the game for almost a month already). There are some frame-rate dropping moment but not too often.

    On the art side, this game is one hell of a gold pot. The first things I need to mention are musics and voices. It has one of the grandest and most beautiful music I've heard from games this past few years. It's really difficult to describe, you just have to hear for yourself to believe. The voice actings are awesome, especially the story was narrated by Patrick Steward and his voice was full of emotions which helped connecting players with Gabriel and his adventure. The story and script are epic, there are parts you can guess the twists but you wouldn't know there are twists within twists and those, my friends, will make you scream.

    The game has really nice animations and character designs (although some secondary characters' models should definitely receive more love) but the best part of the animation aspect is in the combo tutorial pages where the previews of your moves were hand-drawn animations and they looked beautifully gorgeous! I can just keep switching pages and enjoy looking at them for really long time (I'm an animator after all :D).

    One thing (western) critics and gamers complained a lot is the fixed camera angles but because they are fixed you've got to see great compositions that you would never have seen with behind-the-character cameras. And the cinematic qualities are topnotch! I was able to buy the boss fights storyboards from the 'extra' menu but I would love for Konami to release official art book with all hi-res concepts and detailed storyboards! The ending cinematic was just WOW! It hinted for a possible of a sequel but not in a cheesy way because if the sequel actually follows the ending movie of this game, it would definitely be one really interesting Castlevania game!
  28. Nov 9, 2010
    Let me start off by saying that i have primarily had a xbox and a 360 after the ps1, my friend would let me barrow his ps2 sometimes for my xbox. I played the first god of war but only some of the second, played a couple bosses in shadow of the colossus, beat devil may cry 3 and 4 and beat FFX. These games seem to be a big influence in lords of shadow(not so much FFX) BUT ITS NOT A CLONE. Since i only own a 360 this is kind of my first next-gen action game experience, besides dmc4 which doesn't compare. A god of war-esc game for xbox that does it right, this is truly an amazing adventure game that takes known concepts and makes them its own. Lords of shadow has the action and combos of dmc and gow, platforming and epic boss battles against giant titans similar to shadow of the colossus and gow, puzzles straight out of an adult zelda game, and the story, pacing, and length of a final fantasy game all while having a very creative and unique art style. DONT LET THE HATERS FOOL YOU, this game is amazing and something very fresh compared to all the other mindless titles of our current game market (besides some obvious exceptions). some might complain that it doesn't resemble a castlevania because your not stuck in dracula's castle the whole time but in my opinion im glad that it takes you on a journey to the castle, It kind of reminds me of the first 2 castlevanias in that respect. in conclusion from the many enemy types to the story to the slick game-play this is just a great game that you shouldn't miss if you have a 360. game of the year! peace. Expand
  29. Nov 9, 2010
    One of the first things that you'll learn through reading any review of this game is the is that it borrows heavily from other games in its game play design. What it borrows it borrows well and implements in familiar yet suitable ways that anyone familiar with the genre will pick up easily and has most likely not yet tired of. What it does poorly is everything else. Robert Carlyle's voice acting sounds more like he lost his pet goldfish than his beloved wife with an inability to find a middle ground between apathy and overacted anguish. While Patrick Stewart adds more than Carlyle, his long droning monologues can be tedious at times. More than that they attempt to fill in parts of the story I'd rather see and feel then have explained to me in monotone detail by Captain Picard.

    The level design appears to want to have each of its levels feel like open world areas the player is free to explore but none of them actually achieve this quality. Even the rare level that has multiple paths to follow is just a facade over what is ultimately just a linear experience leading the player to an inevitable goal. Not to mention the indescribable futility one feels when trying to jump over a waist high railing only to be blocked by an invisible wall when moments earlier the player witness the character sail across a vast crevasse on angle wings. The scant few truly well hidden secrets in the game are lost amongst the countless 'hidden' items which one easily stumbles across and must simply come back later leading to the kind of paint drying monotony that is the gaming equivalent of Ambien.

    I could forgive all of these things and call this game a decent action adventure title were it simply to drop the Castlevania title and simply call itself Lords of Shadow. There are certain expectations that have been brought about over the last 24 years of the series, namely: Dracula, and a damn castle. To simply have what has become the staple of the series, the arrival at and exploration of a vast castle full of secrets, cease to be a part of the series is a travesty. Instead the castle is a brief pit stop between our opening village and some bizarre necromatic underworld that reeks of a developer's desperate need for editing. Then once we reach the end of our journey we find Satan! An entirely attenuated, completely unrelated, newly introduced character that will leave the player wondering why they bothered to pay attention to the rest of the storyline to this point. A fitting end to a game featuring a character from a long line of vampire hunters, wielding a weapon called the vampire hunter in a series about vampire hunting. An ending that could be called bittersweet if it were at all redeeming but as it is its just bitter.
  30. Nov 8, 2010
    10.0 It's necessary to pass through some levels to understand the really proposal of this game. More than a game is such an experience. Although it changes the original way to do things on a castlevania title, it makes magic with the franchise. A true master piece. Music, story, gameplay and above all... emotions.
    A must play game. Don't lose the experience.
  31. Oct 26, 2010
    This game takes me back. It is absolutely stunning, and absolutely gigantic. The combat is easy to get into, but gets complex ever time, easing you into the main course of dancing between light and shadow magic to kill enemies. The puzzles are interesting, and the platforming is great.

    The best part? Boss Fights. Bosses everywhere. Bosses that summon up the essence of badass and shove it
    in your face. I love it. That's what Castlevania is about, what games are about, the bosses.

    The cherry on top is Patrick Stewart and his voiceover for the entire game. It really lends the game an epic feel, makes it into something that actually deserves the word 'epic'. I felt like I was playing the Odyssey when I went through it. No joke.

    Get it!
  32. Oct 15, 2010
    The puzzling, platforming, fighting, graphics and music are all perfect. The story is a bit boring though, and the game is very long, but its packed with PLENTY of action and epic boss battles and never really feels boring. The combat cross is badass, and if that wasn't enough, you're constantly getting new techniques to use in the field and in combat and the skill book is constantly filling with new skills that keep you fighting hard to unlock. Replay value is there, but personally I wont go straight back into it. It's staying on my shelf as a classic though that's for sure. 10/10 Expand
  33. Oct 14, 2010
    Amazing!!! I can honestly say that this is by far the best game out his year. The game is a roller coaster ride from start to finish. If you have not played this game then you are missing out on a MASTERPIECE! The music, the graphics so impressive, the gameplay is flawless... I just can't say anything but the best from this game. I would give this game a 10+ if i could.
  34. Oct 12, 2010
    I absolutely love this game. It builds upon the story and tension beautifully by weaving elements of many of today's best blockbuster games into the age old tapestry that is Castlevania mythos. At first, I was a little dismayed that it didn't "feel" like that old Castlevania that I was used to, but this is EXACTLY what the franchise needed. Let's face it, the Symphony of the Night clones on the DS were not breaking any new ground and the other recent forays into 3d Castlevania have been pretty sub-par. As a die hard old school Castlevania fan, even I had to admit... Castlevania had gotten stale.

    This game blew me away. Not only does it continually build up towards an amazing ending, but you truly feel like you are on a journey. It is a very atmospheric and gorgeous game to look at and I absolutely could not get enough of it. I can't wait to play through those long 20 hours again. Besides the story, the game play is spot on and the replay value is high. I simply cannot recommend this title enough. When you start playing it, please get through at least 4 or 5 hours before rating it. It only gets better and is full of surprises from beginning to end.
  35. Oct 11, 2010
    this genre isnt for everyone. If you hate button mashers that could potentialy cause sore digits through pure button mashing mayhem then this game you should give a wide birth. I hate first person shooters , they last about 4 hours in a single player campaign and to me that is a complete waste of money. Ok now that that is over this game is awesome, i love this genre- gow series gives me palputations, and even the dante's inferno, although not of the same calibure is still thoroughly enjoyable. gow fans will thoroughly enjoy this one, im a huge kratos fan but i have to say that gabriel is certainly a new contender on the block. No its not original, it has more of a platformy feel than gow- a love child as the result of a gangbang that involved of gow, prince of persia and uncharted. The graphics arent on par with gow, close but the models arent nearly as polished, more puzzles though, which is awesome, i like a little challenge or two thrown in where you have to use that brain, between the button mashing mutilation.

    The light/dark magic combo and implammentation and refined qte events is where castelvania pulls out of gow's shadow, if ever so slightly in an attempt to take this genre in a new direction and it does work, its fresh. the qte events are simplified- any button will do but theres still a timer, and i do think it works better than gow's.

    gow is undoubtanbly awesome but there was so much more that could have been added to it to tie up loose ends, where was acchilies, ajax and the last gorgon sister, and apollo and the other titans? they could have added much needed dlc to perfect the game. Castelvania surpasses gow in terms of content and the ability to revisit earlier levels and castelvania has room to expand now upon a sequel all in all i'd say i give this a 9.2 a superb game gow 3 should have been this long
  36. Oct 8, 2010
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. i guess i'll just say it. the new castlevania is a let down. being a fan of the series since a young age, i have played and beat almost every game in this franchises history. now playing this game i had waited for for so long, i find myself wandering why they even bothered. granted it is beautiful in the graphics department while maintaining extremely fun gameplay/strategy mechanics, but the overall theme, art direction, and story don't really fit in the castlevania universe i have grown to love. lets start with the main character Gabriel, whose wife dies just days before the game starts. but you wouldn't know it because of the leaden way in which the character is portrayed. no emotion shines through, which is odd for someone who just lost his wife. then zobek, patrick stewart, narrates the game to the point of becoming cheesy, but thankfully, not to cheesy. there are other points of interest in the game that are implemented very well, although none of which are remotely new. don't get me wrong, its an ok game, just not an ok castlevania game. if your looking for a decent 3d castlevania pick up "castlevania lament of innocence" for ps2. if you're new to castlevania and have never played the other iterations of the game then you may love this. lastly, watch out for the many invisible walls that hamper free roaming exploration of an open world and enjoy the linear gameplay. Expand
  37. Oct 8, 2010
    Score (10.0) Castlevania come back. This is the best game of 2010. Music, graphics, story, duration . . . I need now the second part,I see that they are able to. Thanks Mecury Steam.
  38. Oct 8, 2010
    First and foremost this is Castlevania. Are you a fan of Castlevania games? If you are, you will really like this game. If you have not played a castlevania game before then consider this a beautiful gothic-dark fantasy 3rd person action adventure game with vampires and werewolves that you will probably like a lot. This is very far from a generic god of war clone as some will say.
    From a
    castlevania fan's point of view this is an amazing game. The visuals are amazing. The characters models and the environment are full of detail, the scenery is always something to stare at and the special effects are colorful and vibrant as they should. There is a huge variety of environments so nothing seems as if you've seen it before. The sound is crystal with an awesome orchestrical soundtrack (typical castlevania quality) and the voice-overs featuring Patrick Stewart and Robert Carlyle speak for themselves. The gameplay is excellent. It combines fighting, platforming, puzzle-solving together and it's varied enough that never bores. The fighting itself is deep and rewarding. No more mindless button mashing. The game is very immersive and features a beautiful story. Another big plus for this game is its length. I don't remember the last time I played a 3rd person action game that lasted up to 20 hours for a single playthrough.
    Quite honestly I don't understand what people want in a game any more. This is a beautiful game apparently made with love and care (cheesy but true) and every attention to detail as possible from people who really like the original castlevania games. Yet you will see reviews talking about how it doesn't feel like a castlevania game (not true IMHO) or how it borrows elements from other games.
    This is value for money and a lot of fun, highly recommended.
  39. Oct 7, 2010
    Great game, amazing graphics, combat system and music. Epic story as Lord of the Ring style, but no feels as Castlevania previous games feeling, this is a reboot or new beginning to the franchise. Only sometimes fix camera and minor control problems.
  40. Oct 7, 2010
    So far, the game is absolutely brilliant. Past the very well written and well fleshed out characters and narrative (not to mention Carlyle and Stewart's voice acting) the game still triumphs on just about every level. Taking the seamless, dynamic combat that made series like Ninja Gaiden, Shenmue, God of War, and Devil May Cry so great is perfected to a tee here. The combat is so damn fun and has so much depth to it makes multiples playthroughs worthwhile. I agree with some reviewers saying that the fixed camera angles can be a bit of a problem, but it's never frustrated me to the point of even giving this game a 9/10.

    As a longtime fan of the Castlevania series, this is an incredible reboot giving birth to perhaps THE quintessential game of the action genre.
  41. Oct 6, 2010
    What a great Game!!!!
    But I must admit that when I first heard about this games I wasn't sure that it would be good because lets face it all the other 3D castlevania's sucked but the 2D ones did'nt..but lords of shadows Is in short (AWSOME).Good job Konami ohh and you too mercury steam.
  42. Oct 6, 2010
    Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is by far the best game I have played this year. The gameplay all around is polished and top notch and in my humble opinion puts God of War and Dante's Inferno to shame. I just want to shout for the world to hear "The King of video games has returned!" Now for the details. The game is twelve chapters long and in each chapter there are several stages or levels. The level set pieces are amazing and constantly have me entranced in their graphic glory. The set pieces remind me of the best scenes from an epic movie like Avatar for instance but instead of having smaller scenes in between these epic moments Lords of Shadow just keeps throwing them at you. The game tells an entrancing story that sucks you in. What was the best fantasy book or novel you've read? I will always say Tolken and the Hobbit. Lords of Shadow gives me the feeling I had when reading my first Tolken novel. The story and voice acting are that good. The game does such a wonderful job keeping the Castlevania feel. Whether it be in the combat, the ui, or the story. One of the nicest additions the team at Mercury Steam was able to include is the ability to adjust the ingame combat display. If you have ever played Symphony of the Night you know how important the relics were to that game and what kind of enhancments they made to the gameplay. Examples were that you could have the game display the health bars of the enemies and so on and so fourth. Well, in Lords of Shadow after the first level the majority of the stuff can be turned on or off depending on your preference. I like it on because it gives me that Castlevania Symphony of the Night feel. I like seeing my damage numbers and the amount of experience I am getting. I am sure others will like take the more realistic route. If your a Castlevania fan I highly reccommend you turn it on. As far as setting it apart from God of War and Dante's? I feel those games are excellent action games, but Castlevania has always taken the best of the Action genre and the best of the RPG genre, and the best of the platforming genre and incorporated it into a clean and polished package that was all its own. I feel like the team at Mercury Steam was able to achieve this with Lords of Shadow. I can't wait for some DLC, and the next game. Expand
  43. Oct 5, 2010
    I was pretty confident this game would astound me with such a wonderful pedigree of talent behind it, and I was not disappointed. What I was disappointed in were the reviews by Gamepro, IGN, Gamespot, and 1UP, which cited elements of the game as weaknesses, when in the context of the game, are often strengths. Why fixed camera angles? Simple--to create tension and keep your player focused rather than disoriented. Is it like God of War? In the same way God of War was like Onimusha. "Not a Castlevania game?" Gee, oodles of gothic monsters is Transylvanian-esque settings, loads of intense boss fights, and lots more make this argument pretty weak. This game masterfully weaves dynamic narrative with tense, fast-paced gameplay to create a blockbuster experience. For anyone looking for an exceptional action game with massive replay value and AAA-production values, you would be hard pressed to find better than Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Expand
  44. Oct 5, 2010
    Finally the game reminds you at original essence of Castlevanias, at the old school games that make this saga be one of the most popular franchises... is beautiful... very beautiful and very long (+20 hours).
  45. Oct 5, 2010

    Castlevania Lords of Shadow is a game which takes you in an amazing adventure, over 20+ hours, taking some elements from great franchises such as Shadow of the Colosus, God of War, Devil May Cry, etc.

    But the most important fact that you can expect from this Castlevania is that reminds you 100% at the old school games that make this saga be one of the most popular franchises.
    Starting from Castlevania roots, the classic series, this masterpiece its a must have. Castlevania Lords of Shadow is without doubt, one of the best games this year. Expand
  46. Oct 5, 2010
    You know something? I have been looking forward to this game ever since it was announced back at E3 08. And after getting it and having played it for several hours I have to say that I am very pleased with my purchase. Now while it might not be perfect or seem like what we might have been expecting, on its own the game is amazing. It takes other games like GoW, shadow of the Colossus, and uncharted and forms it into one great experience. I was never one to be swayed by critics and am merely stating my love for this game. I will not give any spoilers but the story (although its nothing we haven't seen before) The way its told and just the setting and the characters put so much heart into this to make it feel compelling. I can't wait to see how this is going to play out. Now for some spoiler free reviews

    graphics-10/10 (easily the most beautiful game I have ever seen on the 360, the frame rate problems are few and far between and didn't bother me in the least)

    game play-9/10 (The fact that it does what so many other games have tried to do and succeed is a feat in and of itself, the god of war like combat, the platforming can get a little tricky, and the massive boss battles, just great.)

    story-9/10 (Although starts off slow, when it gets going it bites hold and keeps you on the edge of your seat.)

    In my opinion, one of the best action games since God of War and Bayonetta. For those who are iffy about getting it, I say go for it. The campaign is lengthy but the scenery is great and variety. The enemies are plentiful, the difficulty never spikes but manages to stay challenging. But if your not a fan of Action Adventure style of game play this might not be for you. Overall 9/10 Great
  47. Oct 5, 2010
    This game is beautiful and very long, is a Castlevania but it's necessary to go with the mind opened without prejudices, because it gives radical changes in the history but are interesting. Castlevania Lords of Shadow is variety and I fill completely of a special magic. I recommend it totally.
  48. Oct 5, 2010
  49. Oct 12, 2010
    I absolutely love this game. It builds upon the story and tension beautifully by weaving elements of many of today's best blockbuster games into the age old tapestry that is Castlevania mythos. At first, I was a little dismayed that it didn't "feel" like that old Castlevania that I was used to, but this is EXACTLY what the franchise needed. Let's face it, the Symphony of the Night clones on the DS were not breaking any new ground and the other recent forays into 3d Castlevania have been pretty sub-par. As a die hard old school Castlevania fan, even I had to admit... Castlevania had gotten stale.

    This game blew me away. Not only does it continually build up towards an amazing ending, but you truly feel like you are on a journey. It is a very atmospheric and gorgeous game to look at and I absolutely could not get enough of it. I can't wait to play through those long 20 hours again. Besides the story, the game play is spot on and the replay value is high. I simply cannot recommend this title enough. When you start playing it, please get through at least 4 or 5 hours before rating it. It only gets better and is full of surprises from beginning to end.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 70 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 70
  2. Negative: 0 out of 70
  1. Apr 28, 2011
    The franchise needed this. It's not remotely original and it occasionally threatens to drown under the weight of its own bluster, but it's also clever, challenging, bewilderingly pretty in places and a ripping good yarn.
  2. Jan 16, 2011
    Fabulous action game with nice riddles and cool fights, but with lacks in camera perspectives.
  3. Jan 12, 2011
    Although the basic gameplay borrows heavily from other franchises it is still done with such style and panache it is hard to find faults.