Generally favorable reviews - based on 70 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 70
  2. Negative: 0 out of 70
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  1. It's a great game separate from the franchise, and definitely does a favor for the third person action genre, but with the CV characters and license attached, it becomes even more enjoyable for me.
  2. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a profoundly generous action-adventure game. Filled with content, gifts for fans of the series, but for video game lovers as well. It's full of nods to other games and movies, rich with a large variety of gameplays and lush environments... blessed with an overall Castlevania feel, which is a consistent mark of respect for its forebears. Kudos to Mercury Steam. Despite some rare issues with some gameplay tunings, we can only hope for them to meet the success they deserve as we'd welcome a follow-up!
  3. Games Master UK
    Dec 25, 2010
    A re-imagining on an epic scale, and a strong contender for action game of the year. [Issue#231, p.74]
  4. Castlevania as a modern, linear adventure game. It's a little different, but the formula works. Also, this game is massive-expect to log at least 18-20 hours before you reach the end.
  5. Water Castlevania's roots and a rollicking adventure sprouts forth. Brilliant, bloody fun.
  6. With amazing graphics, an iconic musical score, a fluid movement and combat system, and more means that this title is one that every gamer must have in their library.
  7. 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.
  8. Jan 12, 2011
    This is a new Castlevania for a new generation of console and gamer that you do not want to miss.
  9. Oct 24, 2010
    Lords of Shadow defies the boundaries of what Castlevania should be, but it works. The game pulls you in medieval times, but the gameplay, presentation and story are without a doubt as modern as you can get. The ghost of old Castlevania flows through the game, while being fresh enough to make it feel like the start of a new franchise. Both fans and newcomers will find plenty to enjoy here.
  10. Castlevania takes a few hours to get rolling, but once it sinks its fangs in you'll be absorbed. After putting nearly 20 hours into Lords of Shadow I emerged satisfied and ready to play again. This polished, action-packed adventure has me ecstatic to see not only what's in store for the next 3D Castlevania, but also what talented developer MercurySteam does next.
  11. But these disappointments are dwarfed by the game's vast imagination, ambitious scope, entertaining combat, boss battles, Titan battles, puzzles and power-ups. Lords of Shadow is an epic and slightly unexpected triumph.
  12. With a combat system that cleverly overcomes button mashing, wonderful design work and a story that spans far longer than your average video game, Lords of Shadow is exactly what the Castlevania franchise needed to find popularity with a new generation of gamers - and us oldies too.
  13. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow reinvigorates the franchise by borrowing from other games, adding its own wonderful magic system, and ratcheting up the epic factor to ludicrous degrees. It's huge in scope, length, and depth, and it's polished with obvious love and passion.
  14. Twenty hours of intense and brilliant gameplay that recover the spirit of the original game.
  15. While Lords of Shadow breathes new life into the Castlevania franchise, it still has its moments of gaming nostalgia, all the while delivering an experience that is not to be missed.
  16. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow has been a real surprise with superb visuals, great gameplay and a very high longevity.
  17. 90
    When it's all said and done, Castlevania is one that will go down as one of the better Castlevania games.
  18. If you're looking for another traditional Castlevania game, Lords of Shadow could lead you on the wrong path. MercurySteam adopted a different style, bringing together the best ideas of many other popular games. The result is a juicy cocktail of modern gameplay and technical wonders.
  19. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Beautiful, thrilling, epic, and with the depth to reward repeat plays, Castlevania is one of the year's best. [Issue#64, p.78]
  20. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow may not be a Castlevania game, but that certainly doesn't hold it back from being a fantastic monster hunt that gives me hope for future 3D games featuring the Castlevania tag.
  21. 88
    It may dissapoint those who expected a 3D Metroidvania, but it's one of the best action games of this year.
  22. Castlevania: Lords of Shadows is a fantastically-crafted game. In some ways, it seems like Castlevania in name only because it is stitched together with many existing gameplay mechanics, but it sticks close enough to the action-packed cloth the series is woven from to seem worthy of the name.
  23. Lords of Shadow is a huge leap forward for the Castlevania franchise. This game refines the characteristic IP gameplay with an occidental flavor, awesome production values and raging and furious combats.
  24. Oct 22, 2010
    Lords of Shadow is a superlative start for Castlevania on current-gen consoles and we only hope that developer MercurySteam has more in the pipeline. It might borrow from other hack-and slash-adventure titles of the same ilk, but Castlevania is entirely its own game. With an unforgettable Middle Ages fantasy setting and an epic narrative, Lords of Shadow is the complete package and Gabriel Belmont is the coolest vampire slayer since Buffy. He's not as hot though.
  25. 86
    Lords Of Shadow is the revitalization Castlevania needed and deserved.
  26. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is konami's first successful attempt to bring the legendary series into the third dimension. A great atmosphere meets gameplay in the mold of God of War. Only a few faults like a confusing camera and an uneven upgrade system hamper the fun. Lords of Shadow is a great restart for the vampire saga and has sleeper hit written all over it.
  27. Jan 16, 2011
    Fabulous action game with nice riddles and cool fights, but with lacks in camera perspectives.
  28. Oct 25, 2010
    The fledgling Spanish studio has made Castlevania very much their own and created a beautiful and epic new entry into the series that is capable of engaging both the diehard fans of the series and newcomers alike.
  29. 85
    Although the puzzles are simplistic, and occasionally frustrating, they won't stop the hardened Castlevania fan. The impressive vistas, detailed cutscenes and huge bosses will keep players hooked.
  30. AceGamez
    It's a high-quality game and a very successful reboot of a failing series – it's just not as good as it should be.
  31. Stealing God of War 3's slightly adjustable camera and a little more imagination with scene dressing could have eliminated my only gripes with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - the fixed camera and invisible walls. Still, with satisfying combat and great puzzles the journey to the end of Castlevania is absolutely worth it - and the destination is spine-chillingly awesome.
  32. 85
    It mightn't be especially original but Lords of Shadow's rock solid core mechanics, creative flourishes and assured sense of pacing all combine to form a game that, despite a few rough edges, is a beautifully atmospheric, undeniably entertaining experience.
  33. With the string of 3D-style casualties in this series' history, Lords is the first time we've been looking forward to where this shining new direction takes us. Go, Team Belmont.
  34. In the end, Castlevania Lords of Shadow may not be your original Castlevania game which your "granddad" played but if you're a fan of games such as God of War or Bayonetta, than this game will be as equally as enjoyable.
  35. 85
    Massive, varied, challenging, rewarding and spectacular, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a fantastic reboot and a premier action adventure title.
  36. Castlevania: Lord of Shadows succeeds because of it's stellar art direction, beautiful visuals, and tight, polished gameplay. Sure, it cribs, borrows, and steals from other games, but in the end, it still moves a classic in a great, new direction.
  37. Oct 21, 2010
    Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a fantastic journey that you'll be exploring for weeks on end. With tens of hours of content and challenges to overcome, this may well be the epic saga you've been waiting for. If only the experience was slightly condensed down and given just that little bit more focus, we'd be recommending it outright.
  38. Its derivative action formula offers a compelling and long lasting experience. Great graphics and a top level design immerse the player in a beautiful dark world, populated with terrific creatures. Despite the lack of innovation, MercurySteam delivers a great action game.
  39. Except for some issues regarding the level design and the AI, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is exactly what you're looking for, if you're into the legacy and the genre.
  40. This new breed of Castlevania introduces finely tuned action gameplay that isn't quite revolutionary, but still sound in its execution.
  41. Lords of Shadow is one of the best games I've played all year, but its technical faults hamper the experience.
  42. 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.
  43. Edge Magazine
    Dec 22, 2010
    It's a vehicle that may win over more action fans than true-bloods, but its plagiaristic tendencies represent a shrewd way of ensuring that the series gets a firm footing outside of the 2D realm. [Nov 2010, p.84]
  44. Oct 28, 2010
    Castlevania Lords of Shadow doesn't do too much out of the ordinary, but it's a solid action game nonetheless.
  45. Oct 22, 2010
    With a brilliant story filled with some surprising twists, an in-depth battle and combo system, tons of collectables, the option to replay all the chapters on harder difficulties and try complete the time trials associated with each chapter, Castlevania: LoS really is worth every penny.
  46. 80
    Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a game that you can't miss! The singleplayer has tons of challenging puzzles and platform elements that will keep you entertained for at least 20 hours.
  47. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a solid start for the franchise's reboot and while it's far from perfect, it's easy to see where MercurySteam could take a sequel in order to achieve true greatness.
  48. A beautiful and lengthy game with incredibly smart game mechanisms, it's never denied, especially when it bears the Castlevania mark.
  49. Lords of Shadow is an impressive next step for the Castlevania-series. It's drop dead gorgeous, and the awesome combat system will challenge you to no end.
  50. It may not be hugely original, or indeed faithful to the franchise but, with a deep combat system and some excellent boss battles, Lords of Shadow claims a place near the top of the action adventure list and is terrific value for money.
  51. Lords of Shadow is a solid action game that incorporates some of the best moments from across the genre, but it's not the next great Castlevania game.
  52. An outstanding reinvention of a classic brand.
  53. Konami and Mercury Steam have finally found out the right formula for 3D Castlevania. This is a rock solid adventure with good puzzles, great action and fabulous music.
  54. While it takes some time to find its own identity, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a solid Gothic action game that is competent in all areas - but never outstanding in any of them.
  55. Oct 26, 2010
    After Castlevania's lackluster outings on the PS2, question marks stood over whether this would be the console Castlevania's return to form. Lords of Shadow seems to avoid the challenge altogether. While it is, in itself, a solid action adventure, it borrows too much from other games and too little from the series it is meant to ignite.
  56. By itself, Lords of Shadow isn't a bad game. But as a Castlevania title, fans might be disheartened to learn that there isn't much Castlevania here. Sure, it might be the best 3D installment in the series but the 2D Castlevanias are still the highlight. There are a few rough edges in the overall game design, but there is still a fair amount of entertainment to be had with Lords of Shadow.
  57. Lords of Shadow is not without a handful of unfortunate imperfections, but that does not invalidate the fact that there is no more painstakingly-crafted action adventure currently available for this generation of consoles. MercurySteam has raised the bar especially in both art design and overall presentation, and should be extremely proud of their creation.
  58. 75
    In the end, I'd rather play a more traditional 2D Castlevania game, but there is no denying that this is a beautiful and enjoyable change of pace.
  59. Lords of Darkness is a solid action game that just gets better the farther in you go, loaded with content and high production values despite its barely-passable framerate, but it doesn't do much to earn the Castlevania name.
  60. 75
    Altogether, the game spins an interesting tale, and though it might borrow some ideas a little heavily from certain other games, it implements them well.
  61. Entertaining highs and frustrating lows punctuate a Castlevania game that--in an effort to redefine the series--loses its identity.
  62. Although resembling another action game isn't Castlevania's biggest obstacle to overcome, it's the poor design choices like the decision to go with a fixed camera system, the use of lots of quick time events, and an interrupting flow breaking chapter system.
  63. It's a rough game with room for improvement. The control and the camera are a bit crappy and Gabriel, the main character, is really boring. The graphics on the other hand are fantastic, the story is great and there is a lot of variation in the levels, characters and monsters.
  64. Length and audio issues aside, this is a solid re-imagining of one of gaming's most iconic series, and far and away the best 3D Castlevania game ever made.
  65. It's rare to criticise a game for being too long, but some judicious editing could have turned this long-needed reboot into a real God Of War beater.
  66. Like Mary Shelley's gothic creation, you'll come to discover that Lords of Shadow is no monster, even if its ubiquitous quick-time events will occasionally see you reaching for your pitchfork.
  67. Oct 25, 2010
    Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a great amalgamation of the genres and games it combines. It makes sure they all come together effortlessly, but it never really owns the gameplay it borrows. It's a fun game, but not a revolution.
  68. 60
    That said, Lords of Shadow, when weighed against both the Castlevania legacy and the games it tries so hard to emulate, doesn't add up.
  69. One of the core joys of better Castlevania games is the moment where you finally reach a spot that's been out of reach for hours. There's some semblance of that here, but it just isn't the same. That sentiment permeates Lords. Its aggregate reflections of half a dozen better games isn't bad, but neither is it inspired enough to establish Castlevania in three dimensions.
  70. It's simply a second-rate title that might have been good a decade ago, but doesn't need to exist in this day and age.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 291 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 291
  1. 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

    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.
    Full Review »
  2. 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 gamesI 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.
    Full Review »
  3. 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 wasI 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. Full Review »