A couple of years ago I picked up Castlevania: Lord of Shadows at a bargain price but like a whole host of games that sit in my games cupboard I haven’t found very much time to play it. Recently though I managed to give it a little extra attention and now I’ve finished this two disc epic adventure.

Gabriel prepares to dish out pain!

Castlevania is a well loved game with a long lineage behind it, but how does this latest episode hold up?

It’s a beautiful game in which well crafted characters inhabited a sprawling world that has been lavished with attention. The gameplay takes the form of exploring this environment, fighting beasties and solving the occasional puzzle, and it’s always well signposted as to what you should be doing next. The story is epic, and although it drives the game well it still somehow seems a little removed from the action, probably because it is largely told through cut scenes. More on that in a later post though.

As you play through the game you’re kept engaged as the increased abilities of the main character – Gabriel – increase, and as he explores new areas and encounters new enemies. Some things I particularly liked about the game were the sheer size and detail of everything – character models, environments – this game is of a scale that I’ve never seen in any other game of the genre, and when I say scale I mean really big things with really small detail. I really likes the fights you have against Titans – huge monsters that you have to climb all over to defeat. This reminded me of another game that I have heard of, but have never had the chance to play called shadow of the collossus. Also, you can harness some larger enemies such as wargs, or really creepy giant spiders and ride them as mounts using their unique abilities to give you access to unexplored areas.

Even though it seems a little way removed from the gameplay the story is still engaging, but I did feel that it was trying to be a little too clever for it’s own good. Overall Castlevania is an epic game that kept me interested for a long time. Now it’s finished I feel like I deserve a rest! but the big question is do I go back for more and download the heavily criticised downloadable content, or do I just sit tight and wait for the sequel to make an appearance?

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