Yep, that’s right. This week’s Community Review is on the latest Castlevania reboot, a game I have some mixed feelings about. I’ve found the combat a real slow burn – what initially seemed like a dull sub-God of War slash-fest, slowly evolves throughout the game to become something quite elegant and balanced. The skill involved is not based on rote-learning, but rather on making intelligent combat choices for specific battles – and that can be quite rewarding.
My major gripe is with the climbing mechanics, which are insanely rigid, and overly design specific. During climbing sections, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow only allows you to perform the move required for progress – you can’t hook onto anything unless the game demands it, you can’t run from side to side along a wall unless the game demands it, you can’t leap off a surface unless the level design asks you to. It takes away the fun of discovery, making the mechanics seem inconsistent and transient.
We understand the need for scripted linearity in level design, in fact we usually enjoy it. But it often feels like you’re playing Castlevania within the confines of a strait-jacket – which can be frustrating. Especially in a game franchise that is notorious for exploration.
But enough of my rambling – I’m going to briefly hand you guys over to Kotaku alumni Junglist, who did his most recent Five-Inch Floppy on Castlevania, before casting it out to you guys. What did you think of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow?