Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2’s Trailer Will Indeed Melt Your Face
Konami’s now annual pre-E3 presser — all the cool kids are doing it these days — brought with it…Christ, how do I not fanboy all over this post? Basically, they dropped one of the greatest trailers I’ve ever glued my eyes to for Lords of Shadow 2.
Not just one of the “greatest video game trailers” I’ve seen. No, no, sir. I had more than shivers dancing up my spine; I had butterflies colliding into each other inside my stomach. The chord it strikes, the atmosphere it brings, the pained, melodic notes slowly swaying in the background…
It’s all so…oh, hell, man. Just watch it here. Once your mind is blown to shreds, you try to keep a coherent string of thoughts.
Billed as the absolute final chapter in the Lords of Shadow saga, which began with 2010’s jaw-dropping reboot and continued on in the much maligned but honestly underrated Mirror of Fate (3DS), Gabriel Belmont’s story looks to break a norm set by other monolithic video game franchises: it seems to actually have finality.
Konami and MercurySteam are aiming Lords of Shadow 2 for a Winter release on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Above: Someone’s candid snapshot of Lords of Shadow 2 in action. It’s been so damn long since we heard anything regarding the game, I thought I dreamed that E3 announcement.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Artwork by Jorge Benedito
Contra Reboot Next Up for MercurySteam?
“I know there’s going to be pressure on us to do another Castlevania game, but I don’t want to rise to that pressure. I want to do something else. I love Contra. I’d love to do Contra. At MercurySteam we’ve got an original idea that I think is really awesome. We’d love to bring that idea to market and I’m hoping that the success of Lords of Shadow 2 will allow us to do that.”
Dave Cox, Konami EU’s head of development, on MercurySteam’s future post Lords of Shadow.
Like Castlevania before Lords of Shadow brought the series back to seven-digit prominence, Contra has fallen into obscurity, sometimes making a tiny splash as a handheld title (like Wayforward’s fantastic Contra 4) and sporadic downloads (like that Contra: Hard Corps successor).
I’m sure whatever vision MercurySteam has for Contra will absolutely divide series fans. Unless the game adheres strictly to the hardcore side-scroller format, it’s going to call down some hate upon itself (LoS definitely has its detractors — actually, correction: every reboot ever has its detractors). But there’s so much potential in the studio spearheading Contra. Love them or hate them, MercurySteam puts forth solid work and they’re able to bring interesting ideas to the table — and interesting ideas is all the ammo Contra needs to get back into action.
Of course, as Cox has pointed out, if LoS2 is another monolithic hit (fun fact: the original is the best selling Castlevania game in history), Konami will probably try to commission yet another sequel. But Cox and MercurySteam don’t want to budge, “Somebody else can do that. I don’t want to be known as Mr. Castlevania, and we don’t want the team to be known as the Castlevania team,” says Cox, adding, “We want to work on other projects. We’ve got other ideas.”
“Just be sure to tell your next of kin before you begin!”
Honestly, they wouldn’t be surprised to hear that a skeleton strangled Papa to death.
Behold, Castlevania Fans, the 3DS is Receiving Mirror of Fate This Fall
A common complaint leveled at the original Lords of Shadow was that, while a smartly executed action game, it failed to capture the essence of old school Castlevania. It’s true, LoS was a vastly different kind of experience that landed miles away from the Metroid-vania side-scrollers the series is loved for. It didn’t stop me from enjoying (well, actually, friggin’ worshipping) LoS, but I, too, missed the 2D days of old.
That’s what makes Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate (I run out of breath saying it) so appealing. While not visually restricted to it, Mirror of Fate binds the 2D platforming from the series’ past with the combo-laden hack n’ slash play style prevalent today.
Konami seems deadset on supporting the Lords of Shadow license, but developer MercurySteam seems to want classic ‘Vania implemented in all sorts of ways, including a years-spanning storyline featuring Simon and Trevor Belmont in their attempt to thwart the stain in their lineage, Dracula. Mirror of Fate, arriving exclusively to the 3DS this Fall, is also said to setup next year’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. I guess you don’t kill Dracula in Mirror of Fate, but I honestly like Gabe too much to see the dude staked.
UPDATE: During Nintendo’s 3DS showcase, Konami confirmed the presence of series favorite Alucard as a playable character in the new handheld title. Besides Trevor and Simon, one other controllable character remains unrevealed.
Here’s an official plot synopsis of LoS2. It would seem we’re wearing Dracula’s cowl this time around, a staggering shift in direction for the Castlevania series. If you’re memory’s foggy, I’m told Dracula’s sort of the bad guy:
In this shocking conclusion to the Lords of Shadow saga, Dracula returns once again, weakened and yearning for release from his immortal bonds. Facing a new and powerful threat, the vampire lord must reacquire his old powers – and only his castle holds the key. However, the famed Belmont clan also seek his ultimate destruction.