Gabriel Belmont fights off the warg hordes in the Castlevania E3 demo.
Up until this point, we've only seen the trailer of the latest installment of the Castlevania franchise, but we recently had a chance to go hands-on with the E3 demo on the show floor. But just as a quick recap: In development at Mercury Steam (with some assistance from Kojima Productions), Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a reboot of sorts for the classic franchise as it features new characters and, most importantly, 3D action. But whereas previous 3D Castlevanias fell short in terms of delivering the kind of action and adventure that fans of the series expect, Lords of Shadow looks like it just might change all of that.
The demo begins with a storybook presentation narrated by the recently knighted Patrick Stewart (of Star Trek fame). We're told that the year is 1047 and the world has become a dark place. After the setup, we see Gabriel Belmont walk into a small town overrun with werewolflike creatures, and though the townspeople do their best to fend off the beasts with torches, they're no match. Naturally, this is an opportunity for Gabriel to strut his stuff as the demo guides us as to what he can do--the first being his two basic attacks. These attacks stem from a weak and strong system where pressing one button will produce the corresponding type of combination, but when you mix the two together, you can perform an even more devastating combo (and you can also perform aerial combos, if you happen to juggle your foes into the air).
If you're thinking that this sounds a little bit like God of War, you'd be right--the combat system is pretty similar. But, in addition to his basic whip attacks, Gabriel can pick up items left by fallen enemies. The first item we see is a set of daggers, which Gabriel can then throw at his attackers. They're not terribly strong and you have a limited number (unless you pick up more), but they're strong enough to take out some of the smaller enemies in one shot. Lastly, Gabriel can also grab his enemies and throw them by pressing the right trigger and then waiting for a series of circles to align before pressing a face button. When done properly, Gabriel leaps into the air, enemy in hand, and throws it to the ground. It's also worth noting that when you defeat enemies, you gain experience points, which you can then use to purchase new attacks and other abilities for Gabriel.
Of course, our hero also has a set of defensive moves. In addition to a regular block, Gabriel can perform some evasive maneuvers by holding the block down and pressing a direction on the analog stick. He can also execute counters if you happen to time a block just right. You can then mash a button to get a counter-combo off. Also, if you happen to need some health, you can run up to a health statue and press the right trigger to gain a little back, but these health statues seem somewhat few and far between--at least, in the demo.
After coming to grips with the controls, we took care of the creatures invading the town. This particular scene in the demo looked quite amazing as rain came pouring down on Gabriel and the townspeople fighting at his side. In fact, it was one of the best rain effects we've seen, and when combined with the great lighting effects, it produced a nice sheen on everything. But we didn't take too much time to gaze at the environment--once we finished off the initial wave of enemies, a huge warg came crashing through the town gates. This beast can't be defeated as easily as his smaller counterparts. You have to make extensive use of Gabriel's blocking and pay attention to when the warg is about to launch his unblockable attack and evade it at the proper time. We launched every combo we could at him to take his health down, but just as we were about to defeat him, the warg made his way to the top of a small rock pile in the town. From there, we were told to grab a massive pike of sorts by pressing the right trigger just as the warg leapt toward Gabriel. The quick-time event ended and the warg was defeated. Gabriel questioned the townspeople before moving onto the forest.
Once there, we got our first taste of horseback riding in Lords of Shadow as a mythical-looking horse jumped from a portal and told Gabriel he could guide him to his destination. The horseback riding was on a fixed path, and in the demo, you have to combat enemies that come running beside you. It seems as though you can stay on your horse, but in the demo, you fall to the ground if you get hit too many times. From here, we fought more of the same creatures before the horse reappeared and we moved onto a similar section of the forest. The demo ended with the horse telling Gabriel he couldn't go any further, leaping through a crowd of wargs, across a ravine.
There's definitely a God of War influence in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, but it just fits the game so well. We're interested to see just how Gabriel's list of attacks grows throughout the course of the game, as well as how the exploration element will fit into all of it. But at the very least, the game looks absolutely great at this point, and we can't wait to see more.
Sigh...all over this site I see people whining about 3D action games, 'it looks like God of War, wah, wah!' So what? GOW is universally recognised as an excellent series, and has set a new benchmark in quality. What is wrong with devs emulating a great gameplay style? If they get it right then all it means is that there will be more games out there that are as good as GOW...is that really a bad thing?
Lets not forget that another game developer Silicon Knights, although a Canadian game developer company, it has developed great vampiric and super natural horror titles like Blood Omen Legacy Of Kain and Eternal Darkness, as well as developing MGS The Twin Snakes with Hideo Kojima. Just because a game developer is not Eastern European, doesn't mean its dealing with supernatural elements in a story will be bad a thing, infact all the Castlevania games around the Symphony of The Night Era titles, while being awesome have been more anime style as opposed to a simple European feel. Love Anime, Just saying. I think this will feel more a kin to classic Castlevania Titles.
Been waiting for this game almost 2 years. I Loved Castlevania 2, 3 Dracula's Curse, Super Castlevania 4, SOTN, and Lament Of Innocence. This game is going to be so awesome I am getting it day 1 when it arrives in October. Reminds me a lot of the Van Helsing movie. I have great faith that Mercury Steam will do this series supernatural justice!!!!
Oh come on! I've never played God of War, but so far this sound a lot like the first 3D Castlevania (Lament of Innocence) and apart from the horse ridding sound like the game-play is about the same too.
This really seems like a Western take on Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness. Sorry platform adventuring lovers!!
Castlevania is my favorite game series ever, and this looks to be a good attempt at a hack and slash. I actually liked Dante's Inferno, despite it's lack of soul in the main character, and if I liked that, then I should love this no matter what.
It's looking impressive, but I really wish they'd made a modern 3D side scroller. I mean, just look at how amazing Shadow Complex was...just turn that into an adventure rpg like trad. Castelvania's and that would be IMMENSE.
I am very much looking forward to this game. Can't wait to see what other abilities Gabriel will have access to. Alucard!!! Nuff said. . .
hopefully they wont make the same mistake as Dantes Inferno. Even though Dantes Inferno was a good story plot
ive seen this gameplay video at gt.. and im very concerned bout the camera.. because in the demo u dont see the person playing having any control over it.. even tho the demo is just bout fighting.. and it may have some sort of automatic auto lock on enemies.. but still.. no rotation of camera like in god of war is going to be a major letdown for me because this game outta be about exploration.. the art direct and graphics look so stunning i really want to go around looking at everything in this world. if they dont give us full control of camera .. at least while exploring.. its going to be a MAJOR letdown for me.. i think ive seen some camera control in the trailers.. Also going back to the trailers.. the gameplay from before looks a lot slicker than in the demo. where each hit sorta pauses the game a lil..and the light effect at each hit connect of the whip is so stupid looking. i went back to the 1st trailer.. ( not the e3 reveal ) and the extended trailer and the hit effects looks much better with out the pause effect.
While it certainly looks interesting I really fail to see how it differs from God of War in any manner except the theme. From what was listed in the preview every aspect of it, save the sub-weapons, sounded precisely like what we've already seen without much change or improvement. We just had Dante's Inferno do a complete rip-off and Darksiders melded this pretty handily with Zelda. Do we really need another one? While others have mentioned that this style of gameplay wasn't invented by God of War that's not entirely a valid justification. Yes, some of these have existed for many years, but GoW has been the most recent source for many of these ideas and it often shows in how they're handled. Sometimes it's the combination of moves and styles or even just that ephemeral nature of "feel", but the influence is clearly there and it shows. Time will tell whether this is able to transcend those allusions and become a worthy addition to the Castlevania line, but it does look like it has potential. Clone or not if a game is done well it can still be a lot of fun to play. Symphony of the Night wasn't exactly original either, but it's still a revered classic.
there is no way u can call this a clone ,when God of War took game play elements from DMC. many games in this genre have taken certain aspects from previous titles that have proven successful in advancing this genre.SO Shut the f %$# up with this GOW crap cause GOW was not the the first to do it.In fact GOW has many gameplay elements found in many classic games such as zelda 64 just to name a few so enough with the GOW crap. Its a good game,but outside of adding gore and nudity it hasn't really done that much to re-invent the genre .And Dante (from the dmc series not from inferno) is still more bad ass than Kratos will ever be in my book. Go ahead an hate on this comment if u want.
so now every game that go around killing things is god of war...Castlevania: Lament of Innocence was realeased in 2003 god of war in 2005 and it has a similar style...
Should be great...I find myself still playing Castlevania Symphony of the Night (ps1), one of the best games ever made. Hopefully they make this one more of an RPG with lots of inventory, special abilities, upgradeable weapons & some sort of leveling system for the main character. I play it regardless though...
This game looks awesome. I hope to see that demo reach fans hands really soon. I'm definitely pre-ordering this one. I hope you can unlock Patrick Stewart as a playable character.
A well written article with lots of information, but unfortunately, I need a video. Check VisoGames on youtube.
it's not Castlevania at all, it's a western developed game, with Kojima looking over their shoulder... i'll pass. Unless i see some amazing Castlevania style gaming videos i don't care for just another ruined Japanese franchise.
People said that this was something like God-Of-Vania like game since the first footage we saw some time ago... It's indeed similar to God Of War BUT who cares? everyone loves God Of War (everyone but haters) and we: old people who played the NES games have ages waiting for a good Castlevania game. Until this day, the best ones are the 2D ones (Dracula's Curse in my book) Wait and see, this one could be good... who knows.
I see no reason to crybaby about whether it's similar to some other game. Take it at face value once you play it or don a diaper if you can't help but fuss.
Actually to the people that keep saying God of war clone. Nope do your history castlevania had 2 3-D games on the nintendo 64. But all in all it doesnt matter if it does it well? and it will.
@Adema83 You totally got me wrong. First Castlevania games where 2D with entirely different gameplay mechanics. This one is trying to copy God of War in terms of gameplay. I'm talking about this particular title not the whole Castlevania games to date.
- Release Date: Oct 5, 2010 (US)
- ESRB: MTitles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older.