Ambitious game with some annoying flaws

User Rating: 8 | Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition PC

C: LoS is a very ambitious game. The amount of unique monsters, puzzles and bosses is amazing. For anyone who has played a God Of War gme the formula should be pretty familiar. It's a mix of structured platforming, hack n' slash combat, puzzles and large scale boss battles. For the most part all these elements are competently made.

Combat has a wide variety of moves and feels great. The heavy attacks feel heavy and the swooshy ones feel swooshy. Best part and what distinguish it from other Hn'S is that their is an economy system built into the combat. You can use blue magic to regain health and red to deal more damage. Both these consume their respective meter. To fill up you need to perform long combos without getting hit. This is clever because it adds a strategic layer to combat. It also gives a strong incentive to not button mash, but to carefully not enemie's attack patterns and play defensively.

I have a couple of issues with combat though. The most obvious one being the fixed camera which just doesn't get the job done sometimes. Some of the smaller enemies can just be picked up and killed by a QTE making their existence kind of pointless. When you roll you can't jump, which can get really annoying in some of the boss fights where you have to roll to avoid an attack, but then you can't jump to avoid the shockwave. Similarily there are no (to my knowledge) defensive moves in air which is especially problematic on a boss called the Forgotten One.

Platforming is solid, but at times it can feel a bit trial and error-ish. In some levels it's unclear where to go and invisible walls and similar makes it annoying to explore. They also love to do the "walk on a beam with a bad camera angle", which was getting old allready in Mario 64.

Puzzles are generally great and suprisingly ambitious. If you don't want to solve them you can just choose to skip, but then you'll miss out on the reward. I think that is a fantastic system as it allows the puzzles to be more difficult while at the same time allowing the pure action gamers to progress quickly.

Visually the game is awesome. It follos the GOW tradition of having some spectacular bossfights with really cool finishing moves. Some of the enviroments are a bit generic/dull but I can forgiv that in this 17h long adventure. The story is suprisingly good for a game in this genre. And I just love listening to Patrick Stewart's reading!

Final pro-tip: Don't get/play the DLC! It's very frustrating and adds nothing interesting to the story.