"Castlevania" remade as a "God of War" game.

User Rating: 8 | Castlevania: Lords of Shadow PS3

This 2010 reboot of the franchise is a well-made hack n' slash adventure game that borrows much from "God of War". Developed by Mercury Steam and Kojima Productions ("Metal Gear Solid"), "Lord of Shadows" is a lengthy 20+ hour experience that tells the story of a medieval Christian knight named Gabriel Belmont who is destined to become the mighty Dracula. It is an extremely cinematic game with its gorgeous musical score, terrific cutscenes and breathtaking vistas. The cast of acclaimed actors that voice the characters include Sir Patrick Stewart and Robert Carlyle. They bring a sense of class to the hokey material.

The gameplay is mostly satisfying, but purists will probably cry foul since it can be downright derivative. Not only does "Lords of Shadow" mimic the formula of "God of War", but it also copies the boss fights from "Shadow of the Colossus". Additionally, the platforming segments are very similar to those featured in the "Uncharted" series. However, the game does retain the classic weapons and enemies from past installments. It blends the old elements with the new style of action/adventures quite well. Overall, there are 20 levels and you can always replay them to complete mini-challenges and revisit areas that were previously inaccessible.

While "Lords of Shadow" isn't a masterpiece by any means, it's certainly better than EA's "Dante's Inferno". I'd even say that it's an improvement over the PS2/Xbox title "Castlevania: Lament of Innocence" from 2003. So if you're a fan of the series, but have never played it before, then you should seek it out. Packed with various challenges, gameplay options and unlockable artwork, it's a must have for fans of the genre. I'd rate it with an 8.3 out of 10.