Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 - Xbox 360

Also known as: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2: Special Edition

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Also for: PS3, PC
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Adventure
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Mercury Steam Soft. Co.: Mercury Steam
Publishers: Konami (GB)
Released: 28 Feb 2014 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+

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Summary

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 opens with an "Oof!". You play as Gabriel, hero of the first game, now aged a thousand years or so and walking the halls of eternity as the greatest vampire of all time, Dracula.

Doesn't get much more dark and brooding than that, does it? Your old ally Zobek is still around and pulls you out of your eternal melancholy to tell you Satan's on the rise, and if you don't stop him he's going to kill the both of you. Fallen hero, now a lord-of-darkness sort, out to save the world. It's a strong premise.

The first game was, at its heart, a brawler. It wove in Uncharted-style platforming and a spot of puzzling, but essentially it was a brawler. For the sequel, developer Mercury Steam has bigger ambitions than that. Into the mix we've got a bit of open world play, bigger lock and key puzzles, stealth sections and, more generally, a sense that there's something bigger to explore here.

Still, while stealth sections and exploration play a bigger part than in the previous game, at its heart Lords of Shadow 2 is still a brawler. You have three primary weapons, each armed with an associated projectile. Your main one is Dracula's whip (made of… blood energy?) which gives you range. You've also got the void sword, which saps health from enemies as you attack, and some claws powered by chaos, which enable you to deal heavy damage and smash through armour and shields. The latter two, however, have to be powered up with energy earned through combat. The three play off each other well and you'll need to stick your tactical hat on to make use of all of them (as well as the block and evade mechanics) if you want to get anywhere.

If you're looking for epic, Lords of Shadow 2 has you well covered.