Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection PS3 Review

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection. Image © Konami

The brilliant “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow,” is one of the best PS3 games you probably haven’t played. In fact, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was such a hit for Konami that they released a DS game and two DLC add-ons. Now, it's all available in one glorious collection. Should you buy it?

Game Details

  • Publisher: Konami
  • Developer: Konami
  • ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
  • Genre: Action Adventure
  • Pros: Gorgeous Graphics, Deep Storytelling, Intense Gameplay
  • Cons: Extra Material Is Lesser, Small Demo

Gameplay

What should you expect from “Lords of Shadow”? A brilliant reimagining of one of the most beloved and influential games of all time. “Castlevania” has been forever altered as Gabriel Belmont has gone from a whip-snapping side-scroller to a “God of War”-esque smasher, complete with incredibly-designed puzzles and intense combat. The universe of this game, one filled with werewolves, demons, and even warthogs, has been given a third-dimension and Belmont has been turned into a death-dealing machine. Upgradeable skill trees, varied weapons, even magical powers – elements of the RPG and combo-based fighting games like “GoW” or “Devil May Cry” – have been brilliantly woven into a narrative that goes on for hours and features complex storytelling and Hollywood-level production values. Unlike so many games of the modern age that feel like a cash grab, “LoS” gives the gamer days of gameplay, enhanced in this collection even further by what amounts to bonus material for the excellent full film.

When “Lords of Shadow” exploded critically and commercially, becoming the best-selling “Castlevania” game, Konami quickly rushed two sequels into production, “Mirror of Fate,” released on the DS earlier this year, and “Lords of Shadow 2,” to be released in February of next year. They also pushed some DLC into the pipeline, enhancing the story of “Shadow” in ways that even the developer of the game doesn’t particularly like. Some of this material could be viewed as a cautionary tale about what not to do if you have a hit game – don’t rush the creative process. However, hardcore fans will just be happy to have it all in one place, counting the days until “Lords of Shadow 2” takes over this Winter.

Graphics & Sound

One of the strongest elements of “Lords of Shadow” was how amazing it looked on release back in 2010, but graphics move so quickly that elements like water and fire look vastly better now than they did a few years ago. However, judged by 2010 or 2013 standards, “Lords of Shadow” is a very graphically strong game, enhanced greatly by strong voice work throughout, including a contribution by the amazing Sir Patrick Stewart.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Overall 

Everyone with a PS3 should play “Castlevania: Lords of Shadow” before they move on to the next generation. It’s a fantastic game.