Castlevania Lords of Shadow

One of the oldest and most acclaimed franchises in the industry is Castlevania. For any veteran gamer Castlevania is one of the most precious childhood memories in NES era.

Giving a hard time and throwing a tantrum facing the screen is sure one of those moments about Castlevania and its infamous knockbacks. With more than 20 titles on its back, and 35 years in the vampire hunting business Konami put in MercurySteam the responsibility of the last entry until that time in 2010 with Kojima Productions and Climax Studios in support.

The Lords of Shadow is a project spin off that explains the origin of the main villain in the saga Dracula and its cursed lineage therefore, the new protagonist is Gabriel Belmont. Changing the classic action in 2D for a 3D adventure in the hack and slash style.

Highlights for Castlevania Lords of Shadow


The change from 2D to 3D is drastic in some ways, to put in plain words very different for the classic metroidvania fans. Such changes made some fans think twice before to retrying it, however, the new gameplay is pretty solid.

With a lot of actions and moves available to perform and mop the battlefields plagued with creatures of the night. The stronger combat cross in hand “the vampire-killer”, we have multiple combos to unlock and different secondary weapons to use.

There is a certain number of different mounts to ride throughout the campaign, they are required even in battles, spiders, horses, trolls and others.

Some of the actions are strong hit, light hit, rolling, block, jump, and of course multiple combos, 2 kinds of magic; light and dark with its own list that Gabriel has to learn through the adventure.


This is an alternative story that doesn’t follow the same temporal line as the previous games. In a world plagued with creatures of darkness attacking the people very often, the old and holy Brotherhood of Light is in charge to exterminate them and keep peace in the land.

Gabriel Belmont arrives to a little town searching information to revive his wife, Marie. Located in what looks like a medieval european town the adventure begins fighting beasts, rescuing the villagers they say that there is some way to commune with the dead in the Oblivion Lake.

After some puzzles and a difficult test imposed by the Guardian of the lake to prove you’re worthy, Gabriel is allowed into the Pan´s Temple. After talking with his deceased wife and with a new objective in mind, Gabriel and his friend Zobek start a new journey to free the souls from the lords of shadows.

Skill Tree

There is a lot of combos for the combat cross, the variety makes the game flexible to various play styles. As previously stated, there are basic actions for any hack and slash game, strong hit, fast hit, evasion, block, jump, second weapon and magic.

Blocking the hit in the precise second makes the enemy stay stunned for a few seconds, subsequently dominating that timing is key to beat the last challenges.

As the journey continues the skill tree evolves, while the player gathers skill points by defeating monsters; the number of skills available increase. There are certain actions that need a relic to perform them, such as double jump, light and dark magics.

Each magic has its own number of skills, the light magic is focused on recovering health points and the dark one is used to hit harder. Both magics have their own gauge bar which will be needed to be activated to perform certain skills as knockback or area of effect attacks.

The second weapon is a rotation mechanic that the player has available to change as the battle requires it. Between the options are daggers, holy water, dark crystals, fairies and light shield.


Something that’s worth mentioning is the lack of CGI scenes in the game, the cut scenes in the story are generated by the graphic engine at full. The whole game is using the same graphics all the time, with beautiful landscapes as snowy mountains, green forests, ominous swamps and elegant architectures with great designs and detailed constructions.

The Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition for PC is the reviewed in this case, it features a resolution of 1080p with minor sacrifices. The player can´t manipulate the camera in certain places, usually in the puzzle resolving ones.

The last version guarantees the 60FPS in PC making this memorable adventure very appealing for the action fans.


The Lords of Shadow original soundtrack makes you feel melancholy and regret. At least that was my first impression hearing it after beating the first lord. Trying to understand Gabriel´s feelings made me change how to perceive the background music.

The narrative performed by Zobek at the end of each chapter is hopeful and doubtful at the same time. Trying to empathize with the protagonist in his tragic odyssey.

With percussion instruments and piano dominating most of the melodies, it makes you feel the drama building through the story and each musical piece.

The sound effects are clear with good fidelity, making the game well-polished in all fronts. There aren’t any notorious errors in the whole campaign or DLCs.


Updated 3 years after its release for consoles PS3 and Xbox360, the ultimate edition for PC is fixing the frame rate drops and making it run smoothly at 1080p and 60FPS all the time. The Steam Deck runs the game perfectly without errors and doesn’t have any shortcomings.

The game lasts for 3.50 hours at full battery and has the “verified” tag by Valve. It also doesn’t need any extra configuration, you can download/install and play as any console game, therefore the game allows the players to configure the game as they wish.


1.The new gameplay allows the series to innovate and reach new challenges.

2. This spin off gives an explanation to the existence of the eternal villain and the cursed lineage Belmont.

3. The vast number of checkpoints allows the game to reach new players, despite the high difficulty of the Castlevania series.

4. The game doesn’t have any loose point to mention, interesting story, well developed characters, epic battles, confusing puzzles, excellent soundtrack and top-notch performance.

Lords of Shadow is an epic spin off that explains the origins of the Count Dracula and the cursed lineage Belmont. With a drastic change in gameplay but very accurate.
  • Explains the saga main villian origins
  • Innovative and refreshes the saga
  • Appeal to new players
  • A well polished game without shortcomings
  • You can't manipulate the camera all the time
Story - 10
Gameplay - 9
Graphics - 9
Sound - 9
Skill Tree - 9
Written by
Hello my name is Steed, My love for handhelds started when i was 6 years old playing gameboy anywhere and any chance i could get. I like various genres like RPG, FPS, adventure, hack n’ slash, visual novels, and metroidvania. There are a few sagas that will forever be special to me; such as Pokemon, Final Fantasy and Shin Megami Tensei. On my free time I like to excercise and watch a wide variety of anime as well. My favorite consoles: Playstation Vita, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch and Steam Deck

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