Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 Slated for February 2014
First projected for this Winter, MercurySteam’s final act in their critically acclaimed ’Vania saga, Lords of Shadow 2, will make its way to stores February 25th, 2014.
Following the trials of the holy warrior once known as Gabriel Belmont, now the accursed Dracul, the ultimate bastion of darkness, players will face hell’s best and worst in retaliation to Satan’s surgical strike on the mortal coil.
If the date push is too much to bare – and it truly is – Konami and MercurySteam will be dropping an updated HD version of MIrror of Fate onto Xbox Live and PSN this Halloween. Serving as a bridge between the first and second LoS titles, the 2.5D game also merges the combat and storytelling of the newer titles with the side-scrolling, exploratory gameplay that made the original Castlevania’s widespread successes.
And if you’re still completely unitiated to the reboot legacy by February, the 25th also brings the Lords of Shadow Collection, gathering 2010’s original game along with its two DLC add-on’s as well as Mirror of Fate HD.
Behold, Castlevania Fans, the 3DS is Receiving Mirror of Fate This Fall
A common complaint leveled at the original Lords of Shadow was that, while a smartly executed action game, it failed to capture the essence of old school Castlevania. It’s true, LoS was a vastly different kind of experience that landed miles away from the Metroid-vania side-scrollers the series is loved for. It didn’t stop me from enjoying (well, actually, friggin’ worshipping) LoS, but I, too, missed the 2D days of old.
That’s what makes Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate (I run out of breath saying it) so appealing. While not visually restricted to it, Mirror of Fate binds the 2D platforming from the series’ past with the combo-laden hack n’ slash play style prevalent today.
Konami seems deadset on supporting the Lords of Shadow license, but developer MercurySteam seems to want classic ’Vania implemented in all sorts of ways, including a years-spanning storyline featuring Simon and Trevor Belmont in their attempt to thwart the stain in their lineage, Dracula. Mirror of Fate, arriving exclusively to the 3DS this Fall, is also said to setup next year’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. I guess you don’t kill Dracula in Mirror of Fate, but I honestly like Gabe too much to see the dude staked.
UPDATE: During Nintendo’s 3DS showcase, Konami confirmed the presence of series favorite Alucard as a playable character in the new handheld title. Besides Trevor and Simon, one other controllable character remains unrevealed.
Our first look at Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate. Definitely following in its big console brother’s footsteps as opposed to any of the 2D entries of handhelds past. You’ll use your combat cross to guide another Belmont, Trevor, through unholy lands, whipping the undead to death all in shiny 3D.
I was really vying for another fully 2D entry but any new addition of Castlevania is welcome – especially to my 3DS, which is currently collecting all the dust it can muster.
Castlevania Coming Back in a Big Way at E3?
According to industry reporter Paul Gale of PGN, Konami fully intends on bringing the Castlevania franchise back by releasing titles on practically every next-gen console and new handheld on the market.
One big familiar name the company is dishing out is a direct sequel to MercurySteam’s sublime Lords of Shadow. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (which it very well may not be called seeing as how the series has thrown numbers out the window around the 300th release or so) will see a return on the PS3 and Xbox 360, but in what is sure to be a surprise announcement at E3’s show floor is that a Wii U version of the game is being crafted, including console-specific features. Oddly enough, PGN also goes on to list a PS Vita edition of the game – making it your only opportunity to take LoS2 on the go.
Another surprise title being tossed around in these speculative days before E3, and allegedly confirmed through PGN, is a completely new 2D entry to the franchise called Castlevania: Mirror of Fate. Built for the Nintendo 3DS, Mirror of Fate hopes to carry on the mantle of quality set forth by its original DS brethren, this time cleverly utilizing the handheld’s 3D cameras to mimic mirror effects, allowing you to complete puzzles and the like with one of two playable vampire killers. While being a “2D” successor, I’m confident the game’s visuals will play host to some form of the third dimension outside of the camera functionality.
According to the same source, Konami and team originally planned for the 3DS title to have a console counterpart on the Wii U that swaps the dual-screen format for the new system’s TV/tablet setup. This notion was scrapped in favor of porting Lords of Shadow 2 (a financially safer bet for the publisher) over to the console instead. However, Mirror of Fate and Lords of Shadow 2 will still have some degree of compatibility between one another.
Castlevania seems to be the only fertile ground Konami has left these days, the publisher having actively salted the earth around franchises like Silent Hill and new IPs such as NeverDead (yes, Metal Gear still thrives yet, but I dare you to name a game that wasn’t a re-release so far this year). For whatever reason, Castlevania has been mostly immune to the negative effects of experimentation and somehow continues to both grow new fans and root old ones. I absolutely cannot wait to see what’s next from the series.