When it comes to reboots, two things usually happen; people will like the idea or hate it due to the changes it has from compared with its predecessor. In the case of Castlevania’s reboot, Lords of Shadow was received well by fans, motivating Mercury Steam to create a sequel for consoles and an all new game on the Nintendo 3DS. Before the sequel to the Lords of Shadow comes out later this year, Mercury Steam wanted everyone to play a game that will tie the knot between the two games while preserving the classic Castlevania side scrolling style with a Lords of Shadow flavor into it. The question is, did the formula work this time?
Let’s take a look on what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate.
Castlevania Lore Expanded
Mirror of Fate takes place approximately 25 years following the events of Lords of Shadow. With Gabriel Belmont now the Dracula and the Lords of Shadow, his descendants; Trevor, Simon Belmont, his grandson and Alucard must now discover their shocking fate as they hunt down the Dracula. The story revolves around revenge and redemption as more on Castlevania’s lore is expanded. Expect to learn more about the Brotherhood of Light, the mother of Trevor Belmont and the story behind Alucard. For fans who have enjoyed the expansion of lore in the Castlevania franchise with the Lords of Shadow, they will be pleased see more of the series’ background story. Cutscenes are shown in cel-shaded art style, equipped with voice overs to give a moody atmospheric setting to the game. Through the ten hour campaign of the game, players will be going through three generations of characters; Trevor Belmont, Alucard, and Gabriel’s grandson Simon. Long time fans who want to see the origins of these classic Castlevania characters will be pleased with the story the game has to offer.
Sidescrolling Gameplay with Lords of Shadow Flavor
Many fans of the series have missed the classic side scrolling gameplay Castlevania has been known for. To pay homage to the Castlevania series, Mercury Steam (developer of the Lords of Shadow series) implemented the classic style gameplay everyone is fond of while adding their own flavor into it when it comes to the combat. Through the three chapters that fans will be going through, the same style can be expected; fans will be venturing through Dracula’s castle taking down enemies, solving puzzles and beating down bosses. The combat system has now been upgraded making fans of Lords of Shadow feel right at home. Similar to the game’s predecessor, Mirror of Fate now introduces combos that three characters can use. While retaining the 2D style gameplay, players will now be able to perform combos based on what level they are. For every enemy they kill, more experience points are given out thus allowing the characters to gain a level. It may sound tedious as leveling means grinding but once fans get the combo they need, they’ll be pleased with the battle system. The combat is solid and it’s fast paced.
Great Boss Fights
As someone who loved the challenge of boss fights in Lords of Shadow, I was pleased to see the same level of challenge here in Mirror of Fate. There are several bosses that fans will have to take down and every one of them requires strategy. Unlike in previous Castlevania games where you simply spam attacks until they die, there’s more depth required in Mirror of Fate. Every boss has multiple phases and it’s up to you to learn the pattern. Once the boss is almost at the brink of death, you can initiate one final blow by going through a 3D cinematic quick time events. Get the button pressing done correctly and the boss dies.
I was impressed on the visuals of Mirror of Fate. Cutscenes within the game are done in cel-shaded art style, while the environments is similar to what you normally see in previous classic Castlevania games except the art style is well drawn and full of colors. The environments look sharper, the soundtrack is admirable as it helps build up the tension that Mercury Steam wants the fans to feel, and bosses are greatly designed. When it comes to its 3D effect, they are very impressive too.