Castlevania: Lords of Shadows hits shelves next week, and this 11-minute trailer is here to cover every single facet of this reboot of Konami’s vampire-hunting series.
In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a new Castlevania out in a week. If you hadn’t heard, then you seem to be the precise target audience for this final pre-launch trailer, because this is eleven minutes of some guy (with a very pleasant British accent, admittedly) laying out absolutely everything about the new game.
You will learn that this is a reboot of the series, and it apparently has nothing to do with the other Castlevania games (except for when it does). It tells the story of Gabriel Belmont, a man out to defeat the mysterious Lords of Shadow in order to either bring his dead wife back from the dead or to lay her soul to rest.
You will learn that there will be platforming, violent-looking combat and puzzles to solve. You will see giant enemies called Titans that must be climbed and defeated, Shadow of the Colossus style. Essentially, if you had no idea what Lords of Shadow was about before, now you know all there is to know.
I’m really trying to keep an open mind here – and not just because I’m the guy who’s going to be reviewing it – but while it looks good, it just doesn’t look very Castlevania to me. If you took ten-second clips from random spots in that trailer, you might think you were seeing any number of games, from Prince of Persia to God of War to the aforementioned Shadow of the Colossus.
Sure, when you’re dealing with a 20-year-old series with more retcons and story inconsistencies than your average comic-book franchise, a reboot is completely understandable. But other than Gabriel’s name, calling the whip Vampire Killer, and vague allusions to Dracula (and considering the Japanese name for the series is “Devil’s Castle Dracula,” he’d better be in there somewhere), it feels like there’s something missing.
In other words, I’m okay with a more combat-oriented Castlevania that takes more than a few pages from the God of War playbook, but if I don’t hear “Bloody Tears” or “Vampire Killer” I’m going to punch a squirrel.