The legendary vampire looks a little familiar.
A quick SPOILER WARNING: The trailer you see here to the right contains some fairly major spoilers for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Since we'll be discussing it in this news post, the text will also contain said spoilers. If you have not finished Lords of Shadow but intend to and would like to remain unspoiled, leave now.
Now that that's out of the way - to the right we have our first look at Konami's sequel to 2010's Lords of Shadow, which apparently takes place at some point between the game's ending and its epilogue. Said epilogue was one of the most genuinely surprising moments of the game, with the simultaneous revelation that it was sent in the modern present day, and that protagonist Gabriel Belmont had embraced immortality only to become twisted and darkened. He declared that he was now Dracula, bringing us to the trailer you see here.
Obviously, Gabriel isn't the (marginally) good guy he was in the first game anymore. He has a massive spooky castle, is attacked by an angry armed mob, and clearly relishes in the slaughter as he shows the mob why you don't mess with Dracula - and in case you didn't get the memo as to his newfound identity, the blood-drinking kind of gives it away. He also fights a giant medieval house-mech at some point; that part is kind of weird.
What makes this trailer interesting is the very end, when Gabriel faces down the one foe remaining. While we don't see his opponent's face, we do see that he has white hair and wears black-and-gold armor, which indicates that this just might be the Lords of Shadow incarnation of series fan-favorite Alucard, Dracula's son.
If this is Alucard, when did Gabriel-as-Dracula father him, and with who? His wife was dead in the first game, and there's no indication he had children. And how does the Lords of Shadow universe incorporate Trevor Belmont, star of the recently announced Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate? The Belmont clan isn't a quote-unquote "thing" in this timeline, as far as we know. The main Castlevania canon is notoriously twisted, and this really isn't helping matters.
For that matter, the real question about this trailer is a matter of who we're supposed to root for. Gabriel was the hero of the last game, but Dracula is one of the biggest all-time baddies in fiction. Perhaps we'll be playing as Dracula as he intends to genuinely do evil things, or perhaps we'll be Alucard trying to stop him.
Frankly, I don't know, but I'm kind of excited.
UPDATE: Konami has posted an official synopsis of the game's story on its website. Dracula, "weakened and yearning for release from his immortal bonds," must reacquire his old powers when faced with a terrifying new threat. So, it's kind of like Castlevania II, except you're Drac this time.
Dracula must also contend with the "famed Belmont clan," who seek his total destruction. This is confusing, because Dracula is Gabriel Belmont. And if he wants to die, why not let the other Belmonts do their job?
It's good to see that a fresh new continuity hasn't stopped Konami from making Castlevania canon headache-inducing.