Castlevania could be coming back in 2D as a game like the series has never seen before.

Konami’s recently filed Harmony of Despair trademark looks like it’ll be an official Castlevania game after all, but not in the way we’re used to seeing the series. A rumor and an inside source have indicated that it’ll return to Castlevania‘s 2D roots and add a multiplayer mode. It’s also said to be a downloadable title available on Xbox Live Arcade.

First reported on Never Know Tech (and now removed but available on NeoGAF), the original rumor post said that Castlevania: Harmony of Despair is going to be an mash-up featuring popular characters from the entire Castlevania franchise. A Belmont may be among these. From screenshots NKP also obtained, we know Soma Cruz, Alucard, Jonathan Morris, Shanoa, and Charlotte Aulin are confirmed playable characters.

The game will be in 2D, like Castlevania is meant to be (sorry, Lords of Shadow), but also in crisp HD. Six players will be able to take on a map at once with the goal to kill a specific target. The map can be zoomed out all the way, presumably to make it easier to cooperate and help friends. Harmony of Despair will also have a single-player mode, and achievements for you AW’s out there.

Though Harmony of Despair is still only a rumor, it’s a pretty strong one, as a “trusted source” confirmed the game to Joystiq. The screenshots, if real, show a very neat looking game that could be a ton of fun if done correctly. Fusing multiplayer and cooperative elements into Castlevania sounds amazing, perhaps allowing for the trading of loot drops and MMO-like cooperation against tough bosses, but maybe I’m getting ahead of myself here. Nothing is official yet, so the waiting game has begun to see if Despair is a real game, and what the total reality of its gameplay could be like.

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