Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 was a bit of a late bloomer. Not much happened in the first half of the game, and even in the latter half, the game only came into its own once there was more combat and less exploration.
The story took some interesting turns by the end of the game too. And of course, good old Alucard showed up. Unfortunately, you couldn’t play as Alucard in Lords of Shadow 2, but his appearance drove the story into an exciting territory. However, you couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing with the way his character was introduced into the plot. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 – Revelations, tries to fill in the blanks here. It fleshes out a lot of Alucard’s story from the previous game, and finally shows you he was up to while the events in the main story transpired. This immediately raises your expectations for the game.
What I didn't Like:
Unfortunately, Revelations fails to deliver. It turns out most of what Alucard was doing was basically messenger work and errands, which isn’t the most exciting job by any stretch of the imagination. In addition, the amount of extra information that the story of the DLC provides players is fairly limited. With a title like Revelations, you wouldn’t be alone if you were expecting some stunning reveals. Most of what drives the story of the game seems to be a mediocre attempt at putting a band-aid on the storytelling flaws of its predecessor. There are points in the game where the plot could have veered into a potentially interesting direction, but sadly the game steers clear of these avenues, satisfied with its mediocrity. Overall, by the time you’re done playing, you might question why this game was made at all.
Even if the story isn’t always the strongest, most Castlevania games are known for their fantastic, gruesome and challenging combat system. Here too, Revelations misses the mark. Most of what you’ll end up doing in the game, much like in Lords of Shadow 2, is not directly related to combat. When you finally do get the chance to dive in and do some hacking and slashing, Revelations has some fun moments. Alucard fights and moves completely differently from the way his father did, but it’s still a fighting style that long-time players will easily adjust to. Up until the very end of the game, which features some good boss battles, you can get by without too much trouble. You will need to learn to use Alucard’s abilities to the optimum to finish the game, however. Unfortunately, by the time you get a hang of his abilities in combat, the game will have finished, since there’s so little actual combat woven into the campaign.
The Game Play:
Much of what makes up Revelations is exploration and puzzle solving. For this purpose, you are equipped with three different abilities. Most puzzles require you to use a combination of some or all of them. One of the abilities allows you to reverse the flow of time, and it is cool to see the effects of a broken building being mended. Most puzzles aren’t very flexible in the way the game allows you to solve them. There is a very specific set of actions and abilities you need to use, and some trial and error is necessary for figuring out the exact sequence of events the game wants to happen. This mechanic is frustrating, and the puzzles seem like they’re there just because the developers wanted to include some puzzle solving sections, instead of actually being a test of your intelligence.
The Belmonts have been through some interesting events over the course of this trilogy of games. Members have died, been reborn, switched loyalties and switched them again. Their struggles and triumphs have kept players interested, even when the gameplay wasn’t helping the cause. Stellar combat, interesting puzzles and some inspired set pieces kept you playing even when the plots were mediocre at best. Unfortunately, Revelations fails on both counts – combat and story. Even though it’s done away with the lackluster stealth sections from Lords of Shadow 2, what it encompasses instead isn’t particularly interesting. If you’ve been excited to play as Alucard again, you’ll be disappointed with how little actual fighting you get to do here. The return to Dracula’s castle feels like a needless cash-grab and hopefully future games will resurrect the Castlevania franchise, much like the mythical vampire himself.
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