Lords of Shadow 2: Ending On A Dull Note
I am a huge fan of the Castlevania series, with my favorite being the Lords of Shadow saga. I feel that this saga has the strongest story and characters. I played the first Lords of Shadow game and actually cried at the ending; I connected with Gabriel on a very emotional level. Seeing him get betrayed was heart wrenching.
If you have played the original Lords of Shadow then you will feel right at home. The combat system, upgrades and abilities are all pretty much the same as the first game. The only difference would be the physical appearance of the items. Instead of a chain whip, Gabriel now has a blood whip.
I really hated the stealth sections of the game, seeing as once you got caught you were dead meat. Plus those sections really slowed down the action and excitement of the overall game. Even though they were a new aspect in Lords of Shadow 2, the stealth sections felt more annoying than they did challenging or exciting. I did get stuck on one stealth section, because you need to possess an enemy and for some reason I could not do so. I spent the next hour trying and eventually dying looking for ways to get past him. When all I had to do was walk up behind him and spam the B button.
The mastery system for your weapons is a nice touch. The system rewards you for using a bunch of different techniques, and once those techniques are 100% mastered you can add it to your weapons mastery level, which increases its overall damage.
Sadly there are only three mastery levels, so if you wanted to get 100% on every technique and be awesome, you're out of luck. Once your blood whip, void sword, or chaos claws get to the max mastery level, all of your techniques are 100% mastered. But you don't need to 100% every technique to get to the max mastery level.
Most enemies are fun to engage, but some of them are outright annoying. Any enemy who has a shield or is heavily armored is a nightmare. Seeing as you need your chaos claws to break their shield or armor, if you don't have any magic runes or magic power for your chaos claws, then you're done. The magic rune gives you unlimited magic for about forty-five seconds. Very helpful when you are low on health or need to kick some teeth in.
Certain enemy combinations are super annoying as well, like the blood pools. You need to hit them with ground attacks until it dies, otherwise it will turn into a skeleton with a shield. If the blood pool gets to the skeleton phase, you need to kill the skeleton and then attack the blood pool again; if you don't kill it, then get ready for another skeleton phase.
The music in Lords of Shadow 2 is phenomenal, and some of the best orchestrated music I have heard in a video game. Oscar Araujo hits a grand slam with his compositions. I was really hoping that Lords of Shadow 2 would have a collector's edition with the soundtrack, but sadly there was none. Mr. Araujo did the music for the first Lords of Shadow game which was fantastic as well.
The voice acting in Lords of Shadow 2 is amazing. Robert Carlye reprises his role as Gabriel and Patrick Stewart voices Zobek once again. The two of them lead an excellent cast of voice actors. The facial animations are a lot more expressive in Lords of Shadow 2 compared to the first game. I could actually see Gabriel becoming less cold as his subtle facial expressions changed. A small smile, a raised eyebrow.
While the graphics are not as amazing as next-gen graphics, they are still quite epic and beautiful. Looking out from the castle's many vistas is truly breathtaking. The character model, environments and cut scenes are all really well done. I could not ask for anything better.
The Kill Joy
I will try to keep this section spoiler free. The biggest let down I had with Lords of Shadow 2 was the ending. The ending was weak and did not resolve some of the questions I had. The first Lords of Shadow ending was epic beyond belief, especially fighting Satan. With the last battle music? Magnificent.
The ending in Lords of Shadow 2 does not even let you fight Satan. I have to say that the journey of the game up until the end was amazing. But damn, that ending left a bad taste in my mouth. I was expecting some truly amazing and epic fights, followed by a resolution. Instead I got a weak fight and a cliff hanger of an ending. A truly disappointing ending that had me saying, "That's it?"
Lords of Shadow 2 is a good game that has a handful of flaws that was holding it back from being a masterpiece. Lords of Shadow 2 would've been so much greater, but instead it's mediocre compared to the first game.
A copy of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 was personally purchased from a local retailer. Lords of Shadow 2 was developed by Mercurysteam and published by Konami. Lords of Shadow 2 was released on February 25th, 2014. I played on hard mode and had a lot of fun until the ending, which was a disappointment.