Konami has announced that a definitive edition of Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow will be jumping and grappling its way to PC this summer. New story content, enhanced visuals, extra weapons and locations have been confirmed for this new version, which will release on Steam on August 27 followed by a traditional boxed retail launch.
Click below for a trailer (a perfect excuse to listen to Patrick Stewart's beautiful baritone) and the all-important feature list.Click here to read more...
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow developers Mercury Steam have expressed ambivalence over continuing to make Castlevania titles going forward.
Producer Dave Cox suggested that the studio wanted to be known for more than Castlevania titles, although he admitted it would be hard to walk away from.Click here to read more...
The latest trailer for 3DS exclusive Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow - Mirror Of Fate pulls no punches, showing off plenty of gameplay footage while promising a meaty twenty-hour length (though the "extreme platforming" doesn't look particularly extreme, we must admit). We'll find out whether the portable precursor to Lords Of Shadow 2 delivers when it releases on March 8th.
Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow's great to look at and the soundtracks a treat for the ears as well! It's also a game that you can pour a lot of hours into and the bosses'll provide you with a real challenge when you stumble across them. Unfortunately, the camera's fixed, which is a real shame because it can lead to some very irritating moments. You can get a 360 copy of the game from either HMV, or The Game Collection, for £14.99, which'll save you almost £3 on the next best offer coming in from The Hut.
The latest Castlevania reboot is a real bone of contention here in the office, with us unable to agree on whether it’s the right direction for the series to take. There’s no denying that Lords Of Shadow a competent hack & slash platformer with incredible art direction that delivers half of the narrative through the sumptuous environments and creature design. On the other hand, it’s more derivative than we ever expected from a Castlevania title… especially one that had (the bonkers) Hideo Kojima to fall back on.
The only thing that we can agree on is that you need to get your skates on before The Game Collection runs out of stock!
Konami has announced that the Reverie DLC pack for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow will (finally) arrive at the end of the month priced at 7.99€ (roughly £6.88) for PSN users and 800 MSP for Xbox fans.Hit the jump for new screenshots and a summary of the latest Castlevania DLC...
2010 has been an odd year. It's been positively stuffed with action, brimming with blockbusters, with video games making a hell of a lot of noise, attempting to capitalise upon the enormous successes of 2009. We've seen some truly staggering achievements this year, games exhibiting such developmental technical brilliance that have dazzled our eyes , forced our mouths agape and, particularly now with everyone vying for a slice of MoCon pie, caused us to look very silly indeed.
There's been plenty of behind the scenes drama going on this year, as I mentioned in my retrospective glance at a few of this past year's highlights. But when it comes down to it, the games are what we have left upon which to judge the last twelve months. No one can deny it's been a pretty solid year in terms of the games themselves. Everywhere you looked there was another extremely polished would-be moneymaker preparing to ship. Gamers, in many ways, have been completely spoilt for choice this year. Throw Move and Kinect into the mix too and there really has been something for everyone - from basement dwellers to their grandmothers, from those with 5 minutes to spare to those with 5 days.
But for all of its pomp and circumstance, for all of the boisterous hyperbole, the PR stunts, swathes of adverts and headline-grabbing spats, speeches and slip-ups, 2010 has lacked something.
That something is soul.
Dave already alluded to this in his GOTY introduction when he said that we hadn't seen any goalpost movers this year, and I'm rather inclined to agree. There were plenty of fun titles and enjoyable experiences to be had but few, if any that blew my mind. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood earned its full marks for having the audacity to be released a mere year after ACII and not only top it but also wangle in some incredibly well-thought-out multiplayer too. But if you hadn't played any of the others it would have stumped you completely. It didn't really break new ground as much as perfect the old. Limbo, the other game I gave a ten to this year, is the only game I've ever played to really chill me to the bone. But it couldn't keep it up beyond a couple of hours and, whilst the second half of the game produced some excellent puzzles, it felt like the fireworks had passed.
The blockbusters this year have nearly all been sequels - louder, shinier and slicker: Mass Effect 2, God of War 3, ACB, Bioshock 2. The latter is a perfect example to encompass the year: better shooter, poorer game. Few, if any, of the mainstream studios this year (thank god for the indies!) have been prepared - except perhaps for SEGA (and I'm thinking here of the sheer lunacy that was Bayonetta) - to really be brave, to strive for the unique, the adventurous and the risky, and to truly push what it means to design video games. Not just building upon existing procedure, but shaking things up completely.
Except, perhaps for Quantic Dream...
The latest Castlevania reboot is a real bone of contention here in the office, with us unable to agree on whether it's the right direction for the series to take. There's no denying that Lords Of Shadow a competent hack & slash platformer with incredible art direction that delivers half of the narrative through the sumptuous environments and creature design. On the other hand, it's more derivative than we ever expected from a Castlevania title... especially one that had (the bonkers) Hideo Kojima to fall back on. The only thing that we can agree on is that Zavvi have the best price for both platforms.
Felix pitched the idea of an Inception film-tie in back in August... and rumours have been circulating for the last couple of months. However, director Christopher Nolan has now confirmed that an Inception game is definitely in the works and is moving forward with a higher priority than a silver screen sequel.
I always imagined Inception to be a world where a lot of other stories could take place. At the moment, the only direction we’re channeling that is by developing a videogame set in the world.
As for [movie] sequels, it’s not something I want to say no to, but it’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought about. - Nolan to Entertainment Weekly
Apparently this project is "a longer-term proposition"- and we hope that Nolan takes as much time as possible to make it work. And maybe cut down on the grinding nonsensical pseudoscience to focus on more gravity-defying action? We'll let you know more once we can pin down a developer. [EW]
Hurray! Castlevania Lords Of Shadow has secured positive reviews and reasonable sales, but a terrifying monster lurked within the PS3 version's code. This slavering horror put werewolves and demons to shame, devouring innocent save files with gleeful abandon over the last two months.
Luckily, the Van Helsing of PS3 patches is finally out- and the beast is slain. Enough with the metaphors: the saving glitch should now be fixed. Apparently the original problem was due to "PS3 Pad Interference," whatever that means. [Eurogamer]
Take Two Chairman has prophesized that physical, packaged games will still command the majority of the games market in five years time- but even if traditional retail does fail, it won't change the face of games development in a significant way. [GI]
I still think in five years the packaged goods business will dominate. It's kind of irrelevant to us -- basically the same gross margin, basically the same risk.
However, this view isn't shared by a number of industry figures. id Software megamind John Carmack firmly believes that digital distribution is "the wave of the future" and will strangle the life from traditional retail outlets. Not only that, but high street retailers are still petrified by Steam and other digital platforms (as demonstrated by their recent desperate threats to boycott the service).
As consumers, we're just going to have to support the sales platform of our choice. Let is know where your loyalties lie!
The venerable PS2 hit a decade last Wednesday... so pick up your party hat, an unused party popper and the most hygienic slice of cake off of the floor, because it's time for another celebration. The Xbox 360 has turned 5 today in Europe- so, happy birthday and many happy returns! Microsoft's next-gen console has succeeded on levels that the original Xbox could scarecely dream of, cementing their place as bona fide console manufacturers and major players in the console arms race.
So where to go from here? There's no doubt that the 360 is starting to show its age, but with Kinect and a few more exclusives in the offing, it's not going anywhere soon.
Want to share some of your Xbox 360 memories? Fancy weighing in on the future of the console? Have your say in the comments!
It's another bargain at Play, and this time it's Castlevania: Lords of Shadow the victim of a price-cut, slashing the cost down to £17.99. Lords of Shadow enjoyed a very good reception, so good a sequel is already in the works. It's quite a recent title, too, so £17.99 is a terrific price. If you're an old-school Castlevania fan expecting the series' trademark labyrinthine dungeons reborn in HD, you might be a tad disappointed. Lords of Shadow, which apparently didn't start out life as a 'Vania game, is a far more linear affair in the God of War mold. You'll enter a new area, be it a werewolf-infested village being pounded by sheets of rain, or Gothic castles nestled in the midriff of snowy mountains, slaying all manner of fantastical beasts and bosses. It's an incredibly cinematic experience, although what else should you expect from a game under the tutelage of Hideo Kojima?
This is the first major breakaway price for Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow, and it's a level that many gamers will gladly buy into. Whilst consistent thrills occasionally succumb to repetition and grind, LOS is heavy on content and provides major value at this price. Some epic boss fights and great voice acting sweetens the deal- and whilst the camerawork is a little dodgy, there's enough here for a wholehearted recommendation... if you can look past how utterly derivative the whole experience turned out to be. Why not check out Matt's full review?
Note: This is selling out fast!- Ed
Well, it's happened again. In case you didn't know, Gran Turismo 5 has been delayed even further, knocking back the projected release date to a vague "holiday season" rather than next month. Polyphony Digital head honcho (and borderline obsessive) Kazunori Yamauchi blames this latest snafu on a few niggling problems that need to be ironed out before his masterpiece can hit the shelves.
It's because time and labour were spent ironing the kinks out of [the game's] complex system. I'm really sorry. Everyone, it's inexcusable... Wait a little longer. - Kazunori Yamauchi via twitter [Translated by Kotaku]
A few little bugs have been spotted in preview builds (such as bizarre tornadoes or melting cars), but it's more likely that a delay of this magnitude is down to production problems. A report from Gamereactor claims that Yamauchi missed Sony's production window by just three days, causing SCEE to push back the date in order to guarantee release day supply.
Quite frankly, we've been waiting for years... so what's another couple of months between friends? An entirely new genre of exciting cinematic racing has fully evolved in the time its taking for Yamauchi to obsess over the details- and every delay is just giving us more time to enjoy Motorstorm, Split/Second, Burnout Paradise and the sublime F1 2010. Which released on time and don't continually rag on their expectant fanbase, for the record.
The mystery of the phantom gamerscore has finally been solved. Bungie has confirmed that three new maps are headed to Halo Reach on November 30th. Entitled the Noble Map Pack, this DLC will cost the princely sum of 800 Microsoft Points and give us access to Anchor 9, Tempest and Breakpoint; which feature a mix of close quarters combat and spacious invasion mayhem.
Sorry, no space flight multiplayer I'm afraid. We'll only get to play inside Anchor 9, though it will feature a low-gravity area for nutty multiplayer shenanigans. Bouncy SWAT, anyone?
Seriously though- releasing a premium price map pack only a couple of months after release? Bungie seem to be picking up a few pointers from Activision already.
Matt's taken a divisive swing at the newly-released Castlevania: Lords of Shadow in today's review. It's chock-full of dangerous beasts... but the PS3 version is plagued by a dangerous little critter that puts all of the other monsters to shame. Many gamers have been reporting a nasty bug that devours innocent save files when prompted to "overwrite" them. Konami are apparently aware of the problem and are currently working on a patch to rectify the issue.
Fear not, Vampire Killers. A patch for the PS3 save issue affecting Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is incoming. We’ll update on availability.
If you receive the corrupt save file overwrite prompt and want to retain your progress, do not press X, eject the disc and wait until the patch is released. We still don't know whether Konami will be able to rescue the file, but it couldn't hurt.
If there's one thing that Lords of Shadow has taught me, it's that I'm pretty sure having Patrick Stewart read bedtime stories to you would be one of the best things in the world. The bald-headed, classically-trained national treasure purrs his way through chapter after chapter of fantastically nonsensical sotry, bringing an often contradictory and otherwise bland narrative to life with the rich tones and warm rhetoric of a man who's seen the best of both the RSC and Hollywood. He's probably the best thing in the game.
The inclusion of Sir Patrick, not to mention other well known actors such as Robert Carlyle (more Renard than Begbie in this uncharacteristically muted role as Gabriel Belmont), is testament to the fact that no expense has been spared on this title...and it shows right from the very start. Jaws will drop at just how staggeringly beautiful the medieval world that Gabriel inhabits truly is. From sprawling ruins, to deep, lush forests, to thunderstruck Gothic castles (eventually), the game makes passionate love to your eyeballs.
But it's not just the astonishingly crafted vistas and that will take your breath away and stir your imagination, the soundtrack is instrumental (forgive the pun) in conveying exactly the sense of epic fantasy for which Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is striving. The orchestra rises and falls like an ocean during the game, sometimes content to flutter under the surface before rising up in towering crescendos and making your spine tingle as a plot twist (and there are a few) slaps you across the face, or a gigantic Titan bursts it's way forth from the ground. I sat listening to the menu music for a good ten minutes or so, but then I'm a sucker for a bunch of rousing strings and horns.
The story is suitably grandiose, as well, although unlike the more Dracula-centric tales of previous series instalments, this is a much more personal tale of loss and revenge. You play Gabriel Belmont - no relation to previous Belmonts - a member of the Brotherhood of Light, a society of nomadic warriors who protect civilians from things like the undead and, probably, aliens. An evil group of baddies called the Lords of Shadow have gone and severed the connection between Heaven and Earth and allowed supernatural horrors to run rampant...and a few of them may have brutally murdered Gabriel's wife. The task is simple: stop the Lords of Shadow, restore the link between Heaven and Earth, drive out the monsters and exact some serious vengeance. One thing is made very clear: you are supposed to believe that this in an epic story, set in an epic land, and that everything you do is really quite epic...supposedly.
It's no secret that MercuryStream has been tasked by Konami to create a new game, but a Spanish radio interview with the the man behind the game's soundtrack has now outed the project as a sequel to the recently-released Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. When discussing the action platformer, composer Oscar Araujo gleefully teased:
If you liked the first [game], hope that the second is even more spectacular.
Araujo also stated that Konami demanded a "rough" and "aggressive" score to contrast with the series' traditional "effeminate" image. I'm sure many fans will take issue at this one- but there's no denying that Gabriel is a lot tougher than previous protagonists. If slightly less stylish. [Thanks, Eurogamer Spain via Eurogamer]
A pulled video from the official PS3 YouTube channel has confirmed that LOVEFiLM will be hitting the Playstation 3 next month. The service will allow users to rent and stream thousands of films directly from the XMB, including a wide range of blockbuster titles and barely-known indie flicks.
Note that existing LOVEFiLM members will receive this service as part of their subscription.
Considering that we still don't have Netflix over here, this is going to give the PS3 a serious amount of media clout along with Mubi. [VG247]
The annual IndieCade Festival brings together Independent developers from all over the world, and their awards festival throws the spotlight on the best the scene has to offer. This year's winners include the dimension-defying Miegakure, the esteemed (and highly reviewed) Limbo, the trippy Continuity and the staggeringly profound masterpiece A Slow Year. Oh, and B.U.T.T.O.N. is completely insane. We'll be bringing you an Indie Games Arcade preview soon.
Many of these games are free to play- and every single one of them is worth checking out. Hit the links and get involved!
Matt's recent hands-on preview of LittleBigPlanet 2 has shed impressive new light on the exceptionally robust level editor and its capability to emulate practically any game experience (as well as new genres that have yet to be discovered). However, this is an entirely different league. ThatGamesCompany's Flower is a beloved and beautiful game... that's now running in LBP2.
Every publisher in the business must be very glad about the delay. LBP2 is shaping up to be the only game you'll ever need.
Castlevania: Lord of Shadow is looking like a very promising title, combining great visuals and action with a sterling Hollywood cast of voice-actors and guidance from none other than Hideo Kojima. In order to purchase Lord of Shadow for the cut-price of £28.74 at The Hut, you must first amble on down to the Walkers website, register for the Rainy Days promotion, complete a mandatory survey, and then apply for the 10% voucher code at The Hut. It's then a simple matter of clicking on the link above, and once you find yourself at the checkout screen, simply input the code, and, lo and behold, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, which features the comforting tones of Robert Carlyle, Patrick Stewart, and Jason Isaacs, among others, not to mention ethereal unicorns, giant eagles, Warg-riding werewolves, titanic stone deities brought to life, and even the visage of Death himself, the Grim Reaper. Not bad, eh?
Sony has officially confirmed a £39.99 annual price for its PSN premium subscription service. Playstation+ will be hitting on June 29th along with Firmware update 3.40, which will also apparently add cross-game chat for both regular and plus subscribers.
Playstation+ will give you access to a number of premium features including early demo access, premium themes and PS Home items, PSN discounts... and of course, the ability to play to a bunch of free games (including PSN titles and Minis). However, sharp-eyed readers will notice that you don't get free games and downloads to keep; only the ability to download and play them while the subscription lasts. Sony has confirmed that any and all free content will freeze and/or deactivate when Playstation+ subscription terminates or expires. This won't be a big deal for diehard Sony fans, but might be a dealbreaker for the average gamer. [Playstation+]
Motion control may be the current major fad du jour, but the move towards 3D gaming has been making a steady surge towards the mainstream. Sony's currently making a high-profile effort to get 3D into the living room (mainly due to their debut line of staggeringly dear 3D televisions), but Nintendo and Microsoft have also declared their own take on next-gen console 3D.
Whilst Nintendo has stated that there's "no immediate need to replace the Wii", Satoru Iwata has strongly suggested that 3D will play a major role in the next console... depending on whether or not it takes off.
“If you display a 3D image, the image quality becomes extremely bad, so we’d probably do it with the next system. We’re thinking that the timing should be once the 3D television adoption rate crosses the 30% mark. We’re looking at the adoption trends.” [VG247]
Microsoft, on the other hand, has predictably slammed the move towards three-dimensional gaming. Citing the technology as a prohibitively expensive novelty, Microsoft UK Boss Neil Thompson has reaffirmed Microsoft's commitment to controller-free gaming before considering 3D in any significant way. Basically, Kinect Good, 3D Bad.
Does 3D gaming get your juices flowing... or is it a cosmetic step sideways for the industry? Have your say in the comments!
We've been keeping a close eye on Castlevania's Next-Gen debut, and we've finally been able to witness its take on mounted combat and experience system courtesy of Gametrailers. Kojima has been working to ensure that the characters and tone manage to toe the line between badass, scary and relatable... and from what we can see, it's working. The combat is looking exceptionally fluid and accessible, with a mounted section providing high speed thrills. This is definitely one to watch!
Castlevania's next-gen debut may still be three months away, but ShopTo are already dropped their preorder price to a impressively low level. They're currently stocking Lords of Shadow for £34.85, whicb is £3 less than their nearest competitors (Zavvi in this case). There's still plenty of time for the price to drop even further- but this is still a decent price for any new release that's probably worth a punt for diehard fans!
Castlevania is one of the most oldest and most revered platformers in videogame history (though I must admit that the original's savage difficulty curve frequently got the better of me). Drafting in legendary developer Hideo Kojima to the cause, Konami plan to bring the series' trademark platforming to next-gen consoles and western audiences; along with enhanced combat to bring Castlevania in line with more modern hack & slash titles.
Armed with a versatile 'Combat Cross' (an homage to the throwing crucifix from the original), the heroic Gabriel will lay siege to horrific supernatural foes to redeem his wife's soul. Far from a meatheaded lug, Kojima assures us that Gabriel will be a relatable character with a tragic, powerful backstory- and we'll find ourselves feeling his pain more than once.
Naturally, we'll be keeping a close eye on any further preorder price drops- and remember that you can cancel your preorder at any time to take advantage of a better deal. On the other hand, this is a good price for one of the year's most anticipated releases.