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'The game is a real piece of ****' - Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 staffer speaks out on development hell

Jonathan Lester
Konami, PC games, PS3 games, Xbox 360 games

'The game is a real piece of ****' - Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 staffer speaks out on development hell

Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 released this week, but failed to stack up to its predecessor when it came to the scores. "This is not the ending I was expecting for the Lords of Shadow series," Brendan concluded in our full review, "and it’s certainly not the one it deserves," after pouring scorn on its awful stealth sections, drab modern-day setting and rehashed mechanics. Not awful, then, but disappointing.

However, a disgruntled MercuryStream staffer claims that disappointment was a foregone conclusion following a truly horrific development cycle. From a tyrannical boss to an obsolete engine, the anonymous developer alleges that just releasing the game was a minor miracle in and of itself.

“The vast majority of this team is aware that the game we’ve done is a real piece of shit that has nothing to do with the first one’s quality and production values,” the developer claimed on the Meristation forums, translated via NeoGAF [and Google, naturally]. “Nobody is surprised by the low reviews we’ve got."

Not pulling any punches, the source laid the blame squarely at the studio director, who effectively ran development with almost no oversight from Hideo Kojima, whose role was ostensibly ceremonial.

“If there’s someone to blame here, that’s Enric Álvarez," the caustic post continues. "He is the person who has led a broken development based on his personal criteria, completely overlooking programmers, designers and artists. Despite his nice look to the press, often considered as some sort of creative ‘visionary’ in the looks of David Cage and Molyneux, this guy has serious problems. He is a mean and naughty guy, and since the ‘success Lords of Shadows 1′ his ego has grown to the point of not even daring to say ‘hello’ when you meet him in the hallway.

“His distrust to his own workers is enormous. Most of the development team often found out features of the game through press news, rather than from the studio’s head – unbelievable. And there is no corporate culture here at all… this is just a handful of people working blindly and at the disposal of an alleged visionary.”

The source also claims that two developers fiercely guarded access to the engine's source code, resulting in the underwhelming visuals that rendan noted in the review. The studio's fate is now in question, as Konami are likely disappointed by the game's reception. "“There’s just so much passion and talent here, more than I’ve ever seen anywhere else, but it’s completely held back," they concluded. "I really hope that those who read this understand what we’ve lived here. Someone has to say this so it is not lost in time after the game’s launch.”

This isn't the first allegation of disastrous development shambles we've ever seen, but it would certainly explain many of Lords Of Shadow 2's shortcomings. That said, however, Brendan remained upbeat about the game all-told, suggesting that the satisfying combat and storyline will satisfy series fans. A 6/10 is a reasonable score, at least by our criteria.

If you bought Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2, we'd love to get your input on this!

Add a comment3 comments
kristianity77  Mar. 2, 2014 at 17:36

I bought it and it really is a load of rubbish. I wasn't overly keen on the first one but I love the Castlevania franchise. Its a terrible God Of War clone and is Castlevania in name alone.

How difficult is it to just take the magic from Symphony Of The Night and the GBA/DS series and just transfer it into 3D? Thats all the fans want, isn't it?

JonLester  Mar. 4, 2014 at 16:08

How difficult is it to just take the magic from Symphony Of The Night and the GBA/DS series and just transfer it into 3D? Thats all the fans want, isn't it?

Good question, after all, it's what everybody wants. Unfortunately the answer is "unbelievably difficult."

It's already extremely tough to design intricate multi-tiered levels in 2D, while ensuring exciting varied pacing throughout. The extra dimension, however, makes things even harder, especially since players have to somehow make sense of the environment in full 3D space without becoming totally confused. It's easier to digest a 2D 'map' than a nightmarish 3D labyrinth.

It's possible, mind. Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime Hunters are perfect examples, but required a huge amount of effort (and skill) to pull off.

Last edited by JonLester, Mar. 4, 2014 at 16:09
Strulker  Mar. 7, 2014 at 06:10

It's a complete disappointment. I am a fan of Castlevania since the first game on the Nintendo NES. I stopped playing video games for some years and finally I came back as a gamer and played Lords Of Shadows 1, it was an amazing experience. One of the best games I ever played and that was it, I was hooked again with video games and enter the new generation gaming. Since then I waited for this sequel, I even got the Mirror of Fate which was decent game, a mix between the classic 2d Castlevanja and the Lords of Shadows 1, but then this game destroyed the story, the characters and everything that they achieved with the reboot of the series. Totally disappointing, the working conditions that this person mention could be the reflection of the economic crisis that Spain has been suffering for several years, there is no work, and the bosses know this and gives them power. Lords Of Shadows 2 I will give it a 5/10.

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