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!