300 Words or Less – Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Ultimate Edition

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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is an aspirational title, a lofty attempt to pull the Castlevania franchise out of it’s Metroid shaped rut and into the third dimension. Sure, there had been attempts in the past, but they were mediocre at best (Curse of Darkness) and hilariously bizarre at worst (Castlevania 64).

It was Mercury Steam, a relatively untested Spanish studio, who managed to pull it off, with LoS becoming the best selling title in the franchise despite the outcry of series stalwarts. Best described as God of War meets Uncharted meets Shadow of the Colossus, it’s a sweeping epic with tight combat mechanics and an amazing soundtrack by Oscar Araujo. A slightly more traditional “Metroidvania” sequel, Mirror of Fate, was released for the 3DS, with the forthcoming Lords of Shadow 2 bucking the trend even more with a transition to an open-world.

Ultimate Edition is the best way to experience this game before Lords of Shadow 2’s October release. The PC port includes the two DLC packs and while it features a modest suite of advanced tweaking options, even on a mid-range rig it can pull 60fps at 1080p and maximum settings. Mercury Steam is putting its best foot forward on the PC, a good sign for Lords of Shadow 2, which runs on the same engine and will be launching on the PC alongside consoles. The only place where LoS:UE falls down is the pre-recorded cutscenes, which are still at a low enough resolution to be quite jaggy at 1080p.

All of these improvements, plus the addition of the middling story-based DLC, make Ultimate Edition the best way to experience Lords of Shadow for both new players and returning fans. It’s the way the game was meant to be played, without the subpar framerate of the console original.

Screenshot gallery after the bump.

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