Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 – Revelations (DLC) – PS3 (PSN)
Platform: PS3 (PSN)
Release Date (NA): March 25th, 2014
Nerd Rating: 6 out of 10
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 was graced with only a single DLC chapter: Revelations. It serves as a prequel to the main game and puts our beloved protagonist of Symphony of the Night, Alucard, in the driver’s seat. This rather short swath of DLC fits in well enough with the general Lords of Shadow feel and makes a reasonable attempt to avoid some of the shortcomings in LoS 2. For instance, we’re spared any city sequences, no stealth runs, and we’re given nice linear chunk of story.
The story is a little weak in my opinion and serves as little more than a throwaway excuse to throw Alucard in the mix as a playable character. Personally I would’ve preferred to see more of an epilogue to the events of LoS 2. At any rate, Revelations begins just before the events of Lords of Shadow 2 (going into too much detail will spoil one of LoS 2’s big plot twists) and we follow Alucard in his attempt to put the Void Sword and Chaos Claws within reach of the weakened Gabriel/Dracula.
If you’re familiar with the other DLC chapters for the first game, Reverie and Resurrection, you’ll probably remember how difficult these chapters were in relation to the rest of the game. Both had a few wildly difficult platforming sequences (remember those spinning blades in Reverie? the crazy lava chase in Resurrection?) and some tougher than average combat portions. In keeping with the tradition of turning it up to 11, Revelations is also oddly difficult in its own way. Alucard fights basically the same as Dracula, but with his own twist and several nods to SotN. First of all, his weapon of choice is the Crissaegrim, a sword that Symphony fans will no doubt remember. Second, his powers reflect those gained in Symphony as well: the Bat Cloud which lets him virtually teleport to further than average jump points, the Spectral Wolf which allows a “wolf form” to leave Alucard, run through fences, jump long distances, and then re-materialize Alucard, and then the odd Timeless Vision which allows him to see what an object looked like in the past (like a broken table becomes a solid table) but only for a limited time.
Superficially these seems like pretty cool powers, right? Well even with the short length of Revelations, these abilities are pushed to their absolute limits. It all feels like one giant puzzle, figuring out which power to use in which order and it’s actually totally fucking frustrating. I would venture to say that I almost didn’t have any fun with Revelations because at every turn I felt like I had hit a dead end and had to continually refer to a video playthrough to see what to do next. Many of these challenges kick off with a Timeless Vision, which essentially puts a time limit on whatever else needs to be done. And to make things even worse, Timeless Vision is about the least intuitive power ever: you’re in a dilapidated, crumbling castle, and you’re supposed to magically suspect that one object or another might be susceptible to this bizarre ability.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s all very clever, but it certainly pushes above and beyond the main game and acts a sort of “master level” rather than just another chapter in LoS 2. There’s pretty much zero room for error, and this necessary level of perfection makes the experience a notch or two less than “fun.” We’re also treated to an insane boss fight at the end that features not a single checkpoint during the battle.
I wanted to enjoy my time with Alucard as much as anyone, but as I worked through this overwrought quest I found myself quickly relegating Revelations to “non-essential Castlevania.” If you have LoS 2 you might as well give this a shot, but otherwise it feels a little too much like a giant puzzle that the developers couldn’t otherwise fit in and tacked on in this strange manner.
Reviewed by The Cubist
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