Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Darkness reigns the world...

The Earth's alliance with the Heavens has been threatened by a dark and malevolent force, the mysterious Lords of Shadow. Across this shattered land, the souls of the dead wander unable to find peace, whilst creatures of evil roam free wreaking chaos and death upon the living.

Gabriel Belmont is a member of the Brotherhood of Light, an elite group of holy knights who protect and defend the innocent against the supernatural. His beloved wife was brutally murdered by the evil forces of darkness, and her soul trapped for eternity. Neither living nor dead she realizes the horrific truth of what is at stake and guides Gabriel to his destiny, and hopefully salvation for the world...but at what cost?

Thus, Gabriel must travel the destroyed world, defeating the evil tyrants in order to use their powers to bring balance back. Armed with the versatile Combat Cross, the world's last hope must encounter the three factions of the Lords of Shadow, and end their unholy rule.

Released on October 5th, 2010 for the Sony PlayStation 3, and the Microsoft Xbox 360, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is the story of the heroic Gabriel Belmont, and his battle to save mankind from the darkness that is falling upon it, while avenging the death of his wife, Marie. Gabriel's wife was murdered by dark forces, and he has set out for revenge against the evil beings. Gabriel is sent by the Brotherhood of Light to search for an individual known as the Guardian of the Lake. The Brotherhood sent him there because they had dreamt that a message from his deceased wife Marie, awaits him at Lake of the Oblivion, and that this message will hold a clue to the world's salvation. Gabriel meets with the guardian, Pan, at the Lake of the Oblivion, where he tells him that there the living can communicate with the dead. With Pan's permission, Gabriel crosses the lake and communicates with Marie. She informs him that Spirits who founded the Brotherhood of Light are attempting to tell her that the power of the Lords of Shadow is the means to the world's salvation. After Marie disappears, a man from the Brotherhood of Light called Zobek introduces himself to Gabriel as an old acquaintance of Pan, who felt that Zobek should lend him assistance. Zobek states that a prophecy has been kept a secret by a select few, and that it tells of a pure-hearted warrior who will claim the Lords of Shadow's power to overcome evil. He says that they must enter the lands of the Dark Lords in order to unite the Heavens with the world again, and that with this Gabriel can bring Marie back from the dead. Gabriel decides to leave for the Land of Lycans and asks Zobek to go to the Land of the Vampires to prepare, and that afterward they should go onto the Land of Necromancers together.

Gabriel meets allies along his adventure, and also meets many enemies. Some of the evil beings he comes across are the vampires Brauner and Olrox, the devious Cornell, the dark and mysterious Carmilla, and her daughter Laura. He does battle with the most ferocious beasts and deadliest creatures known to man. He does this for name of the Brotherhood of the Light, for his wife Marie, and most importantly for all of mankind.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is technically a reboot of the series. It takes place in the year 1047, predating the events of Lament of Innocence, although Konami has stated that the game does not follow the established timeline. In a way, Lords of Shadow is the beginning of it's own timeline, and it is uncertain if the previous one will return, or if this will be the new Castlevania storyline moving forward. Unlike previous Castlevania titles, the game was not produced by Konami within, but instead through a studio hired by Konami known as Mercury Steam. Lords of Shadow uses elements that many compare to previous video games like Gods of War and Shadow of the Colossus. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow ranks high in both action and adventure, and can be very challenging.

Many Castlevania fans had mixed emotions upon it's release, however LOS did seem to draw new fans to the series, which was more than likely Konami's ultimate goal. It has been often said that Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a great game, but not recommended for Castlevania fans. The people who made those reviews may have been referring to Castlevania fans who admire Symphony of the Night, and all of it's game play related titles for the DS and Game Boy Advance. Lords of Shadow was successful enough to garner 2 sequels, Lords of Shadow 2 and Mirror of Fate, as well as downloadable content. Overall, Lords of Shadow is a decent game which has proven that it is worthy of holding the name Castlevania. Symphony of the Night fans should keep in mind that past titles like Lament of Innocence and Curse of Darkness were also much different, and the franchise still endured success with their releases. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a compelling adventure into the unknown, which will keep many fans of the action video game genre on the edge of their seats, waiting to see what awaits them next.