|Castlevania: Lords of Shadow|
|Designer(s)||Dave Cox (producer)|
|Engine||Proprietary game engine|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|Release date(s)||TBA 2010|
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is an upcoming video game in the Castlevania series. It is being described as a reboot of the franchise. It will be an action adventure game in a fantasy setting in Southern Europe during the Middle Ages. The game is being developed by MercurySteam and Kojima Productions to be published by Konami in 2010. Hideo Kojima will be involved with the title, albeit in a small role. Actor Patrick Stewart narrates the game's official trailer, and Jason Isaacs will also star.
The game was originally announced as Lords of Shadow with no connection to the Castlevania series mentioned. According to Konami this was to keep their plans to radically change the direction of the Castlevania myth a secret and to keep the announcement of the game from upstaging their other major series release at the time, Castlevania Judgment.
According to a recent IGN interview, the game is currently running on a proprietry Mercury Steam Engine and has been described as a third person action adventure title with combat, platforming and puzzle elements. The combat will utilize a retractable pyrokinetic chain whip called "The Combat Cross". The commands consist of short range and long range attacks, and interactions with other items in the player's inventory such as knives, stakes, holy water and other potential environmental weapons, such as a fragile wooden hammer. The whip is used not only for combat, but also for exploration purposes like scaling walls and swinging across gaps. The whip is supposedly going to be controlled by the right analogue stick with the camera being fixed at all times. The developers have tried to reach out to new audiences by distancing this game from previous Castlevania games, but have kept some elements intact as to not alienate current fans. For example, vampires and werewolves are recurring enemies in the game, but other existing enemies include trolls, giant spiders, goblin like creatures and large scale, fully interactive bosses reminiscent to that of Shadow of the Colossus. This includes the large ice titan shown in the trailers. As the game is now 60% complete, the developers are aiming for 30 frames per second performance, as opposed to 60 frames, which they have said isn't a priority at this stage. The official game website has the Xbox Live and PSN logos near the bottom of the page, suggesting some sort of online interaction or DLC possibilities.
The setting of Lords of Shadow is during "the end of days". The Earth's alliance with the Heavens has been threatened by a malevolent force known as the Lords of Shadow. The souls of the deceased and evil creatures inhabit the dying land, and attack living people.
The main character, Gabriel Belmont (voiced by Robert Carlyle for the English-speaking releases) is a member of an elite group known as the "Brotherhood of Light". The group are holy knights who protect and defend innocent people against the supernatural creatures. Gabriel's wife Marie (voiced by Natascha McElhone for the English-speaking releases) was brutally murdered by one of them, and her soul has been "trapped for eternity". Because she is now neither alive nor dead, she realizes what is at stake and guides Gabriel to his destiny to save the world. He travels the destroyed land, meeting other characters such as Zobek (voiced by Patrick Stewart) while searching for the three factions of the Lords of Shadow to defeat them. Two mysterious masks, the god and devil masks, lie at the centre of the plot, with the god mask having powers to resurrect the dead. Revealed characters with unknown voice actors include Claudia, The Sword Master and The Lady of the Forest.
Kojima's involvement in the development of Lords of Shadow allowed him to "fix things based on his creative viewpoint". Examples include advising Cox's team to redesign some of the lead character, Gabriel, who he felt needed a "more heroic face". Cox stated that Kojima has otherwise allowed him a lot of freedom with the project.
The game's musical score will be composed by Óscar Araujo using a 120-piece orchestra. Cox has said that some previous Castlevania musical themes will be used throughout.