Reviews of Castlevania - Lords of Shadow 2 have started to go live ahead of the game's release in the States today and Europe later this week.
In our Castlevania - Lords of Shadow 2 review, we said the sequel "bites off more than it can chew by trying to cater for too many".
We've rounded up a number of review scores below, along with short excerpts from the verdicts.
- CVG: 8/10 - In trying to be all things to all people it offers less to those that loved it for what it was. Forget the dead family and vampiric curse - that's the true tragedy of this Dracula.
- GamesRadar: 3/5 - Lacking the focus, clarity and coherence of its precursor, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 fails to satisfy as a sequel or as a game in its own right, delivering muddled game design and little narrative resolution.
- OXM: 8/10 - This was never going to be the shock hit that the first game was, because we were forewarned of its excellence. While it does suffer a little from the stellar expectations, this huge finale is its own creature, and easily does MercurySteam's saga justice.
- Edge: 4/10 - Lords Of Shadow 2 is clunky, ugly and deeply misguided. MercurySteam says this will be the final game in the Lords Of Shadow saga, and on the evidence of this cluttered, bloated and forgettable mess, it's just as well.
- Joystiq: 4/5 - Like Dracula himself, his latest adventure is imperfect - its listless, poorly presented evils sometimes warring against its better, more exciting nature. I won't spoil Dracula's fate, but as for the fate of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, the better half wins out.
- Eurogamer: 5/10 - To live on but to be diminished - that's the fate of the vampire in Castlevania's lore. Sadly, it's a bit of an epitaph for this well-meaning but bloated game as a whole.
- IGN: 6.5/10 - Lords of Shadow 2 may have gained an open world, but a poor story, uninteresting enemies, and a bland cast of characters came with it. The end result is something that doesn't come near the level of overall quality found in the original Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
- Polygon: 5/10 - Three years ago, it seemed like MercurySteam had an intriguing vision for its rebooted Castlevania universe. But what we're left with at the end of the trilogy is a couple of cool ideas with no momentum. It's not payoff - it's anticlimax.
- Next-Gen Game Blog: 7/10 - Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is a good game, which isn't a bad thing. However, it never really elevates itself to another level, which is a slight shame as the potential is there. Elements of the gameplay are crying out to be pushed that little bit further, but that never really comes to pass. That is Lords of Shadow 2 in a nutshell. If you played and enjoyed its predecessor, then this sequel is worth a purchase. For newcomers to the series, even though some plot points will go over your head, it's decent one time playthrough, but just don't expect to be amazed.
- Metro: 4/10 - Lords Of Shadow 2 waddles on for 20-odd hours and would've been twice the game if it was half the length, with the all the unwanted padding and repetition taken out. It's such a shame because the first game, and MercurySteam, showed such promise. But this is a huge backwards step and we fear the undead charms of Castlevania may finally have been killed off once and for all.
- VideoGamer: 6/10 - The world is both large and intricately detailed, and you'll want to explore it. But there aren't enough interesting set-pieces to assuage the feeling you're merely engaging in attritional combat to see the next environment or get to the next part of the story. A huge shame.
- Game Informer: 6.0 - This shambling monstrosity is composed of chunks from other, better games. Rather than blend them together into something new like its predecessor attempted, this one just feels like a patchwork mess.
- Strategy Informer: 7.5 - Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 does some things alright and some things really well. The lack of anything not done before and the run of the mill story still leave the game a decent gaming experience, there's still plenty to see and plenty to kill, and, as mentioned before, there is a great sense of games and level design competency which oozes from the seams. For third person action veterans it probably won't quite cut the mustard, but for Castlevania fans who are still digging the reboot this will be another good title in the reimagining of a classic series.