Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 on a sequel without Hideo Kojima: “This is us on our own”

“This is us on our own, with a clear vision of where we want to take the story.” David Cox has a hell of a lot of conviction when we ask him about developing Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 without the assistance of Hideo Kojima. And we can see why Konami’s head of European development is so confident. After all, the original Lords Of Shadow is one of PS3’s biggest and best adventures, and this massively exciting follow-up looks set to suck its predecessor’s arteries dry.

Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2 without Hideo Kojima

Although Kojima only worked on the first game in a consultancy role, his power within Konami was vital in getting Gabe’s adventure greenlit in the first place. Cox is clearly appreciative of the Metal Gear maestro’s influence, but reaffirms how assured developer Mercurysteam Entertainment feels after rebooting the Gothic franchise. “We loved working with Mr Kojima, but he was onboard in an advisory capacity and I think we proved our abilities with the first Lords Of Shadow,” asserts Cox. Of course, it really doesn’t hurt to have Dracula in your corner.

Castlevania lords of shadow 2In Gabriel’s haemoglobin-slurping sequel, our beloved beardy Belmont has gone from noble knight to Nosferatu. It’s quite the transition, and one that has been managed carefully so the game doesn’t feel unbalanced courtesy of all your extra undead powers. “Players are given a taste of the incredible power and range of attacks he enjoys, be it replenishing health via sucking the blood from his adversaries or smashing enemies’ defences with his new Chaos Claws,” Cox tells us. “However, for reasons explained in the prologue, the Dracula that is transported to our time is stripped of all these abilities.”

Ah yes, the modern setting. While diehard fans may waggle their stakes in disapproval at the inclusion of a present-day locale, we think it’s a bold move that will keep the werewolf-bashing fresh. The sprawl Mercurysteam has created may be set in the here and now, but it promises to remain true to Castlevania’s dark legacy. “There are Gothic visual links to Gabriel’s past in the city we’ve created,” admits Cox. “It’s a vibrant, immersive location. One that demands you explore it, and that’s full of life and threat.”

The metropolis exists for people to
explore – and to locate items that
are key for enhancing Dracula’s powers

Investigating your surroundings will play a key role in Lords Of Shadow 2, with the game being much more open. “The metropolis exists for people to explore – and to locate items that are key for enhancing Dracula’s powers.” Appropriately, the camera is now fully controllable for this richer, more expansive world. “It allows the player to view the action from any angle at any time, but is also tied into to the sheer size of the stages,” Cox reveals. Hugely ambitious in scale, we simply can’t wait to sink our chompers into Belmont’s beauty.