God of Shadows. Depending on what you’re into and whose opinion you read, the original game in the series was either applauded or derided for using a style of gameplay similar to God of War. The sequel continues that tradition, but with a few tweaks.
The giant that you climb is broken up into a series of platforming sections that require you to avoid being crushed by moving fast and always upwards. It isn’t especially demanding, but it keeps you on your toes throughout. Traversall feels much as it did in the previous game, but with perhaps a greater emphasis on the cinematic presentation.
A New Weapon for a New Task. The big change is in the addition of weapons you switch to for specific actions. Not unlike God of War III, you can now swap out your signature weapon for two other that are needed for specific tasks, and can be quickly switched to in order to create more diverse combos. The potential is huge, and experimenting will keep you busy for hours.
The first weapon is a pair of gauntlets that you use to break shields, while the other is a sword that can drain the life of enemies and transfer it to you. Switching is easy and can be done on the fly with the bumper buttons. The demo showed a fluid and responsive control scheme, and flipping between the two new weapons and Dracula’s primary weapon (which replaces the cross from the first, but feels the same) opened up a world of possibilities. Countering and blocking plays a huge part as well.
The science of movement. With no release date other than winter of 2013 it’s tough to know how complete this demo is, but what was shown looked much like the previous game. Some of the CGI was a bit crude, but the animations during the combat looked good, and you could track and alter combos based on the movements. That’s the important thing.
Voice Acting+. Both Patrick Stewart and Robert Carlyle reprise their roles as Zobek and Gabriel, respectively, and the odds are that they will be joined by an equally impressive cast. We may have to wait awhile for news about this though.
The combat in the previous Lords of Shadow was never an issue. It had moments of brilliance, but the game was occasionally plagued with pacing issues. There is no way to know if the pacing has been tightened in Lords of Shadow 2, but the already solid combat feels better than ever. It is very much a disciple of the God of War games, but that isn’t a bad thing in any way. If the combat can deliver on its promise, and the rest of the game matches it, then Lords of Shadow 2 could be another classic in the legendary Castlevania series.