Platform: Xbox 360
List price: $49.99
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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a single player Action-Adventure game developed as a reimagining of the classic Castlevania mythology. An entirely modern action console game, Lords of Shadow combines fast-paced weapons and magic based combat against otherworldly enemies, with platforming and puzzle-solving gameplay, to create a fresh gameplay experience that will thrill both fans of the original game series and gamers more rooted in modern action games. Story It is the end of days and ungodly powers isolate the Earth. The worlds' 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 wreak chaos and death upon the living. Wield the weapons of The Brotherhood of the Light to combat evil. View larger. Platforming and puzzle-solving gameplay. View larger. Over-the-top boss battles. View larger. Tame an array of ridable mounts. View larger. 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. Gameplay Although based on the classic arcade side-scrolling platformer and the string of games that have followed over the years, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a modern single player Action-Adventure game played from the third-person perspective. Based around the tragic past and seemingly inescapable destiny of the Gabriel Belmont character, the player engages in a mix of combat, platforming and puzzle-solving skills. To deal with the hell-spawned beasties and bosses encountered, Gabriel uses a mix of upgradable weaponry and magical powers. Weapons range from a cross that can be extended into a whip with grapple capabilities, to a gauntlet, knives and more. As players wield these they will gain access to energy orbs that reveal themselves as enemies are dispatched. This energy is stored in on-screen gauges and powers multiple kinds of usable magic within the game. Some of its uses involved improve attacks, while the other aids reflect regenerative health. It is the players choice to juggle where these energies are applied. The availability of energy can also be increased by avoiding the attacks of enemies as you battle them, with the payoff coming when they are bested. In addition to run of the mill bad guys, the game contains loads of huge bosses, success against which requires patience, attention to screen prompts and timing. The player will also come up against many other creatures that although vulnerable to weapons can also be defeated and tamed by Gabriel. In many cases these can then be used as mounts and used either in boss battles or in puzzle-solving scenarios that may not be able to be solved without them. These potential mounts include wargs, spiders, warthogs and more. Taken together, all of these elements make for an entirely new take on the Castlevania gaming experience that is destined to satisfy new and current fans alike. Key Game Features A brand new Castlevania game with state of the art graphics and high production standards to deliver an awesome game experience for Xbox 360. High caliber voice acting from the game's stunning cast, with Gabriel voiced by Robert Carlyle (28 Weeks Later, Trainspotting, The Full Monty and Stargate Universe), and Patrick Stewart (X-Men, Star Trek: Next Generation) as the mysterious Zobek. Natasha McElhone (The Other Boleyn Girl, Californication, The Truman Show) and Jason Isaacs (Black Hawk Down, The Patriot, Harry Potter series) round off the talent. Developed by Spanish studio Mercury Steam and supervised by world renowned Kojima Productions. Intense combat action game with powerful magic system that takes the series back to its roots but with all new game play features that utilize the full power of the Xbox 360. Immerse into a brand-new storyline that new comers to the Castlevania franchise will relish, while existing fans will appreciate on a deeper level with the introduction of characters and tangential side stories that pay homage to what has come before. Overcome obstacles using the Combat Cross multi-function weapon and hone your platforming skills in this sprawling adventure. Swing across chasms, climb sheer walls, rappel down cliffs, grip and pull away any and all things that lay in your path. Solve devious puzzles along your journey that unlock new items in which to improve your chances of success. Leave no stone unturned as you never know what you might find. Take on behemoth enemies that scale to the size of complete world environments and where special attacks and cunning speed are required for advancement. Use secondary weapons like daggers and holy water and combine them with light and dark magic for a wealth of powerful attacks to unleash upon your foes. Manage your spells as power comes at a price. Explore gothic ruins, dark castles, old forests and frozen wastelands. Discover a whole world to investigate with many routes and hidden secret places that contain items to aid Gabriel on his quest.