Castlevania set for adventure and RPG focused return

Leaked information from a US magazine reveals Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is on its way to PS2, and draws lots of interesting Symphony of the Night comparisons...

Hot on the heels of the announcement of a new Castlevania title for the Nintendo DS, scans from US magazine Play have revealed that Konami's Tokyo development studio is hard at work on a new vampire slaying epic for the PlayStation 2.

Reported to be the series' last outing on PS2, Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is a 3D title which promises a stronger focus on the adventure and RPG elements which were left by the wayside somewhat in previous PS2 incarnation Lament of Innocence.

Once again the central character is not a Belmont, however; this time you play a chap called Hector, who is a Devil Forgemaster (that's someone who makes demons, apparently) who studied under Dracula himself but then did the usual thing of heading off to live a peaceful life.

Fat chance. After his beloved missus is implicated in a "deadly conspiracy" by another Devil Forgemaster, Isaac, he makes his way back to the castle with revenge on his mind - accompanied, usefully, by Innocent Devils, familiar-type creatures who grow and evolve over the course of the game.

According to series creator Koji Igarashi, the game will allow players to venture into areas around the iconic castle as well as exploring the building itself, and the Belmont family will play a key role, even though the central character isn't related to the clan of vampire slayers and prolific breeders.

Lament of Innocence wasn't a bad action game by any means, but was closer to Devil May Cry than Symphony of the Night; with Curse of Darkness, Igarashi and his team seem to be harking back to the much-loved PlayStation title (can we get that on PSP? Please?), which is likely to arouse quite a bit of interest among fans of the series.

As for the 2D Castlevania titles, Igarashi assured Play that he's not done with 2D games yet by any means - but he wants to make a better 3D Castlevania first. If anything should sting Konami into action on this front, it's Metroid Prime and its stunning sequel - proof positive that 2D Castlevania type games can be translated into 3D without losing an ounce of playability or style. Fingers crossed that Curse of Darkness does the same thing for camp bloodsuckers that Prime did for armour-clad space ladies...

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Rob Fahey

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