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Lords of Shadow 2, Trials Fusion and more from Outside Xbox.
9th February 2017
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Netflix's animated Castlevania adaptation will get a second season.
Netflix's animated Castlevania series has revealed its voice-cast and it's a good one.
UPDATE 25/05/2017 4.20pm: Netflix's Castlevania series will launch on 7th July in the UK as well, the streaming service confirmed.
ORIGINAL STORY 25/05/2017 1.02am: Netflix's animated Castlevania series will debut on 7th July, at least in the US and Latin America, and the streaming video company has released its first trailer for the show.
We're still awaiting official confirmation for a UK release date, but hopefully it won't be far behind its North American Netflix brethren.
Netflix is bringing Konami's spooky Castlevania series to TV.
Season one launches this year, with a second season already locked in for 2018, according to producer Adi Shankar.
If that name sounds familiar, Shankar's work includes the R-rated Dredd, Machine Gun Preacher and The Grey.
Castlevania turned 30 overnight.
In October 2010, a little-known Spanish developer, backed by a veteran Konami employee finally given his shot at the bigtime, released a reboot of one of the most beloved Japanese-created games of all time. Despite concern among the franchise's most ardent fans, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow launched to critical and commercial acclaim. The overlords at Konami were pleased.
Konami has announced it will add a playable Alucard to action game Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 as downloadable content.
In Mercury Steam's Lords of Shadow universe Alucard is the son of Gabriel Belmont and the father of Simon Belmont. Alucard was the protagonist in spin-off Mirror of Fate.
He arrives in Lords of Shadow 2 as part of the Revelations add-on, due out on 25th March. Expect new branches of the storyline, Konami said.
Hi Eurogamers, and welcome to your weekly dispatch from outsidexbox.com. This week I have been thinking about vampires, Trials Fusion, vampires, impossible Xbox achievements and also vampires.
Mercury Steam's follow-up to its first take on Castlevania has been a long time coming, and maybe it hasn't been quite worth the wait, but that doesn't really stop Lords of Shadow 2 being one of the brightest prospects of what's been a pretty barren February.
Never short on spectacle, the original Lords of Shadow showcased detail-rich environments, hulking boss battles and exciting set-pieces in a technically stunning release. However, developer Mercury Steam's ambition came at a price, with the game regularly failing to hit the desired 30fps target, resulting in jerky visuals and uneven controller response that impacted gameplay. The good news is that, in technical terms, the sequel is a massive improvement.
Castlevania's return serves up a similar slice of hack-and-slash combat and a distinctly linear take on 'Metriodvania' exploration - at least during the first few hours. While the direction taken with Lords of Shadow 2 is still somewhat questionable from a gameplay perspective - with the contemporary setting and scripted stealth sections feeling distinctly out of place in a Castlevania game - Mercury Steam continues to impress from a technical one. The developer has delivered a sequel that improves upon the already impressive technology in a number of ways: elements such as a player-controlled dynamic camera better frame the action, while the continued use of lighting, particles and motion blur add intensity to large-scale battles and scripted action sequences above that of the previous game.
The results are just as accomplished on both consoles, with both versions presenting a night-and-day level of improvement in performance over the first Lords of Shadow. After the wildly variable first game, we see frame-rates regularly hitting 30fps mark in this sequel. In a balancing act of sorts, Mercury Steam makes a few changes to accommodate these improvements: notably, we see the game operating with a native 1024x720 framebuffer on both consoles, without any form of anti-aliasing, whereas the previous game runs in 720p - also without any AA.
Over three years after the release of the original Lords of Shadow, the things I remember about it are all pretty good. MercurySteam's first attempt at a Castlevania game may have ditched the cartographical intricacy that made the series so satisfying in 2D, but it offered players a sumptuously rendered 3D action-adventure instead, and delivered it with real spirit. Uncharted-style platforming across expansive outdoor levels was mixed with clean, crunching combat against a variety of towering foes; a stoic Belmont took the fight to the forces of ancient evil and was - eventually - consumed by vampirism himself.
Lords of Shadow 2 plays many of the same cards, but I doubt I'll ever recall it quite as fondly. The nimble platforming and the combat both return - now coupled to a player-controlled camera that behaves pretty well and feels like a natural fit - and Gabriel Belmont's back too, newly cast as Dracula, and nursing the mother of all undead hangovers. This is a far more ambitious game, however, and it's not always successful in those ambitions. In its shift to a contemporary urban setting it loses a lot of the earlier game's cinematic sense of scale and place. In its desire to draw a handful of wayward plotlines towards some kind of conclusion, it sacrifices pace and coherency in the service of a story that, ultimately, isn't really worth the hassle.
But still, all change: Dracula awakes in the present day to find that he's an old, dribbling wreck, and that a massive glass and steel city has risen up around his crumbling castle while he's slept. He's dragged back into action by his old pal Zobek, now some ill-defined manner of horror executive with a suit and a cigar, and he's told about a dangerous new threat to civilisation. A team of depraved acolytes are trying to resurrect Satan, which will presumably be bad news for everyone, even a bloodsucking vampire who's killed most of his own family. If Dracula will help Zobek stop the antichrist's reappearance, Zobek will allow Dracula to find eternal peace. This narrative seems simple enough, perhaps, but the developers immediately get lost within it.
Pre-order the digital version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 on PlayStation 3 and you'll get a free download of Lords of Shadow: Mirror of Fate HD.
PS3 and Xbox 360 demos of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 are out today. A Steam demo will be out tomorrow, Konami has said.
Bet Konami paid handsomely for this lot - this Hollywood lot featured in a new Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 video.
"The God of War comparisons really pissed us off."
The fancy pants premium edition of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 comes in Dracula's tomb.
UPDATE: Konami has teased a PC version of Mirror of Fate HD.
After this morning's announcement of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection, due out on PS3 and Xbox 360, producer Dave Cox tweeted an image of Mirror of Fate HD running on a laptop alongside: "No comment :)"
ORIGINAL STORY: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Collection launches on 8th November 2013 for £30, Konami has announced.
When the much beloved Castlevania legacy was handed off to Spanish developer MercurySteam (Clive Barker's Jericho), with Kojima productions supervising, there was a lot of backlash. Many complained about it eschewing the open-ended exploration that had become a series mainstay since 1997's Symphony of the Night and accused it of being a God of War clone. Others, like myself, remembered the series from its earlier, linear days and appreciated it for what it was. It may have owed more to Kratos than Alucard, but for my money, it was better than Sony Santa Monica's flagship mythological hack-and-slash.
I admired its combat mechanics, magic system, varied boss fights, and stellar art direction, but I couldn't help but agree with the sentiment that a less linear game would be even better. Now MercurySteam is marrying what was great about its first foray into Castlevania with that exploration we all know and love.
Unfortunately, Konami's E3 demo shows none of this. In fact, it raises concerns that it may have broken some things that already worked.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 will be hitting the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC "this winter", according to a new trailer that's just been released by Konami. (It's worth remembering that "this winter" could mean 2014.)
A slew of new details regarding MercurySteam's highly anticipated Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 have emerged over a pair of previews from OPM UK and OXM UK (via Gaming Everything).
First off, you'll be able to control the camera and teleport around seamless environments ala Koji Igarashi's Castlevania games, suggesting something more akin to a 3D Symphony of the Night. Further drawing comparisons to the PlayStation classic is the ability to turn into mist. You'll also be able to glamour mortals and take control of them.
Lords of Shadow 2 will also be set across two timelines with the bulk of the game set in modern day environments that have been sculpted to resemble the gothic Castlevania aesthetics well all know and love (remember, the "blank of Sorrow" Castlevanias took place in the future, but you'd never know it).
Castlevania's howlingly-good 2010 reboot Lords of Shadow has been spotted lurking within the Steam registry, suggesting a PC release may be imminent.
Konami has explained why Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 isn't coming to the Wii U.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is Spanish developer Mercury Steam's final Castlevania game.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is due out this year for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 - but not Wii U, Konami has confirmed.
Konami has released the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 trailer that premiered during the Spike Video Game Awards over the weekend.
The PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 action game is in works at Spanish studio Mercury Team, the developer of the first game.
CLoS2 is a much broader tale than the first game, Konami said, and spans centuries.
Who needs anonymous sources to leak info when a game's producer does that on their own? At least that was the case with Konami's David Cox who publicly released an off-screen image showing the first we've seen of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 in-game.
"Is it a picture or is it the game?" Cox tweeted above the following pic. Clearly it's the latter.
The peculiar thing about this is that it's an off-screen image from an official source. If Konami wanted to publicly reveal a shot of Mercury Steam's upcoming action/adventure sequel it would ready a high-res image for distribution, not an oddly angled photo with a bit of glare on the screen.
Because you wanted it, Konami has consented to make a PC version of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2.
"That's right! Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is coming to PC!" bellowed Lords of Shadow producer Dave Cox on Twitter.
A just-released press release tells us the PC version is being simultaneously developed alongside the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, and all three will be released next year.
The Castlevania: Lords of Shadow DLC add-ons Reverie and Resurrection were "a mistake", developer MercurySteam has now admitted.
Konami has announced Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 and teased Nintendo 3DS game Castlevania: Mirror of Fate.
In a pre-E3 press conference video Konami showed the debut trailer for Lords of Shadow 2, developed by Spanish studio Mercury Steam. Launch platforms weren't mentioned.
Konami just launched the official Lords of Shadow 2 website and in it is story information that describes the game as the conclusion of the Lords of Shadow saga.