When designing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, I often looked back at the original Castlevania for inspiration. I would remember the feelings I had as I traversed the dark, gloomy landscape and recall the wonderful music that would create an atmosphere quite unlike any other game of the time.
For me, Castlevania was always about lone warrior battling supernatural creatures with a whip. This was the core idea that when you strip away all the layers, is what remains true for the series even now. Of course, back then, games were far simpler and story lines, characters, and the rest were often secondary to the all-important gameplay.
Over the years, games have become more sophisticated and players have wanted deeper experiences and more far-reaching gameplay mechanics. Expectations for memorable characters and realistic environments often mean it’s much more difficult to find the core of a game and truly understand where something is coming from.
We decided early on that we would boil down that core idea and add layers on top but this time, we would add new layers along with some of the old. We knew we wanted Castlevania: Lords of Shadow to be about the Belmonts. We knew the main hero had to have a whip and not just any whip but a chain whip, just like the Belmonts of old. We knew series staples like daggers and holy water had to be in, too.
We knew that we had to have brooding and dark environments. Underground caves, dank swamps, sewers, catacombs and not just be set in a castle. Just like the old games! We knew we would need a forbidding castle with clock towers, dining halls, libraries and the like to explore but we also wanted to give players cunning puzzles and items to find to make exploring much more interesting.
We wanted old characters to be in our universe, but somehow different. Somehow not what you would expect, but enough for you to see and feel the character anew. So when people say to me, this game doesn’t look like Castlevania… I simply reply, you need to look harder and deeper, because inside this game is the Castlevania you know and love. And yet it is new, reborn. You just have to look with better eyes!
Gabriel Belmont is a lone warrior battling supernatural creatures with a whip. He is trying to bring back his dead wife to the world of the living. We have candles for you to whip, we have vampires, bats, zombies, werewolves, wargs. In fact, over 45 different enemies populate the game.
We have secondary weapons such as daggers and holy water. We have characters who some of you will recognize. We have a wonderful score that includes memorable Castlevania themes here and there that will give fans chills. But most of all, we have an open invitation to those of you who have never sampled the delights of Castlevania before.
The door is open and we want to welcome you in. Its going to be 20 hours of challenges, but you will be rewarded handsomely with a story that will deliver an epic re-imagining of the series for everyone to enjoy, not just fans.
Won’t you come in? The fire is raging and the master and his servants are home, waiting to give you a welcome you won’t soon forget!
Until next time…