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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is an Action-Adventure video game and a reboot of the Castlevania series. It is set in Southern Europe during the Middle Ages. The game was developed by MercurySteam and Kojima Productions to be published by Konami in 2010. Hideo Kojima was a producer of the title, albeit in a small role. Actor Patrick Stewart narrates the game and Jason Isaacs also stars.
The game was originally announced as Lords of Shadow with no connection to the Castlevania series mentioned. According to Konami this was to keep their plans to radically change the direction of the Castlevania myth a secret and to keep the announcement of the game from upstaging their other major series release at the time, Castlevania Judgment.
The developers have tried to reach out to new audiences by distancing this game from previous Castlevania games, but have kept some elements intact as to not alienate current fans.
The game runs on a proprietry Mercury Steam Engine and has been described as a third person action adventure title with combat, platforming and puzzle elements. Gabriel uses in combat a retractable pyrokinetic chain whip called "The Combat Cross".
The commands consist of short range and long range attacks, similar to the God of War series, and interactions with other items in the player's inventory such as knives and holy water can be used to further damage certain type of enemies. The whip is used not only for combat, but also for exploration purposes like scaling walls and swinging across gaps. Vampires and werewolves are recurring enemies in the game like previous tittle in the franchise, but other existing enemies include trolls, giant spiders, goblin like creatures and large scale, fully interactive bosses reminiscent to that of Shadow of the Colossus.
The setting of Lords of Shadow is during "the end of days". The Earth's alliance with the Heavens has been threatened by a malevolent force known as the Lords of Shadow. The souls of the deceased and evil creatures inhabit the dying land, and attack living people.
The main character, Gabriel Belmont (voiced by Robert Carlyle) is a member of an elite group known as the "Brotherhood of Light". The group are holy knights who protect and defend innocent people against the supernatural creatures. Gabriel's wife Marie (voiced by Natascha McElhone) was brutally murdered by one of them, and her soul has been "trapped for eternity". Because she is now neither alive nor dead, she realizes what is at stake and guides Gabriel to his destiny to save the world. He travels the destroyed land, meeting other characters such as Zobek (voiced by Patrick Stewart) while searching for the three factions of the Lords of Shadow to defeat them. Two mysterious masks, the god and devil masks, lie at the centre of the plot, with the god mask having powers to resurrect the dead.
Kojima's involvement in the development of Lords of Shadow allowed him to "fix things based on his creative viewpoint". Examples include advising Cox's team to redesign some of the lead character, Gabriel, who he felt needed a "more heroic face". Cox stated that Kojima has otherwise allowed him a lot of freedom with the project.
Lords of Shadow draws inspiration from earlier titles in the series, most notably Castlevania for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and Super Castlevania IV.
The game's musical score is composed by Óscar Araujo in the style of Spanish orchestra.
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