Hands-On Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow – Mirror Of Fate

By Spencer . June 15, 2012 . 3:05pm

In the Executioners grip

Before I got to play Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate, I watched a person ahead of me die four times while fighting the Executioner before giving up in frustration. I restarted the demo, which took me back at the castle’s entrance.


Evil lurks behind At the castle gates


I took control of Trevor Belmont and skeletons greeted me when I stepped inside the gates. Skeletons are fodder enemies, but in Mirror of Fate it took more than one crack of the whip Combat Cross to take them down. I think it was about ten strikes with a few dodges in between before the first skeleton fell. These ghouls tried to attack Trevor by throwing bones that arced downwards like a parabola from an eighth grade algebra class. One skeleton blocked my attacks with a spiked shield and counterattacked by lunging forward. Trevor has a "grab" button so I thought I could swipe the shield right away. That didn’t work and Trevor lost a significant amount of life after getting knocked on the head. After the defensive skeleton took enough damage a prompt appeared over its head indicating it was OK to take the shield and smack the skeleton with it.


Shadow Magic Attack 

Yes, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate like Lords of Shadow before it has God of War style finishing moves. After whipping the a suit of sentient armor (with the help of dark magic, activated by pressing right on the D-pad), Trevor grabbed the walking armor’s green energy and ripped it out as a finishing move. Players can ignore cinematic finishers, but whipping an enemy takes a lot longer than pulling out an enemy’s soul. Trevor can open treasure chests, often with life refilling orbs, by holding a button down, which was also reminiscent of an angry Spartan.


Swing to the lever Skeleton Axe


I noticed the first fork after moving deeper into the castle. I could either stock up on hearts (energy for sub-weapons) or skip this part to get through the stage faster. I decided to pick up the extra hearts and was glad I did since I obtained my first sub-weapon a few minutes later on. Bats flew into the castle convientely after I acquired the Boomerang. Trevor can launch this weapon to hit flying enemies or charge it so it spins in place after touching an enemy. This technique works well with skeletons who just stand there as the rotating boomerang cuts through them.


As a breather from all the fighting, I got to try some light platforming after defeating the bats. Being a "combat game" Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate holds your hand explaining how to use the whip to swing on to chandeliers. When I go to the end I had to double jump to reach the next ledge, but being curious I decided to jump down instead since I thought I might be able to enter another passageway according to the map, which was actually blocked off for the demo. David Cox, producer, later explained to me that Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate is built like Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse where there are different paths to take, but you’ll usually need another character to access a different route.


Trevor vs Executioner Executioner charge


So, I decided to keep fighting and I finally reached the Executioner. The key to damaging the Executioner was mixing up attacks to create combos and doing lots of dodge rolls. Since Trevor can’t sidestep, I rolled backwards and settled into a hit and run rhythm, but I failed to defeat the Executioner in time. While the game didn’t have a time limit, I did and my interview with the Lords of Shadow team was about to start. (We’ll have that early next week!)

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  • Testsubject909

    Looks good and promising to me. Plus, I always see it as a good start when the guy in front of you dies multiple times.

    • andref

      But I see that as typical castlevania fashion though some older games did have some easy fights. I just hope that weak spots (if any) aren’t obvious to the player

      • Testsubject909

        Series evolve or risk stagnating, though I understand they can evolve and improve upon a pre-established formulas in active use, though that only gets them so far, and with the creative drain it might induce upon the people working on those projects and it’s effect on it’s fanbase, both good and bad, and it’s sales.

        I’d say… We already had monsters with obvious weak spots in games like Symphony of the Night. Remember that huge centaur creature with red obvious hit-me-here orbs or Dawn of Sorrow’s huge menace with glowing weak point faces to hit for massive damage?

        • andref

          Those boss fights aren’t really coming to memory since I barely remember my playthrough but castlevania isn’t the only series with such weak spots. In making games more accessible more boss fights have been including tell tale weak spots to exploit

          • Testsubject909

            A lot of easily telegraphed moves and whatnot.

            The latest 2D castlevania, Harmony of Despair, for example, is, in my personal opinion, extremely easy. But then again I’ve been helping multiple different crews do a lot of grinding, so a lot of it has been hammered in ease and not to mention I’ve got pretty much any equipment anyone grinding is hoping to get…

  • Manuel Antony Marcano

    God of War? I keep seeing more Rygar and Lament of Innocence.

    • At this point I think people just compare everything to god of war instead of what god of war was inspired by since most peopl know gow and don’t rygar or the other games gow was inspired by. Gets kinda annoying though because gow gets too much credit

      • Mobile won’t let me freaking edit excuse bad grammar and misspelling. Hope point came across

      • Nemesis_Dawn

        Never played Rygar, but as a God of War fan, I found the gameplay in Lament of Innocence pretty boring when I first played it. And I know I definitely played LOI before I played GOW, so it wasn’t just that I had gotten used to the more refined style. I just found it incredibly lacking and it didn’t flow freely. I was hoping Castlevania would go back to being 2D after playing LOI. GOW, on the other hand, loved from the moment I played it. The combat was so fluid and instinctual, and just felt strong.

        It was obvious that Lords of Shadow copied it. In fact, the developers didn’t even deny they were inspired by GOW. I know people who dislike the series try to discredit it, but where it is due, it is due.

  • SirRichard

    Yeah, that sounds like Lords of Shadow, alright. It’s definitely looking good, and I’m glad to hear that it still has a kick to it., really liked that about the first game! Can’t wait for it!

  • Peace Legacy

    The game…sounds hard…


  • Solomon_Kano

    This is sounding just like I expected. And by that, I mean awesome.

    Good to hear that even the fodder enemies don’t just go down without a fight. On top of that, the enemies have noticeable attack patterns. So, yea, this is sounding just like exactly what I was hoping for.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    The harder the better.^^ C’mon baby.^^ Bring us the old Classicvania pain here.^^

  • Yes, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate like Lords of Shadow before it has God of War style finishing moves.”

    I find these to be boring. Such dramatic finishes at the push of a button? Seems kind of silly to me.

    • But a distinct multi-button chain, like combos in Tekken, won’t be executable by generally everybody; not to mention they’ll have to bring up the move list to check every time.

      • Testsubject909

        I for one enjoy fighting in a relatively stylish and effective fashion in Lords of Shadow. Connecting ground combo to launchers to aerial combos crashing back down to the floor, evading or blocking, countering and dominating the battlefield while sustaining a high amount of magic recovery is just…


        • I’m not good at LoS. At all. I noticed that the game is supposedly played defensively, but my slow reflexes again screw me over.

  • Azure_Blue

    I was somewhat ignoring this game but… I can’t lie to myself. After reading this, MoF is sounding great. Being inspired by Castlevania III, which happens to be one of my favorites classicvania, is a plus for me. That, and it has multiple characters, multiple paths to take, and it seems that it’s going to be difficult too.
    I’m definitely looking forward to it.

  • Can we have a new trope call MoF Hard?

  • neetyneety

    I don’t care what people say about how this is different from the good ‘ol “classic” Castlevania, or how it’s more God of War-ish and whatnot. All I care about is that I’ll finally get to play a new Castlevania after Order of Ecclesia, and that’s good enough for me!

  • Laharl

    Wow, a pg GoW with dumbed down platforming, I’m a little insulted he compares it to CV3

    • Testsubject909

      And I’m just disappointed in that sort of comment you’re writing…

      Wow…. *sigh*

      • Laharl

        Sorry I’m not as easily impressed with dial-a-combo’s in place of solid platforming.

  • Göran Isacson

    So it’s like the console game battle-wise, only in 2D… for some reason I can’t say it sounds very interesting. I may change my mind once I play the game, but right now it SOUNDS like it’s a lot of busy-work to wear down foes. in 3D-games it’s at least more difficult to manouver around the enemies and avoid them, but when you’re on a 2D-field and you just have to stand there and whip and whip and whip, then jump over them and whip and whip and whip from behind… well, that’s how it sounds right now and it doesn’t sound very stimulating or challenging.

    And other characters to take other routes… that worries me since from what I hear, this isn’t a game where you can switch between multiple characters on the go, but you play one character through it’s story-line, then another character through IT’S storyline. So you’re revisiting old areas, essentially. Hopefully the different paths you can take are different enough to make each characters story feel interesting…

    • Laharl

      If it was as fast paced and agile as Rayne in Bloodrayne Betrayal I could see it working well, but it seems pretty stiff and slow so far.

      Heavy Combat mixed with 2-D Hardcore platforming can work well like in Bloodrayne, but the platforming in this just seems like a time waster as apposed to an Challange.

  • Wow it sounds like fun! I can’t wait to see and hear more from this and Castlevania LOS2!

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