Castlevania: Lords of Shadow focused on combat, but many fans of the series fondly remember Castlevania: Symphony of the Night which was lauded for its exploration elements. Konami listened to requests and added multiple paths to explore and optional boss fights for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. Speaking to Siliconera, producer Dave Cox said most players only see 50% to 60% of the game their first time through.
"We never wanted to do a game like Symphony of the Night. The problem of Symphony of the Night is a classic and it’s a game that doesn’t really have any real competitor, if you like. Even the games after it, I don’t think it’s as good as it. We never set out to make Metroidvania or Symphony of the Night style game," Cox said when we were talking about adding exploration to Lords of Shadow 2. "We set out to make a hack and slash game. The exploration aspect, is something that our fans told us ‘hey, we need more exploration this time around.’ That’s why we decided to start again our engine, to scrap it."
"Rather than putting our our sequel one year later, we said let’s fix the things that we did wrong and let’s improve the things that we did well. That’s why this has taken so long to come out because we are working on it and we were working on and we wanted to make something that is really going to satisfy fans. Doing a knock-off sequel is not something we ‘d really ever consider. We wanted to do new things, new exciting things. This game is really different from Lords of Shadow 1. Although there are many things in common with that particular game, there is a lot of new stuff in there that people haven’t seen before in a Castlevania game. Certainly, you need need to keep an open mind with it," Cox continued.
I asked about Koji Igarashi who spearheaded Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and more recently worked on Otomedius Gorgeous. Cox said Igarashi was still at Konami and he saw him in passing while in Tokyo. Has Igarashi ever checked in on Castlevania: Lords of Shadow?
"Not really," Cox answered. "When you work at a company like Konami and you are in charge of a franchise, and he was obviously he was in charge of Castlevania. It was his baby. It was his thing. There are certain things we won’t do in Lords of Shadow because we feel like it’s stepping on his toes. We don’t want to step on his toes. He’s been the guy that ran Castlevania longer than anyone else."
"There are certain characters and certain things within his world that we wouldn’t bring into our game. Purely out of respect because we think that’s his baby and we don’t want to do that. But, I think he has always been supportive of the project right from the beginning. Since he’s not involved he won’t encroach on us or say ‘you can’t do this.’ He understands, and like I do once we finish this, when you pass the torch down to the next team you have to let those guys do their thing. Once the game is finished and if someone else does Castlevania I wouldn’t want to look over their shoulder saying that’s the wrong thing to do."