Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Common Sense Media says

Well made but bloody fantasy action game is for adults only.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Strong Christian overtones permeate the narrative, but this isn’t the sort of story one is likely to hear in a modern church. It’s about a fight against fantastical, supernatural evil, and gameplay glorifies the bloody ways in which demons and other enemies are dispatched.

Positive role models

The hero Gabriel is a heartbroken holy warrior widow working to save the world from dark sorcery. His noble intentions are never in question, but he is also a man of extreme violence. He does nothing that players ought to aspire to emulate in the real world.

Ease of play

It can be quite challenging, even on the easiest difficulty level. That said, onscreen tutorials illustrate how to perform each of the game’s many moves, and players earn them slowly enough that they have time to grow comfortable and experiment with each one before trying another.


Players use a chain whip, daggers, explosives, and other weapons to gorily dispatch fantasy and humanoid creatures such as goblins and werewolves. Blood spews from foes in great gushes, leaving puddles in the environment. Bar-setting graphical realism increases the level of intensity.


Inhuman -- but clearly feminine -- creatures such as fairies appear bare-breasted.

Not applicable
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is an extremely violent and gory action adventure game designed with mature players in mind. Battles are highlighted by crimson geysers and blood-stained ground, and the narrative’s religious themes invoke Christian ideas and iconography (the player’s primary weapon is a giant cross containing a chain imbued with holy water). There is also nudity in the form of bare-breasted fairy creatures.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW puts players in the shoes of a holy warrior named Gabriel in the 11th century who, after the land comes under a black spell that takes the life of his wife and leaves others believing that God has forsaken humanity, embarks on an epic quest to rid the world of its haunting, evil menace. It drags the Castlevania franchise -- a bastion of classic side-scrolling action -- into modernity by presenting players a lush and enormous 3-D world and updating elements of combat, exploration, and puzzles accordingly. Players will unlock and learn dozens of moves over the course of the game that will better allow them fight and dispatch their enemies in increasingly gory ways. Clearly, this is not a game meant to be played by children.

Is it any good?


Proudly reflecting a wide range of pop culture influences ranging from films like The Lord of the Rings and Excalibur to games including Shadow of the Colossus and God of War, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is a high-energy action experience dramatically punctuated by stunning cinematic moments. And it’s enormous. With a dozen chapters -- each with their own series of often lengthy levels that can be revisited and new areas reached as Gabriel grows in power -- some players will likely work at it for months hoping to extract every last bit of fun they can.

Niggling issues such as a frustratingly fixed camera and a level of difficulty that could put off some less experienced players keep it from earning top marks, but grownups who have been waiting for this classic franchise to be remade into something more contemporary won’t be disappointed.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the notion of employing religious themes in games. Do you think they can make an interactive experience resonate more strongly with spiritual players? Is it possible that Christians might take offence when they see a crucifix used as a weapon?

  • Families can also discuss the difference between the depiction of nude fantasy creatures and nude humans. Should one provide more reason for concern than the other? Do you think that nudity can ever play a role in a game outside of exploitation?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Available online?Not available online
Release date:October 6, 2010
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Nudity, Violence (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)

This review of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old December 19, 2010

A great game that is a little too violent!

The violence in this game is not very bad except for how gory it is. Blood gushes out of foes. Some characters are naked and you can see their breasts, and butts. Their is no bad language. I find this game to be not very bad. I think this game could be not as violent but then at the same time it is just a game, and it does not have a effect on me. I found this game worth the money and think you should buy it too. That is if you like games like this.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byWarri October 9, 2010

it is awesome

a good game
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written byJosh.T October 15, 2010
Anybody who still believes that video games are not suitable for kids or "too violent" are sadly mistaken. Violent video games only negatively affect kids with existing mental health problems. Follow the above link, and read the side by 'Mike. V'. it perfectly sums up my point of view. I in fact find language such as the f word in games much more offensive than the violence. Some of my favourite games are Left 4 Dead 2, Call of Duty 4, COD modern warfare 2 and F.E.A.R. All of these games except for COD4 recieved an R18 classification in my country (New Zealand). Now, back to my main point: I play the games above, and even more graphic ones on a daily basis, and have not yet gone out and killed anybody in real life. They are just GAMES, not REAL LIFE. thank you for taking the time to read my opinion, and please read the link above. thank you.


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