Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Game Poster Image
Well made but bloody fantasy action game is for adults only.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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 & Representations

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.

Violence

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.

Sex

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

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byWarri October 9, 2010
Adult Written bySlytherin Student March 15, 2012

Addicted to Castlevania

Yes there is blood, language, nudity, ect. So don't let kids under thirteen play it. Simple. Anyone thirteen and up, have at it! It's a blast to play!... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMaya the Book Lover September 14, 2012

A very good game, with a big amount of violence, but also positive messages

In my opinion, "Castlevania: Lords of Shadow" is a very good game. Graphics are magnificent and I like the way the gameplay is organized. In fact, I h... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byDevilWarrior July 18, 2018

a Dark Fantasy game

the game is gory and mature but is not too violent compared to its sequel,some female monsters appear with bare breasts,but there is no sex scenes,the gameplay... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love action adventures

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate