Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Common Sense Media says

Graphic violence and nudity make this an adults-only game.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players fight against the Devil and his minions, and the game features plenty of sensationalized and gratuitous violence, gore, and blood.

Positive role models

Gamers play as Dracula, who kills thousands of enemies using his bladed whip and sword to impale and dismember them. Even though he's fighting against evil, he uses intense violence to perform virtually all his tasks.

Ease of play

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is pretty easy to pick up and play, even for casual or newbie gamers. The controller's dual analog sticks are utilized heavily, along with some face and trigger buttons. A tutorial walks players through basic movement and combat controls.

Violence

Though fantasy-like, this game is very violent. As Dracula, players use a chained whip, teeth, and other weapons to kill scores of enemies that work for the Devil. Players whip and stab humans and fantasy creatures, which often causes them to shriek in pain and die. In some sequences, you can cut off limbs or impale enemies. Some of the cut scenes and boss battles include graphic scenes, including a demon cutting off a man's face and eating human flesh.

Sex

Some nudity. At various times throughout the game, female demons are depicted topless, their breasts fully exposed.

Language

Profanity appears in dialogue, including words like "s--t," "damn," "hell," and "bastard."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

No privacy or safety concerns.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 features plenty of graphic violence, blood, and gore. As Dracula, players kill thousands of demons and humans -- all of whom are the Devil's minions -- using melee weapons including a chained whip, a sword, and, of course, his vampire teeth. Body parts get lopped off, and enemies are frequently repeatedly stabbed. Some scenes show multiple dead bodies, demons eating people's flesh, and faces being cut from their bodies. One of the tag lines for the game is "Blood is Everything." Players also will encounter occasional topless nudity and moderate profanity. Some Castlevania games are rated Teen by the ESRB and are safe for younger teens, but this one is rated Mature and is decidedly adult-oriented in both content and design. 

Parents say

Kids say

Not yet rated
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What's it about?

Available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC, Konami's CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW 2 -- the latest in the long-running Castlevania series -- serves as conclusion to the Gabriel Belmont story arc that began in 2010's Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Set in modern times, players now assume the role of Dracula, the Prince of Darkness, who has been resurrected by an old ally to help defeat Satan and his minions once and for all. If he fails, the world will succumb to an apocalypse brought on by the Devil as punishment for his defeat many years ago. Played from a third-person perspective, this game has players running around gothic environments, exploring huge rooms and outdoor areas, collecting items, combating countless enemies, and upgrading abilities over time.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Better than its predecessor, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 now includes a controllable camera. That means the gamer can move the camera around instead of it being locked down by the game designers -- a huge improvement. This sequel also offers larger set piece events and more opportunities to explore, as well as many memorable enemies and boss fights. Great-looking gothic graphics push the aging PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 hardware to their limits (this review was conducted on the former). 

The problem with the game, however, is that things start off very slowly before getting interesting. Even then, the combat is a bit repetitive. Plus, some stealthy missions don't quite fit in with the game's fast-paced fighting. Even with these shortcomings, though, fans of the franchise should feel satisfied with this epic conclusion to the series, thanks largely to the impressive graphics and much improved camera. It's not perfect, but Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is still a decent B-grade adventure for mature players.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why some Castlevania games are rated Teen by the ESRB rather than Mature. Do you think it would make more sense to stick with one age group so parents know whether a game is appropriate based on the brand? For younger kids, consider Common Sense Media's list of approved games.

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Konami
Release date:February 25, 2014
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Nudity (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 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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Quality

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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