A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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.
- 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
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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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.