Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate

Game Overview

After the succes of the series reboot, Lords of Shadow, Konami looks to capitalize with a sequel. Interestingly, besides greenlighting a sequel, the company also greenlit a kind of interquel that interlocked and recontectualized the first game with a new adventure. Reportedly originally developed as an HD title (for modern-at-the-time systems), it was eventually modified for release first on the 3DS before eventually porting to XBox Live and PlayStation marketplaces.

While the original Lords of Shadow was a fully 3d action game, Mirror of Fate largely sets it action against the traditional 2D platformer view. In the game players take on a variety of heroes, from Gabriel (returning from Lords of Shadow), to Trevor Belmont, Simon Belmont, and Alucard, all pervious heroes in the series rebooted into new forms in this sequel title. The game is largeyly concerned with Gabriel's fall from grace (which happened at the end of the previous game). Now the vampire lord Dracula, the quest rests with his son, Trevor, to take up the manel of the Brotherhood of Light and defeat the evil that is spreading across the land. And then it's up to his son, Simon, and a mysterious figure, Alucard. Through three time periods and by four heroes, the game spins an arc about Dracula and the titular Mirror, an object that can reveal the past and transport people to histories they need to see.

Although play-wise the game was a return to form for the series, showcasing the action platforming fans desired, the game wasn't a complete success. Many fans (and critics) felt that the game itself was too easy, certainly not anywhere near as difficult as the classic games fans had grown up with. Additionally, splitting the story across three time periods, and moving in and around the first game, created a muddled plotline that didn't really answer as many questions as it raised and seemingly did little to actually add to the story of Lords of Shadow. By introducing versions of the heroes fans remembered, the game played more like fan-service, a salve for those who hated seeing the old continuity going away, but one that didn't really do much with what was given.

It's hard to say if there might have been more games like Mirror of Fate down the road, in a different history for the series. With the Castlevania series left in purgatory (while Konami purses a "mobile first" release schedule) we're unlikely to see any more platformers in the series (as part of Lords of Shadow or not). On it's own, Mirror of Fate is a fun but shallow, a flight of fancy for the series before it took it's final bow with Lords of Shadow 2.