Posted 2:59pm

Castlevania: Lord Of Shadow Interview

The game’s producer Dave Cox speaks to the PlayStation Blog about the upcoming Castlevania revamp.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

By now, quite a few PlayStation 3 owners will have had the chance to try out the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow demo. What were you trying to put across with that teaser?

It was just a small taster of what to expect. The demo was created to showcase the visuals the game enjoys and as a basic introduction to how the user can enhance Gabriel’s combat and abilities. It is difficult showing the variety of the full game in just two levels, but the first stage is a sampler of the way combat works, while the second level, where Gabriel is horse-bound and battling Wargs and Lycans, highlights the variety of content the final game offers.

How would you describe the learning curve of your combat system?

It’s a constantly evolving system, where the player can decide what to add and when. We wanted to remain true to the exploration ethos of the original Castlevania games, where a picture of the map would indicate areas you had missed for whatever reason.

In CLOS, we have areas that cannot be reached at that point, but with the addition of, say, double-jumps, they can. In terms of combat, the newer moves are essential as the range of adversaries is constantly evolving and their AI is sharpening all the time. We also use it to vary up the combat elements, as we were conscious that combat stages can descend into just button pressing stages. Everything in CLOS is there for a reason and hones the gameplay.

Castlevania: Lord Of Shadow Interview

What’s your approach to storytelling?

That it works symbiotically with the game. When Mr Kojima came on board, he worked closely with us to show how the story can feed the game and vice versa. Our initial outline for Gabriel was that of a generic barbarian, but Mr Kojima’s input helped us flesh him out, and new elements for the action segued from that. It was because we had such a rounded character that could be emphasised, that the actors such as Robert Carlyle had more to work with – which I think shows in the final product.

You’ve assembled a really impressive cast; did you have those actors in mind from the beginning?

We always had the cast we got in mind, and they have been brilliant. What could have been an ‘in and out’ voiceover job for them wasn’t. Instead, their love of the script and praise saw them developing their characters and working through the motivations for them – offering little nuances and touches that we knew actors of their ranges and talent would bring to the project.

Castlevania: Lord Of Shadow Interview

One of the things I remember about the original games was a lot of repetition, but in a good way, if that makes sense, encouraging players to revisit areas to find something new. Will we see more of that, or is it just not in keeping with current fashions?

Actually, repetition is not a part of CLOS – if anything, we have been obsessed with constantly surprising the player. We were determined that CLOS would not fall into the‚’level, level, boss, level, level boss’ cliché that some games suffer from. Yes, there are nods to past Castlevania games and we have patterns that fans of the series will recognise, but this was about delivering a new Castlevania – and we wanted to create fresh elements that people would enthuse about.

There has been a fair amount of controversy around the new Dante in DmC: Devil May Cry, another IP created in Japan and now being rebooted by a Western developer. Did you ever fret over a similar reaction?

God yes! When we announced we were doing CLOS, there were so many negative comments. People loved Castlevania, and felt that it was being sold short. I had to convey that it was my love for Castlevania that A) made me want to work for Konami in the first place and B) try to breathe new life into it. As we have shown more and more of the game, I think some of the doubts have been cast aside and the fanbase is now looking forward to the rebirth more than being wary of it.

CLOS has been compared to many games, including God of War and Shadow of the Colossus; which ones have you agreed or disagreed with?

Castlevania is a series that is 25 years-old. It is fairer to say that the games you mention owe their existence to it, than Castlevania to them! We are in 3D, have huge real-time bosses and a mixture of combat and platform styles – as such there are links to any number of games there.

However, when you look at the greater picture, CLOS is a game that mixes and matches these elements to constantly surprise the player. It is inevitable that a new game is going to be compared to other games as people often need to pigeon hole stuff to understand it, but hopefully after CLOS everyone else’s games will be billed as CLOS clones!

How sick are you of that last question?

It used to bug me, but it had to be expected when CLOS was an unknown quantity!

Castlevania: Lord Of Shadow Interview

It seems a recent trend for fans to debate around which is the ‘lead platform’ during game development. Why did you decide to ‘lead’ on PS3 and does it really make a big difference?

Hmmm, I think that the ‘lead’argument traces back to a comment I made early on in the game’s development. The two formats were developed side-by-side but, at the time of that interview, the PS3 version was more advanced. Loose lips and all that…

Do you want CLOS to be judged as a Castlevania game or as a breakaway project?

Can I have both? It has enough elements to please Castlevania fans, and has little nods to the past and touches that they will recognise and appreciate, but it is not bogged down with the whole canonical scenario, so is a perfect new jumping on point for newcomers. Yeah, both please…

Did you enjoy this?

Comments

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Carnivius_Prime 24 September, 2010 @ 3:06 pm   1

I enjoyed the demo however brief it was so I’ll give the full game a go. I certainly enjoyed the demo more than I’ve enjoyed a Castlevania game since the GBA series though as of yet none have surpassed Symphony of the Night in my opinion.

 

I think someone @ SCEE should hit someone for not bring us Castlevania: Symphony of the night. Who is it, Is it Konami who refuse to give us joy and happiness? Seriously, people have been waiting for this game in Europe for a long, long, long time. Would someone please think of the children! :D

Best regards/ J

Copy and paste in every single comment post.
We want Castlevania: Symphony of the Night!!!

 

Dave i played the demo……this game is awesome! Great work i’m buying it day 1, and on the question of it being like GoW and SOTC thats a good thing because them games are the best i have ever played. I feel games can be similar but still great in there own way, i love MW2 but i also love Killzone2 this is going to be the case with C.L.o.S. and GOW3.
Konami is taking all my money on the 8th of October, geting PES as well.

 

@J

Agree 100%

“Actually, repetition is not a part of CLOS – if anything, we have been obsessed with constantly surprising the player.”

Like the sound of that.

Really looking forward to this, i reckon it could be the “Arkham Asylum” of 2010, hopefully.

 
VictorAnalogy 24 September, 2010 @ 4:01 pm   6

Patrick Stewart. Legend. Well played. His involvement alone pretty much assures this of a day one purchase.

 
Carnivius_Prime 24 September, 2010 @ 4:26 pm   7

@2 I got sick of waiting for SotN to appear on the EU store and just bought it from the US one instead. Works perfectly. They’ve had it there for over 3 years. Ridiculous.

 

I can’t wait for it.

I know the special edition will be out after the game launches but I want to know how long after and when are they going to announce it.

 

Sounds good! I would love to pre-order the special edition but i can not find it :(

I need it for my Castlevania collection: http://todellisuus.net/~malakai/random/castlet.jpg

gow clone imo

 

I really enjoy the demo but Won‘t buy the game till i Save UP. ;)

*We want Castlevania: Symphony of the Night!!! & Castlevania: chronicles. ;)

* Copy/paste this all over the Blog.

Loved this part of the interview; “We wanted to remain true to the exploration ethos of the original Castlevania games, where a picture of the map would indicate areas you had missed for whatever reason. In CLOS, we have areas that cannot be reached at that point, but with the addition of, say, double-jumps, they can.” :)

I was afraid the game was a linear hack’n’slash, but it seems like it’s a true “metroidvania” game, which is great!

Also, Konami Europe should release Castlevania: Symphony of the Night among the PSOne Classics. So far it’s the best Castlevania ever released and it was released on US PSN back in 2007, and we still don’t have it on EU PSN! And while I’m at it, Konami Europe should release Suikoden 1&2 among the PSOne Classics too, they are the best JRPGs ever made.

Come on Konami Europe, satisfy our hunger for the PSOne Classics!

 
Jesse-Blue 24 September, 2010 @ 9:56 pm   13

Can’t wait to play this game.
The look and sound are just marvellous.
I just would wish the special edition would be announced already.

Makes very little sense to release it a f t e r the normal version.
I do not want to wait any day longer then needed to play this. :)
But I will also not buy two versions…

 
Marrsterhausen 24 September, 2010 @ 10:18 pm   14

Truly Epic! Cannot wait for this to come out! Day one purchase for me…
If your not convinced, check out this trailer!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBLkafOwEk4&feature=related

James, any word on a special edition release in the UK?

 

Nice Interview.. Enjoyed the demo so may have to pick this one up ;)

 

Will this game run in 60fps? :D

Copy and paste in every single comment post.
We want Castlevania: Symphony of the Night!!!

 

Looking forward to this game, even got the Special Edition pre-ordered!

The only thing I’m kinda sad about is the lack of Michiru Yamane. She makes such incredible music and is almost synonymous with Castlevania.

If this game does well enough for a sequel, please consider Michiru Yamane!

Pro_espace72 26 September, 2010 @ 4:44 pm   18

This looks really good :)

 
Marrsterhausen 26 September, 2010 @ 7:50 pm   19

Any word on the special editon being released in the UK?

Oh, & thought I should also ask if there is any word of Symphony of The Night being released on PSN in the UK (US PSN has had it for ages!)

Ninja_Boy_UK 27 September, 2010 @ 3:41 pm   20

I too got to ask.

Where and when is the special edition being released in the UK?!!!

 

Looks quite interesting!

Cant wait for this one, I havent been that excited over castlevania games since Symphony of the Night but this is on the top of my list. Still waiting for the demo to hit PSN and to test it.

oh and the SotN euro release, i got tired of waiting so I just went to gamestore and bought the game from there :D

 
killzonexx 9 October, 2010 @ 8:30 pm   23

@ Dave Cox bet you aint reading this anymore

but why does the american version of this game supporting 1080p and the european version only 720p?

our tvs are nothing different then usa tv’s so why the difference??