Always beautiful, sometimes spectacular, but often uninspired and sometimes downright boring, Lords of Shadow 2 is unfortunately not the swan song for this generation that it could have been. Instead, he’s a slightly above-average brawler with finisher production values: both a testament to a studio’s technical and artistic prowess, and an indictment of its action systems and scenario planning.
The game starts with a bang : about a thousand of them, in fact, when a gigantic war golem crashes into Dracula Castle, resulting in a God of War-style opening that gives a rhythm that the rest of the game cannot reach. It’s not like MercurySteam should have tried a nonstop bomb. But Lords of Shadow 2 is strangely flat after that, turning into a series of almost automated plate shapes and hostile experiences that fail to stimulate and, thanks to the camera, even downright frustrate.
The action boils down to managing the claws of Chaos that break the guard, your faithful Whip and the Empty Sword that gives life.
The first and the second work with the energy supplied by the chain of strikes : fill a meter without getting hit, and you will get the juice needed to refuel your valuable skills. The varied game is promoted by the faster replacement of the counter when mixing, and the master system also encourages players to change the approach.
Unfortunately, the enemy’s design and the action themselves are not up to par and often require the same tactics over and over again to defeat your enemies. Everyone seems to associate one of the two standard modes: Turtle or rush, and despite their rude options, there is not much joy in action them.
Determine your opponents is the heart of any action game, but here you are neither smart enough to face an interesting challenge, nor silly or numerous enough to make you feel, well, Dracula.
The world is vast and detailed, and you want to explore it. But there are not enough interesting backdrops to calm the feeling that you are simply going into a action of attrition to see the next environment or move on to the next part of the story. A great shame.