Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 PC Technical Review



Company: Konami
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Sean Ridgeley
Date: March 11th, 2014

Controls, UI, conclusion

Controls

Controls are significantly improved over last time in that the mouse is supported in-game by default, for attacking but also, very importantly, for camera control. This also means the default keyboard setup is much more sensible, the primary change being WASD for movement. Keys can again be customized as you see fit, as can inversion and an assisted combat camera.

The Left Shift key doesn't work for blocking and dodging, as it's supposed to. It must be reassigned (I used my extra mouse button), which is a pain because Left Shift would make the controls much easier to use.

Xinput-compatible controllers are fully supported for those who want to go that route, and sadly, are even strongly recommended in the intro and on the game's store page (unnecessary since the game is so close to being very well-optimized for keyboard and mouse).

User interface

The HUD is minimalistic and well-sized for high resolutions, and several options are included, allowing you to enable or disable RPG elements on screen, like hit points. Even with all of them on, the screen never feels cluttered.

For the most part, only control button indicators are displayed on screen, making the controls annoying to learn on keyboard and mouse. You can press F1 anytime to see the keyboard and mouse control indicators, but there's no good reason this couldn't have been implemented properly, and likely easily.

As before, the mouse is not supported in menus, making them a hassle to navigate, some more than others.

Conclusion

Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 is a marked technical improvement over its predecessor, offering more graphics options, better controls, and enhanced visuals.

All the game needs to be a virtually perfect port is a bug fix for the Left Shift issue, keyboard and mouse on screen indicators, and mouse support in menus, all of which can be patched in (though I wouldn't hold out hope for any of it, except maybe the bug). As is, I can still recommend the game on its technical merits.

Lords of Shadow 2 is available now on Steam for $59.99, where you can also find a demo for it.