If you’re one of the few who followed the first Lords of Shadow through to its completion, DLC and all, then you’ll know that Mercury Steam don’t take extra content lightly. If you weren’t one of those people…. well, rejoice in your newfound knowledge, but you should also know that the following review is full of spoilers for Lords of Shadow 1 and 2, so stop reading if you plan to session either epic title in the near future.
That said, the Revelations DLC continues in much the same manner as the previous game’s DLC, not only in its choice of title (Reverie and Resurrection being CLoS’s two expansions) but also because playing through this add-on will give you a greater insight into the game’s plot, if you hung on long enough to care, that is.
Revelations follows Gabriel’s son turned vampire as he desperately struggles to prepare the ancient castle for his father’s return. Alucard has long been a fan favourite, first appearing in Castlevania III but most notably taking the lead in series pièce de résistance Symphony of the Night. Thankfully, Mercury Steam’s re-imaging of the character is handled far better than LoS 2’s portrayal of Dracula, as he’s relatable, fun to play and expertly voiced by the talented Richard Madden, more popularly known to Game of Thrones fans as Robb Stark. It’s also nice to see old favourites making a return, such as Alucard’s signature wolf transformation, which has been innovated to pave the way for some interesting puzzles.
Unlike his father, Alucard wields only one weapon, the Crissaegrim, a blade that combines pieces of the Vampire Killer left in Carmilla’s heart, with the Glaciem and the Igneas, two hellish swords imbued with the elemental powers of ice and fire. As a result, combat works largely the same as LoS2’s, but instead of switching between weapons, Alucard is simply able to channel blue recovery magic and orange destructive magic through the same weapon, playing more to the ballad of LoS1’s light and dark magic. By doing so, Mercury Steam manage to streamline the clunky three weapon upgrade system into one smooth function, while simultaneously drawing more attention to the already transparent content filler that is LoS2’s combat mechanic.
The same thing can be said for the rest of the expansion really, as Revelations tends to correct the errors of the main title by paring things back. It’s linear for one, which means far less awkward load sections and far more interesting directorial decisions. The game is entirely set in the past, with no dull modern environments threatening to destroy the traditional gothic fantasy, and most importantly of all, there are absolutely no stealth sections.
Sure, the story might be lacking (but considering what they were working with, it does pretty well for itself) and the return of Alucard’s sword and shield combination is sorely missed, but the title is short and sweet, being genuinely fun from start to finish. The extra content cleverly cuts out all the mundane extras that weigh down its father title and, in doing so, almost allows this piece of DLC to stand on its own two legs. Unfortunately, no matter how good the extra content may be, the fact that you have to wade through the mish-mash of parts that is Lords of Shadow 2 beforehand works very much to its detriment, for, at the end of the day, Revelations acts as a brief but sad reminder of what LoS2 could have been.
Alucard | Content is Short and Sweet | A Return to Linearity
Weak Story | Tied to Lords of Shadow 2