Castlevania is a visually stunning action-adventure title developed by Mercurysteam, it takes plenty of ideas from other games, and embellishes on those ideas. Compared to Sony's God of War series in gameplay style, Castlevania Lord of shadows has a good chance at becoming a block buster hit in a field all in it's own.
You play as Gabriel Belmont, who is on a quest to find an ancient relic known as the Devil Mask, It has the ability to bring the dead back to life, apparently his wife was murdered, and doesn't want god to have her just yet. Gabriel is a very motivated man, throughout the whole game, Gabe is so focused, just when you think he's lost all social skills, he meets a new character and is quite the gentleman. Finally! A character who has what he loves, taken away from him, but he doesn't go around yelling, being angry at the world and kills everything in sight (*cough cough* Kratos). No! he goes out and tries to fix it. I almost felt sorry for the monsters that got in his way, it's almost as if Gabriel doesn't want to fight, but lays a can of whoop ass if you get in his way.
As much as I hate to admit it, the gameplay is so similar to God of War. You have your basic light attacks, then you have your wide area clearing heavy attacks, which can get linked into a numerous amount of combos. You still have sub weapons, although you don't have the classics like the throwing axe, or the stop time clock, but the knife and holy water make their addition to the game, as well as two new ones. You also have the Fairies which distract your enemies so you can take some cheap shots, and you have the Dark Crystal, which summons a demon to eliminate enemies on screen, these are all helpful, although hardcore fans would have loved to see more of the classic sub weapons. Next is the magic abilities you now have, which is light and dark. Light magic, when activated allows you to regain health when you attack an enemy, and dark magic boosts your fighting capability, both of these play a good role in some of puzzles you have to complete later in the game. Where the game takes a little bump is in the platforming, there are some points where you have jump from cliff to cliff, but because of where the camera is you could be pointing your joystick in a direction where it could mean death, platforming is not this game's strong point, just wait until you get to the clock tower, oh! God!
Castlevania does a great job of immersing you in it's world, the only thing is, you never really get a chance to drink in it's beauty in some parts, because your constantly moving forward and you see something new to marvel at. All of its characters are interesting and believable, and the voice acting brings the characters a few extra steps forward, but you never really get a chance to know these characters and what they stand for because they either die by Gabe's hands, of course, or they explain that they have other things to do elsewhere, but constantly show up see how Gabe is doing. You get a lot of these characters back story in a book from the pause menu.
In all, Castlevania is a great game, it doesn't have a lick of originality, but it takes ideas from other games such as God of War and Prince of Persia, and pushes it farther. Visuals to Storytelling to voice acting and gameplay, Castlevania does things so well you can forgive it's short comings, oh yea you will not believe what happens at the end. AWESOME!!!!!!!