Castlevania: Lords of Shadow was epic (and I hate overusing that word) on so many levels, particularly in its ending. The conclusion of the game had you battling Satan, who is pretty much the capstone of evil, and the mind-blowing epilogue… we'll discuss at a later date. The point I'm trying to get at is that any DLC that tries to fill in the gaps in between these two points has little potential of being more than mere filler. Does the first piece of DLC for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, simply titled "Reverie," rise to the challenge and wow like its host game did? Find out after the break.
Picking up literally moments after your defeat of Satan, "Reverie" has you being called to the side of Laura, the child vampire who spared your life as you hunted her undead mother. It seems that you destroying all of the Lords of Shadow has broken a spell that kept an ancient god, simply called The Forgotten One, imprisoned deep below the Vampire Queen's castle. Whoops! Of course, it's up to you to try and make things right…wait, this thing is worse than Satan? Really?
What that translates to is another chapter, or three levels, of platforming and puzzling as you work to keep The Forgotten One from escaping. The puzzles are quite devious at times, requiring plenty of thought and skill to work your way through, and the platforming requires the touch of a diamond cutter to execute properly. The levels feel like a natural extension of Lords of Shadow's main campaign.
Unfortunately, that's all they are: an extension. There are no new weapons, no new skills, and no new enemies, save an aquatic horror who's more of an environmental hazard than a combative foe. The whole thing feels less like a continuation of LoS and more like a cheap map pack. Even the aesthetic of the cutscenes has changed from rendered cinematics to a strange motion comic vibe which, while admittedly cool, proves to be a jarring transition. Even a few sequences where you change roles from Gabriel Belmont to the waifish Laura fail to feel fresh.
The worst part is the price tag. 800 MSP or $9.99 (depending on your platform) is way too expensive for the amount of gameplay this thing provides. Here's hoping that the next DLC pack, "Resurrection," will prove to be a more worthy addition to the LoS mythos.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Reverie is out now on Xbox Live (800 MSP) and Playstation Network ($9.99)