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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is all about Dracula, allowing players to freely explore

For developer MercurySteam, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is all about Dracula and properly explaining his story in a way they felt it has not been previously done, the studio said in Konami's pre-E3 conference today.

"When we set out in 2007 to reimagine Castlevania and do something new with it, it was a very risky proposition and we were all very nervous about it," said producer Dave Cox. "With the Lords of Shadow universe we decided very early on that we wanted to tell the story of Dracula, but felt that Dracula had never been properly explained, and his story had never been properly told."

Lords of Shadow was about Gabriel Belmont, the deterioration of his good intentions as he becomes Dracula and his eventual fall into darkness, said Cox. He explained that players really "picked up on" the game's epilogue and that was where MercurySteam decided to pick up the story for Lords of Shadow 2.

MercurySteam head and Lords of Shadow 2 game director Enric Alvarez said the sequel's story becomes darker and more cruel.

"We proposed Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 as a sequel to the original, but with a renovated spirit," he said. "In Lords of Shadow 2, the story becomes dark. I would even say cruel. It's a game of intense and contradictory feelings."

The game will star Dracula, whom players will control. He will have three new abilities. Unlike the previous Castlevania games, enemies will have shields and armor that must be broken down to expose their weaknesses and before they can be defeated. The game will be require more strategy and tactical thinking in taking down opponents.

The Mercury Engine was adapted for the "new era" for Lords of Shadow 2, said Alvarez. The team wanted the game's world to grow organically and allow players to roam freely without load times. In Lords of Shadows 2, players will be able to look and move whenever they want using the game's new free-moving camera, allowing them to turn in all directions and view the world in detail. The game will take place in Dracula's castle as well as a new modern city, both of which players will be able to explore.

"Lords of Shadow 2 is going to have a much bigger graphic quality than the first one," Alvarez said. "But it will also be more complex, since we will not only be painting, but we want the player to see [everything]."

Composer Oscar Araujo built the game's score around the characters' emotions, with the goal of using the music to make players really "feel something."

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 will launch this winter for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.

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