Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow - Mirror Of Fate is another game to add to your 3DS shopping list in 2013. Originally scheduled for release in Autumn, the first Castlevania 3DS has been delayed to early 2013 to give producer David Cox and his MercurySteam team more time to 'create a handheld title unlike any other'.
From what we'd already seen of this ambitious game, it had the potential to be a classic and that was before the delay. So with a few extra months, what will Mirror Of Fate be capable of? As Cox told ONM, MercurySteam are looking to create something truly remarkable on 3DS.
ONM: How does Lords Of Shadow - Mirror Of Fate fit into the Castlevania universe?
David Cox: Our basic idea was to reboot the series and really focus on Dracula as a main character. In the Lords Of Shadow universe, Dracula really is the centre of that universe, the Belmonts are on the periphery. It's a completely reimagined world, so although its familiar characters and it's a familiar world, fans have known throughout the Castlevania series, basically we're starting again. People have called it Dracula Begins.
So Lords Of Shadow 1 is the beginning of the saga about Dracula, Lords Of Shadow 2 will be the end. Mirror Of Fate sits in the middle, and this is more focused on the Belmonts and their relationship to Dracula. In a nutshell, that's it: familiar names, familiar characters, familiar themes, but rebooted, with a few elements turned on their head to give it a fresh perspective.
ONM: Why are you bringing Castlevania to 3DS instead of rival platforms?
David Cox: We knew we wanted to do a game on a handheld. Castlevania has traditionally done well on handhelds. And when we looked at different formats, we really liked the 3DS because we knew we could do a really cool 2.5D side-scroller, but with 3DS we had the advantage of layers and layers of 3D and using the stereoscopic camera to go into the world; a dynamism that wouldn't be on other handhelds.
And once we got hold of the hardware, we realised what we could do with it. We essentially built an engine from the ground up for the 3DS, we felt that this was the right format. Traditionally Castlevania has always appeared on Nintendo formats and that appealed to us as fans of the classic.
ONM: Lords Of Shadow hinted that the sequels would be set in the future.Is there anything in this?
Enric Alvarez: Mirror Of Fate takes place 25 years after Lords Of Shadow. Lords Of Shadow is a very story-driven series. We don't want to spoil the surprise! It would be like robbing you the emotion of playing and discovering certain facts for yourself.
ONM: With its linear levels, Lords Of Shadow was heavily influenced by Super Castlevania IV but does the open castle suggest that you're heading in a Symphony of the Night direction with Mirror Of Fate?
David Cox: We listen to the feedback from the audience about what it was they did and didn't love about Lords Of Shadow. And we've taken the feedback on board.
It's fair to say exploration will play a bigger part in Mirror of Fate. It is still a combat action adventure game, that's what we're creating here, but we felt that was an area we could develop further. Make it more interesting for the player, give them more of a world.