Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. PS3 (reviewed), Xbox 360, PC. Publisher: Konami. Rating: 8/10
The first Lords of Shadow was a revelation. It took the tired old Castlevania formula of vampire battling and shook it till all the cobwebs fell off and it seemed fresh and new again. Gabriel Belmont was a man, guided by you in the third person, looking for his wife. You battled werewolves, giant spiders, huge bosses and a host of other creates in a story narrated by Patrick Stewart. It didn't get much better.
LoS2 is the sequel to that winning story which, without giving too much away, did not have a happy ending. It's still third person but now Gabriel is a vampire. The earth-shattering conclusion of LoS sets a chain of events in motion which results in our 'hero' reawakening in modern times with Stewart's shadowy character Zobek, now suited and booted, calling the shots. Gabriel, using the 'Dracula' moniker, is perilously weak after a 1,000 year slumber and needs to regain his strength before he can take on Satan and so must investigate the evil one's acolytes, who are now hiding behind corporate facades. The plot is gloriously convoluted but there are some great baddies to beat and the combat system is fluid and easy to use.
Wolfenstein: The New Order. PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One. Publisher: Bethesda. PREVIEW.
The Nazis have beaten the Allies to the A-bomb and grainy black and white footage shot from within a German bomber shows the cumbersome-looking device tumbling down onto New York City. America and Britain capitulate; the Nazis win the war. Years of oppression and technological advancement follow and there's footage of astronauts wearing Nazi armbands giving a stiff-armed salute to a swastika-bearing flag planted on the surface of the moon.
But there's also resistance and insurrection, only held in check by the Germans' army of robot war machines. Now you're about to enter the fray. This is the concept of first person shooter Wolfenstein: The New Order and it looks sensational. It's the ninth game in a series that started way back in 1981 and the first to be published by Bethesda rather than Activision. Even so, it follows on chronologically from the last game in the series, 2009's Wolfenstein, with the hero William Blazkowicz escaping from a mental asylum in the 1960s and finding the world he knew horrifically changed. It looks like being a very promising title indeed.