With the reveal of a Castlevania 3DS title just prior to E3, the studio behind it, Lords of Shadow's Mercury Steam, has been talking at length as to its place in the saga, and giving some more details about the gameplay.
Speaking to Spanish media (and reported on by Gamereactor Spain) studio co-founder Enric Alvarez explained how the team "wanted to return to the roots of the franchise".
"There's a very important emphasis on combat and exploration with a component very similar to the classics," he said.
The game also sees the return of the 2D perspective, and the mix of the handheld's 3D capabilities and a 2.5 skew allowed the team to keep the scale big. "The 3DS is super fitting, [as it] allowed us to build the game like a diorama and fit with our narrative idea for this mid-chapter...the 2.5 setup enhances 3D effect, as things happen in the background."
Mirror of Fate serves as the middle act to the team's reinterpretation of the Castlevania franchise: while a standalone title, it adds an extra layer to the events of the home console versions. Set twenty-five years after the events of Lords of Shadow, it follows the fate of four characters - and includes the studio's take on Trevor and Simon Belmont, as well as Alucard, Dracula's son in previous versions.
All four are descendants of Gabriel Belmont, who, as was revealed at the end of the first title, had became Dracula, and follows their quest for revenge. Jose Luis Marquez, director of the portable game, calls it "The Empire Strikes Back of the series."
The game follows the side-scrolling style of the originals and mixes in the huge labyrinth castle to explore that became the series' hallmark post-Symphony of the Night. Different abilities per character mean certain parts of the castle will only be accessible to some, and there looks to be an upgradable ability system that'll gradually let you explore further into the castle's grounds and perform more elaborate moves on enemies.
Mercury Steam has a definite plan in effect for the Lords of the Shadow saga, with the conclusion of the tale coming in Lords of Shadow 2; must like Christopher Nolan's take on the Dark Knight, the studio has earned the trust of its publisher and franchise fan alike. " We had total (narrative, creative, dev, tech) freedom over the games," Alvarez concludes. "And it's something you'll notice in Mirror of Fate".
We'll have more on Mirror of Fate, as well as Lords of Shadow 2, in an extensive GRTV interview with Mercury Steam and Dave Cox from E3 on the site soon.