Review Summary: A stunningly emotional score overshadowed by business first.
The Castlevania: Lords of Shadow trilogy has somewhat split the fan base in half, with its change in gameplay and attempting to move the series forward. You either loved it or hated it. One thing everyone can agree on though, the soundtracks composed by Oscar Araujo for the three games are phenomenal. Each soundtrack is so grand in scale with its epic orchestral fuelled pieces that take you straight into the Lords of Shadow world the moment a track begins.
The Lords of Shadow 2 soundtrack is one of the finest scores to compliment any game or film in 2014. After finishing the game the music really had a long-lasting effect on me and I went straight out and bought a physical copy of the soundtrack. Now, as it seems to be with the games industry these days, its main goal is trying to squeeze every last penny out of you. DLC content is riddled at the base of any game now. Some companies pushing it to the ultimate extremes by releasing a game 2 hours long at £30 or releasing a game with no substantial content because its only intention is to fire out million’s of DLC you way at £25 a pop later on – I’m looking at you Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes and Destiny. What caught me off guard is I never thought they’d find a way to do the same with the music side of things. To my dismay, they have...
Looking at The Lords of Shadow 2’s music, you’ll find beautifully epic and complex pieces of work; each track is an untameable beast on its own. ‘The Throne Room’ and ‘Dracula’s Theme’ are so rich in character that it instantly brings you into the universe. The fantastic choir layered track ‘Gods Chosen’ and one of the best tracks on the album ‘Castlevania’, which just builds and builds to the uncontrollable size of a titan and stays up there before it ends, are a few examples of just how powerful and important Oscar’s OST is to the game.
This really is one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard all year, however, the physical copy of the album has a distinct lack of some of the best – fan favourite’s I might add – tracks on the album. Through a little research, I found there was a ‘Director’s Cut’ that contained a lot of the truly stellar tracks, the problem is they are download-only exclusives to a specific website. Making matters worse, a whopping 12 tracks were excluded from the physical copy of the soundtrack. Songs like the heart-breaking ‘Toy Makers Heart’ with its pain filled strings and piano, the power house ‘Titanic Struggle’ and beautiful ‘Second Acolyte’ are some of the finest pieces found in the game and are regrettably missing on the regular version.
For those wanting to purchase the album, I only recommend going to the exclusive website and buying the whole 31 track LP for a very reasonable price of $9.99. Regrettably, people who like the physical copies of albums get left with the short straw, paying more money for an LP that is 12 tracks lighter. To make it sting a little more, the tracks missing are some of the most enjoyable ones from the game. Why they couldn’t release the Director’s Cut in physical form is beyond me.
Overall, every track on this album is nothing short of stunning and if you like soundtracks or music that is heavy on orchestra I highly recommend checking this out. To get the full enjoyment out of this OST the Director’s Cut is the obvious choice, listening to the full 31 tracks is the only real way to truly experience this talented man’s vision. It’s just a shame that collector’s get such a bad deal this time round with only the regular edition being available in physical form. It wouldn’t be so bad, but the regular version even feels like an incomplete package. So with that said, the CD holds some of the best orchestrated pieces of work this year, but you’ll ultimately be left a little disappointed with the overall package. It’s a shame that business gets in the way of such a great piece of work.
Regular Edition: 3.5/5
Director’s Cut: 5/5