Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 producer Dave Cox has stressed that while the sequel's new 'open' exploration format feels familiar to classic 'Metroidvania' titles like Symphony of the Night, this wasn't a conscious decision from developer MercurySteam.
It follows these modern day Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 screens.
In an interview with CVG, Cox discussed the game's new exploration format, with wider areas, a free camera and greater scope to carve your own path through the world.
"When people say open world they generally think games like Grand Theft Auto," he began. "It's not really like that. I would say it's more akin to a Zelda game, where you start off in an enclosed area and the player is lead by the story, and as the player explores the world it becomes more open and it becomes bigger, with more aspects of exploration and more things to do. It opens up slowly; it's a gradual opening up. We don't plonk the player in the middle of New York and say "get on with it".
"One of the weaknesses of an open world game, I suppose, is that story can take a back seat. We didn't really want to do that: we wanted the story to be at the forefront because that's what we wanted to do, a story is really important to the team. We decided to take that approach instead of the GTA approach."
Cox stressed that Lords of Shadow's 2 environment wasn't consciously fashioned to feel like previous 'Metroidvania' titles and added, "Yeah, I mean it wasn't a conscious decision to do that. People say to us 'is this a Metroidvania style game,' and I suppose in hindsight looking at it now, there are elements of that.
"But I wouldn't say we've tried to model it on something like Symphony of Night, because it's very different. Certainly there's more scope for exploration and more scope for backtracking than there was in the original game, so it is closer to the classic games in that respect."
What do you make of the game's new, more open format? Let us know below.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 will hit PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on February 25 in North America, then February 28 across Europe.