Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night Preview – Castlevania Spiritual Successor Shows Major Promise

IGA And Co. Have Been Hard At Work, And It Shows

Despite the recent controversy around certain, not so mighty Kickstarter titles, the team behind Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night have been hard at work on the title that kicked major Kickstarter ass, and this game is showing some serious levels of polish. I got a bit of alone time with what’s shaping up to be one of my most highly anticipated titles, and I’m happy to say that despite Bloodstained being far away from full on release, it’s looking really, really good already. The title sadly had no E3 Trailer, but we do have some fresh gameplay footage showcasing the demo, straight from IGA and his team, which you can peep below. You can watch that later, but you must be wanting to hear what I think, right? Read on…

The E3 demo takes place in what amounts to a tutorial stage, but players get well acquainted with how Bloodstained’s protagonist Minerva operates. The gameplay is quite similar to previous metroidvania-style titles, where you can acquire Shards from various enemies that allow for special abilities to be used. In the case of the demo, I got to test the Fire Cannon, and the Dullahammer, both of which are some seriously handy abilities that help flesh out how you can handle each enemy.


“Bloodstained is about as close as we can get to a Castlevania game, without straight-up calling it Castlevania.”

Immediately, I’m feeling like I’m playing Aria of Sorrow, or one of those other popular titles, and that in itself is a very, very good sign. Bloodstained is about as close as we can get to a Castlevania game, without straight-up calling it Castlevania. The series itself has taken off in a different direction, but it lacked the touch that fans know IGA delivers with these sort of games, and that is on full display in this demo. The acquisition of various monster Shards fill different slots, allowing for more than one offensive ability to be used. You can make use of a directional ability that you can aim, as well as a unique attack that can be used alongside your moveset. You’ll also get Shards that help buff your stats, allowing you to help set up a playstyle that works well for you.


These abilities can also come into play in the environment, and a few times in the demo, I was able to unlock secrets using the Fire Cannon to light the fuse on a normal, not so fiery cannon. As a result, I managed to blow down a wall and get some sweet Kung Fu Shoes, changing up my normal moveset in the process. This sort of exploration is what fans love about the later, handheld Castlevania titles, and seeing it back in full display has me admittedly excited. The demo culminates with a battle against the first of what is likely many bosses. Despite Minerva’s average size, she is capable of kicking plenty of ass, should the situation arise. Bloodstained’s demo is going to be available to all $60 Tier backers already. The actual beta is still a ways off, however I’m personally quite content in letting IGA and his team devote the time to help polish this game up to what fans can expect of this legendary developer.

Credit to qualbert for the sweet placeholder boxart. Since this title is digital, that makes things a smidge tricky after all.