Fight at Whipâ€™s Length
Keeping an enemy at the extent of your whip is often the most effective way to ensure you’re at a safe distance to avoid attacks and to see them coming, getting close to an enemy means you’re more susceptible to being hit.
DO NOT Attack Blocking Enemies!
If there is one thing to learn about Castlevania: Lords of Shadow’s combat, it is this. If an enemy is blocking, leave him be. Wailing on one will do no damage, and will send them into an unblockable attack that can sometimes be a devastating charge.
Light and Swoosh Means Move
If an enemies weapon or limb starts glowing white, and you hear a swooshing sound effect, it means an unblockable move is coming your way so get out of there.
White Glow Means Grab
If you ever see an enemy, or an object, glowing white then (assuming it’s not a ledge) it means Gabriel can grab it using the right trigger. If you’re grabbing an enemy then you’ll often need to hit a form of QTE during the grab, but this will always be the most effective way of killing an enemy.
You’ll likely start dodging any sort of attack with reckless abandon within a few hours of playing, and while this is sound many attacks cause a shockwave. But never fear, you can easily hop out of a roll, and you’ll often find doing this out of safety can avoid getting hit with attacks that you may think yourself safe from, when you actually aren’t.
Jumping can help avoid attacks but it’s often a hindrance in boss fights and the like to put Gabriel into the air. If you do this, hold the left trigger and press jump to have Gabriel instantly shoot down to the ground. This can also help with landing on moving platforms.
Subweapons - Knives
The first sub weapon you find, throwing knives are incredibly effective against Lycanthropes but not a lot else. Feel free to use them for chip damage, and if you purchase their upgrade the wave is pretty effective, but you’ll likely ignore them in the later game.
Subweapons - Crystal
Collect four shards and you can annihilate entire screens of baddies, ‘nuff said. Don’t fear using it, you sometimes find four shards incredibly quickly.
Subweapons - Fairies
The best sub weapon available, the fairy can distract almost all types of enemies and leave them completely open to being destroyed. The exploding light upgrade is pretty rubbish.
Subweapons - Holy Water
Used on large masses of vampires Holy Water is more effective at causing damage than a beer bomb at an alcoholic’s anonymous party. In fact any large group of enemies will fear the righteous grenade. The light magic shield is alright, but far too weak for repetitive use.
The following upgrades are essential, and should be your first XP expenses:
- Guillotine – For damaging returns to earth, its upgrade is devastating as well.
- Heavy combo – Get in a corner and aim this at enemies to absolutely destroy them.
- Air Grab – While you can’t grab many enemies as standard, the air grab actually works on all sorts of enemies such as Lycanthropes and Vampires, letting you pull them up for easy hits.
- Somersault Strike – The boots will let Gabriel leap over enemies, but it’s not terrible effective until you get this upgrade which allows you to instantly take advantage of your deft leap and lay into them.
The two types of magic, light and shadow, are fairly easy to understand but here are some tips to using them to their full potential:
Light Magic – Light magic is activated with LB/L1, and causes Gabriel to glow blue.
When you strike enemies with this magic active you will regenerate health.
The Holy Cross upgrade, while appealing, is limited in its application. It is essentially a large forward attack, however it only really affects lesser enemies.
It’s recommended to simply keep a supply of Holy Magic in case your health dips. Considering its only application is health regeneration, then that is its best application.
Shadow Magic – Shadow Magic is activated with RB/R1, and causes Gabriel to glow red.
This type of magic simply deals huge damage, upping Gabriel’s aggressive stats significantly. However Shadow Magic also turns Gabriel’s punches into instant, powerful hits that can knock most enemies off their feet, and can be used to great effect as a mid combo drop.
Unlike the Holy Cross the Shadow equivalent, Shadow Flames is actually a brilliant move capable of dealing huge damage even to bosses. Use Shadow Magic to get through tough fights with less hassle, don’t avoid using it simply because you might need it later, if a tough enemy jumps out then wail on him with a beefed up whip, they wanted to kill you first.