Released for the XBox and PlayStation 2, Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is a 3D action/adventure developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo and first published in 2005.
In it you play as Hector, a former servant and ‘Devil Forgemaster‘ of Dracula who has disowned his vampiric ‘gifts’ and aims to return to a normal life. The problem is: this plan is not approved of by Dracula, or his other servants.
Isaac, a devoted servant of Dracula, accuses Hector’s fiancee, Rosaly, of witchcraft and she is burned at the stake. Seeking revenge, Hector chases Isaac into an abandoned castle where Isaac challenges Hector to regain his powers so that they can settle their score in “a satisfying way”. Hector reluctantly accepts the challenge and starts hunting Isaac across the Transylvanian countryside, where he meets a variety of other characters who will either help or hinder him. Maybe even fight him.
Gameplay in Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is predominantly third-person, weapon-based, real-time combat. Hector can use a variety of weapons as he fights the servants of Dracula, but he doesn’t use the iconic “Vampire Killer” whip as made famous by Simon Belmont. Instead he uses swords (one and two-handed), axes, spears, brass knuckles, and an extra type called “special weapons” that range from the ‘Tonfa’ to even a Gatlin Gun. The combat system uses one button for standard combo attacks, and a second button for stronger “finishing attacks”. Each weapon has a different set of combos that can be performed, and as the game progresses the number of combos and finishing attacks also increases. Hector can also be helped by so-called “Innocent Devils“, which are demonic creatures that can be developed and summoned through his ‘Forgery’ skill.
Overall, Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is a decent entry in the Castlevania series and is considerably better than the previous 3D Castlevania game, Lament of Innocence. It features reasonably good graphics for the time, atmospheric music, and easy-to-understand gameplay with light RPG elements (like levelling, skills and upgrades).