Spain-based development team MercurySteam deserves a lot of credit for keeping one of video gaming’s most iconic and cherished franchises alive during these rough times. Castlevania: Lord of Shadows 2 ends its successful run with Konami’s series, and the team wants to go out with a bang.

Dracula awakens in the modern world after a long slumber and finds himself at odds against the forces of Satan. The wizard Zobek, voiced by Patrick Stewart, needs his help in defeating the forces of Hell, and he promises to end the cycle of Dracula’s eternal reincarnation should he accept the proposal and send the Prince of Darkness back from whence he came.

Castlevania: Lord of Shadows 2 breaks from series tradition once again by putting gamers in the role of Dracula. Make no mistake, you are playing as the bad guy. The evil villain has free reign of an open world, expanding on the linear progress made in the previous game and opening up a new arsenal of abilities like morphing into a dragon.

MercurySteam’s Castlevania: Lord of Shadows was the best selling game in the long running series, beating out longtime favorites like the original NES hit or the PlayStation masterpiece, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Because of its Western design and unoriginal modern hack ‘n slash approach to the gameplay, many 2D purists have cast it aside as a fake, but there is no denying that there was no other way for the series to survive in the cruel treacherous waters of HD development.

MercurySteam rose to the challenge and delivered a fresh take on a classic Japanese franchise, something very difficult for a Western studio to accomplish. Some might hate it, others might like it, but what’s done is done and Castlevania is still alive and kicking in the halls of Konami. How many other 30 year old franchises are doing the same? The NES classics are a rapidly dying breed.

This time, MercurySteam is going lights out to recreate the success once more in a huge and ambitious sequel. Castlevania: Lord of Shadows 2 will be released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, and there are no plans to have it ported to next-gen consoles. MercurySteam has also expressed interest in moving on to a new franchise, leaving many to wonder who will rise to take control of the franchise next?