June 6, 2013 at 3:31 PM ET
"Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2," the sequel to 2010's acclaimed and fiendishly difficult reimaging of the "Castlevania" franchise, will come out next winter for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, Konami said during its pre-E3 press briefing Thursday.
"Lords of Shadow 2" picks up immediately after the events of the original "Lords of Shadow." Reprising the role of Dracula, players will be able to explore his scary-looking castle and the surrounding city, all the while performing the stylized dance-like combat that "Castlevania" is best known for.
Enric Alvarez, the "Lords of Shadow 2" game director at developer MercurySteam, said during Konami's announcements that his studio adapted the "Lords of Shadow" game engine to bring it more in line with modern third-person action games. Primarily, this translates to the game having shorter load times and a wider range of motion for the camera than previous "Castlevania" games.
"We wanted the game's world to grow organically and not level to level," Alvarez said. "In 'Lords of Shadow 2' you'll be able to walk freely all over the game's universe without loading times and with a very organic and real feeling."
Dracula also has a handful of new vampire-friendly weapons this time around, and his magic system has been replaced by a new energy source called "Dracula's Blood" which, as the name suggests, can only be replenished by killing things.
"Lords of Shadow" will be on display at E3 next week, along with other anticipated Konami titles like the upcoming "Metal Gear Solid 5." Watch the new "Castlevania" trailer starring Patrick Stewart below.
Yannick LeJacq is a contributing writer for NBC News who has also covered technology and games for Kill Screen, The Wall Street Journal and The Atlantic. You can follow him on Twitter at @YannickLeJacq and reach him by email at: email@example.com.