Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is taking its Castlevania inspirations to another level with its new Classic Mode. You'll only have a Sword-whip with which to fend off enemies as you guide Miriam though a castle, including five stages and sub-bosses, on her way to battle the big bad, Gebel. If you manage to complete Classic Mode, which has three difficulty settings, the game will grade you on your time, score and death count.
Classic Mode doesn’t adopt a full 8-bit aesthetic — the graphics shown off in the trailer aren’t exactly pixelated. However, the interface certainly has an old-school vibe and the core weapon is clearly a take on Castlevania’s Whip Sword.
The mode has long been in the pipeline — it was confirmed during Bloodstained's Kickstarter campaign back in 2015. Classic Mode arrives alongside a map based on side-scrolling micro strategy game Kingdom: Two Crowns as part of a crossover between the two titles. A free update with those additions is now available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam and Nintendo Switch. There’s no word on when the modes will arrive on the GOG or mobile versions.
Developer ArtPlay and publisher 505 Games plan to add more free updates to Bloodstained throughout the year. Chaos mode and versus modes are on the way, along with more crossovers and another playable character. If Classic Mode whets your appetite for more Castlevania-esque action, you can check out the follow-up to Ritual of the Night, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, which fully embraces an 8-bit art style.