He really likes to make these faces.It took less then the first chapter for me to fall in love with Shadows of the Damned. It’s the game Quentin Tarintino would make if he could. This game is spot on in terms of being a grindhouse video game, with lots of jokes, massive amounts of violence, and all the trappings of a exploration film. Despite the flaws, I had a blast.
Shadows is the result of a collaboration between Goichi Suda aka Suda51, the creator of several games including No More Heroes and killer7, and Shinji Mikami, the creator of Resident Evil 4 and Vanquish. There is a distinct style that these two bring, and assuming this game does well, expect to hear more from them. They are the creative force, and their influence is easy to feel.
If you are a fan of the grindhouse-style exploitation movies, then this game is a must for you. In fact it should be at the top of your list. For everyone else, it is an interesting game that may grate on you if you don’t buy into the style. The humor is adolescent—your primary weapon is the hot boner, which is formed from the demon named Johnson—but it is in keeping with the theme the developers were hoping for. Sometimes the crudeness becomes a little much, and the jokes miss almost as often as they hit, but Shadows of the Damned is a game apart that has “cult hit” written all over it.
Johnson is Garcia’s sidekick, tour guide and primary tool. When not acting like a torch or explaining why things are the way they are, Johnson can become one of three weapons: a revolver, a shotgun or a machine gun. As you make your way through the streets of Hell, you will take on hordes of enemies and massive bosses while searching for Paula.
But like so many good grindhouse flicks, the film is about a man on a mission that will violently dispose of anyone or thing that gets in his way. There are even a few moments when Johnson claims that the demons are actually afraid of Garcia, to which he replies “they should be.” Classic.
However, this game isn’t for kids. The guts, the language, and the references will make your kids cry.
For those unfamiliar with it, the left trigger aims, the right shoots, and you can roll and pivot 180-degrees. Once you get the feel of it, the controls are solid and should feel familiar to anyone that has played a third-person shooter recently. If you have played either of the Dead Space games, then you know exactly what to expect, including the odd sluggish movement and deadly corners that can trap you as off-screen enemies have their way with you.
Remember to pay attention to the eyes!One thing that differentiates Shadows is the use of shadows. Hell is a dark place, partially consumed by an oppressive darkness that can actually hurt you. Sometimes the darkness will expand and make the world look as if it is covered in a dark film. When that happens, you have a bar that drains, and once that is gone your health begins to drain. The solution is to make it through the darkness quickly, shoot a goat head that will provide light, or collect human hearts to replenish your endurance. But more than just an environmental danger, enemies will sometimes be coated in darkness, which you will need to clear off them with a special “light-shot” before you can damage them. The further into the game you go, the more the integration of the darkness becomes apparent and it becomes more integrated into fighting enemies. It is an interesting addition to the combat and survival. It has the Alan Wake feel to it, another game I absolutely love.
The game is insanely short, easily lasting less then 12 hours. There is no multiplayer or online, and so replaybility is almost down to none. As for those that complain about the graphics, they aren’t ment to be taken seriously. The baby gates would be insanely creepy if the graphics looked any more real. There are a few graphical hiccups, as well as some lag, but that just comes with the territory seeing as its powered by the Unreal Engine. Oh, and this game is also extremely linear. Just thought I would mention that, seeing as the game basically plays itself.
This game is a must for anyone with a sense of humor, love for blood, and just want to have a good time without taking it too seriously. There are flaws, yes, but they can easily be overlooked.