Shadow of the Damned Review.
Playeressence.com first ever review is a good one! Shadows of the Damned!
- In Shadows of the Damned you play as renowned Demon Hunter Garcia Hotspur as you try to save your girlfriend from the Demon underworld boss Fleming. There are 5 chapters in SOTD each with acts in-between like 1-1, 1-2. Throughout the whole game you only play as Garcia and pretty much chasing Paula throughout the whole game (and sometimes she chases you). I don’t want to spoil anything but I’ll say this: if you have played No More Heroes for the PS3 or Wii then you know the kind of crazy sh*t to expect out of Suda 51’s Grasshopper Studios.
- Like many games this generation SOTD uses the Unreal Engine. The models are decent enough and textures are good most of the time but there are blurry areas here and there and texture load up issues on the guns sometimes. Overall its not a big deal as the game still looks good. The regular demons look fairly basic but some of the mini bosses the main bosses are extremely detailed and animate really well.
- The soundtrack is classic Suda at times with punk rock screaming and rock music. The music played during gameplay is more chilling and dramatic. It has a classic resident evil 4 vibe that suits it very well (Shinji Mikami did work on the game). The voice acting in the game is done well and all characters sound very believable in their dialog. Johnson (your demon gun) is particularly funny constantly chattering with Garcia about dirty jokes and demon world stories.
-. The gameplay in SOTD is a standard 3rd person shooter like Resident Evil or Gears of War. Where SOTD is different is in the mechanics of shooting and the puzzles that accompany that. Garcia’s gun that he carries around is not an ordinary one. It’s actually a demon that had its body taken away from it and turned into a flying skull that can transform into different guns. Using this mechanic Johnson (Garcia’s guns name) can transform into 3 different gun types: Standard pistol called the Boner, a Shogun called the skull blaster, and a machine gun called the theether. All of these guns have various names and upgrades that you get throughout the game. For instance once you defeat a boss you get a Blue gem that plugs into Johnson, which will upgrade the standard pistol from the Boner to the Hot Boner, making the gun more powerful and new secondary fire options. Some of the shooting mechanics used in combat and puzzles is the light shot you acquire it at the beginning of the game. With the light shot you can stun enemies and shot goat heads that abolish darkness. In many areas of the game darkness will cover the screen. If you stay in it too long your health will drain where eventually you’ll die. But, if you use your light shot to hit the goat head it will shine light everywhere to send the darkness back. There are numerous puzzles and objectives using this mechanic throughout the game. Sometimes it can be annoying but at the same time offers a challenge to get your objective done quickly so you don’t die. There are also bosses who use this mechanic in order to defeat them. It’s a nice touch so you’re not only using the light shot to shoot goat heads. Garcia also has upgradeable health and melee power via red gems scattered throughout the world. These gems can also be used to upgrade bullet damage, reload speed, and capacity on all weapons. Garcia’s lightshot can even be upgraded to shoot faster, increased in size, and increase enemy stun time. There are three-difficulty settings to choose from easy, normal, and hard. I beat it on hard my first time and I died a fair amount of times. It is not insanely hard but in some parts you’ll have your work cut out for you.
There is barely any replay value at all unless you’re looking to get all the achievements. I finished the game in 13 hours on the hardest difficulty so you’re not getting a lot of playtime for your buck. There is no multiplayer, no new game plus, or collectibles to get. The replay value pretty much blows in SOTD. Plus the achievement system is horrible in this game. In most games when you beat the game on the hardest difficulty you automatically get the normal and easy achievement points with that. Well not in SOTD. You have to beat the game on all three difficulties to get the each achievement. That really blows if you are an achievement hunter.
Overall, Shadows of the Damned is a good game. If you love Resident Evil 4 and whacked out Suda 51 ideas then you should feel right at home picking this up. But, if your looking for value in your gaming SOTD does not offer that with a standard 8-15 hour play though depending of difficulty and skill level. Score: 7.5