In reference to: Shadows of the Damned Walkthrough
It is a rare exception for us here at GGD to issue a review and then revisit the same title, but this is in roughly the same 24 hrs, and sometimes patterns/rules should be broken, if it means that our efforts connect the right gamer with the right game, cause after all, that’s a serious part of we strive for, to make sure you, the gamers, get the most out of your gaming purchasing, time, and play. In the case of the new Suda 51/Resident Evil guru/Silent Hill audio wizard collaboration Shadows of the Damned, there’s a few other notables about this one we thought you should know…
First of all, The terrain explored in Shadows of the Damned are a twisted visual wonderland, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself specifically looking to dispatch demons ASAP in a particular area, just so afterwards you have the opportunity to really drink in the quality put into the details of this celebration of the macabre, Yes, you can play Shadows of the Damned is such a manner that you’re constantly plowing straight ahead through any demon adversary foolish enough to get in your way, but we predict you’ll do no such thing, there’s just too much quality, creepy, gore-filled scenery to simply pass over unexplored. Besides in Shadows of the Damned, there’s goodies planted all over the place, health power-ups (nothin’ but hard booze to energize Garcia effin’ Hotspur), white diamonds for currency at Hell’s vending machines, illegal red diamonds for upgrade options, and much more, but we’ll allow you to find some of the really neat extras on your own.
Yes, Shadows of the Damned is essentially a linear game, and you don’t have sandbox style freedom, but what it does do well at times is give the gamer the illusion of separate ways, paths, and options. There’s obscure ladders, hidden doors, and other cleverly veiled detours that give the player good reason to really pause and look around before forging ahead, and as for you obsessive compulsive completionist gamers out there, forgedda aboudd itt, you’ll be busy, trust us on that. Next worthy Shadows of the Damned factoid, never mind just having a decent plot to carry the action, Shadows of the Damned is a movie that you’re lucky enough to get to play out to it’s conclusion. Unlike many games where you get your base plot, and from there the onus is on you to use your imagination to see how the gaming action progresses the games’ story/goal, not here. Shadows of the Damned gives plenty of strong incentive to succeed just to see how Garcia’s quest to save his imprisoned love interest turns out, you care enough about the characters to keep avid interest in the plot unfolding, a far cry from simply clearing levels and banking points.
Speaking of characters that actually grab gamer interest, the game’s protagonist, as he even refers to himself, Garcia “effin” Hotspur, for those looking for a relatable reference point on his character, for those of you familiar with a little Quentin Tarantino gem of flick called “Dusk Till Dawn”, look no further, Garcia Hotspur is George Clooney’s leading character in that pleasantly warped, drama-horror hybrid. Garcia’s sidekick however, no where near resembles George’s awkward brother played by Quentin himself. Instead sidekick duties are handled by a flaming skull on torch that does some serious multi-tasking in Shadows of the Damned, serving as light source, advisor, tour guide, and all-around comic relief, with his slightly English accent sounding lilt in his voice, Garcia’s sidekick “Johnson”, gets all the best comedic lines, with your protagonist Garcia functioning as the “straight man” in the vast majority of their exchanges.
Now when referring to the actual base mechanics of Shadows of the Damned, this factoid was mentioned in the first half of the review, but allow us to hammer this home, the laser-style firing mechanism that drives the manner of combat in the classic Resident Evil 4, is exactly the same here, even other moves such as the instant 180 degree turn that must be mastered to have any measure of success in RE4, is the same principal here, so if that format appeals to you, Shadows of the Damned is going to be right up your alley, and if already accustomed to RE4/5 style play, you’ll be in your gaming comfort zone “sweet spot” almost instantly. Finally, the boss battles in Shadows of the Damned are a pleasure for a couple reasons, first of all, they look great. Where in similar games, bosses can sometimes be quite fuzzy or pixelated, depriving you the pleasure of really admiring the detail and getting a good look at your demonic foe, not so in this game, you get a nice disgusting eyeful of your opponent.
Secondly, the boss fights themselves are for the most part, of truly intelligent and challenging design, and for that matter, so are even the most common of all of Garcia’s demon foes, they don’t break character and lumber along fairly slowly allowing you a fair opportunity to go for that head shot, yet their erratic and unpredictable involunatary shakes and tremors can make them very challenging to hit for a generic enemy that seems so cumbersome. Fortunately, piece by piece gradual dismemberment is a slower, but equally effective way of dispatching the demons as well, much in the same manner as Issac Clarke defends himself in Dead Space 1 & 2.
While we could continue to extol the virtues of Shadows of the Damned, we feel no further explanation necessary for fear of entering “spoiler” territory. It’s a well crafted nightmare, that’s virtually a “must buy” for those already fans of the Resident Evil series, and should hold mass appeal to fans of the Dead Space franchise as well. Few games can honestly warrant the cost of a new release price tag, for hardcore fans of the aforementioned series, this is one of those few.