Attention survival-horror starved Resident Evil Fans! There’s a new title out to assist you in satiating your blood lust called Shadows of the Damned. Original Resident Evil creator and guru Shinji Mikami himself agreed to executive produce this title during it’s creation and Akira Yamaoka of Silent Hill fame also had a direct hand in bringing his creepy sound wizardry to this title as well, so Shadows of the Damned brings a pretty lofty team of macabre talent specialists to this title.
A third person shooter with a “grindhouse” motif, Shadows of the Damned follows the exploits of tattooed ass-kicker, Garcia Hotspur, a slayer of all things hell-bound that is on a mission to retrieve his love interest from the clutches of the ward of the underworld. Yes, we noticed the underlying similarity to Dante’s Inferno’s storyline as well. Garcia brings a colorfully named arsenal along for this 3rd person demon blaster, with weapons named “skullblaster”, “dentist”, and our favorite, “hotboner”, which in reality are revolvers, shotguns, and machine guns, but they just sound more capably menacing with the nasty monikers, and speaking of nasty, Shadows of the Damned is a game that clearly makes no apologizes for it’s over the top pandering to all subject matter that likely to appeal to the typical teen male such as flagrant nudity, splash damage violence that gets bits of bone stuck everywhere, and “R”-rated trucker mouth one-liners, mostly of which seem to have a phallus fascination type theme.
A mostly linear game, Shadows of the Damned has beautifully crafted visuals in a dark and bizarre way. The graphics admittedly aren’t groundbreaking as some survival horror fans that know Shinji Mikami’s track record may have been hoped for, but they’re still grotesquely solid, offer a wide array of nightmarishly warped denizens of hell to combat, and the obligatory level ending, disgusting creature boss fights are all in their proper place. Gameplay mechanics-wise this game will almost certainly remind many survival horror fans of the PS2 classic Resident Evil 4, as there’s a direct laser light targeting system that makes bearing down on your enemies an accurate breeze. Occasionally the camera angles do betray Garcia a little bit at times and leave him awkward vulnerable to attack would probably be the only complaint, of what is otherwise easy to operate and satisfying play.
Shadows of the Damned is not going to loved by all gamers across the board, it’s simply too gory, too vulgar, too suggestive and too violent for gamers that like their gaming to stay “PG” rated, but at the same time, that exactly why Shadows of the Damned actually deserves some serious commendation, because it knows who it’s audience is, and is tailor-made to indulge the mature gamer with a “grindhouse” gaming palate. In this unapologetic respect, Shadows of the Damned takes no prisoners, kicks ass and takes names. For many gamers out there still suffering from a bit letdown hangover from Duke Nukem Forever coming off a bad combination of dated & cheesy, this could be just the game to restore your faith in adult gaming. An absolute must buy for all “Evil Dead” trilogy fans, it’s right up your alley.