Most helpful critical review
36 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2011
Lost in Shadow was one of my most anticipated games of 2011. I told all my friends about it. I even told one of my teachers. And I bugged the guys at gamestop all week waiting for them to give me the game I had preordered. I like to think that I had realistic expectations, though, all I really wanted was good platformer with some creative uses of the shadow mechanics. Sadly, Lost in Shadow fell short of my lowest expectations.
The games most noticeable failings is in combat. In game, you'll pick up a sword to deal with other shadow creatures that dwell in the mysterious tower. You'll only have a three hit combo to dispatch enemies with, but it's often not enough to kill the average enemy (spiders, early on), after slashing at an enemy you'll be stuck in place for about half-a-second, just enough time for the enemy to hit you back. You can eventually adjust your timing (or you can level up), but this makes every enemy encounter tedious.
The other problem this game has is level design. To proceed from each area, you must find three "Keys" to unlock the "Door" to the next level of the tower. One will be easy to find, but the other two are usually located on opposite ends of the level. You'll usually come to a fork in the road, you better pick the right path to take, or else you'll have to backtrack because there's a switch that you need to pull at the opposite end of the level to advance. It's almost as if the game developers thought they had a good game and that we'd enjoy having to walk all over every single inch of the level.
Speaking of which, I usually give mercy points to a game that tries to be "artsy," but save for a few parts, Lost in Shadow is very dull. I hope you like industrial machines, because you'll be hearing the "Whrrr, CLANK! Whrrr, CLANK! Whrrr, CLANK!" of machines dozens of times. They aren't very creative with their platforming either, you'll be running on pipes and ladders for most of the game. And the real world, that's casting these shadows, is rendered in that realistic brown, grays, and bloom. It all makes Lost in Shadow an unimpressive show.
The story is almost nothing. You're a boy's shadow making his way up the tower. There's more, but that's mostly it. This is all fed to you by the tiniest of drops littered through out the game. You have to search for memories throughout the level, and this increases your HP (instead of by leveling up, like any normal game might do). There's a few instances when the game does try to tell you a little bit more, but you know what? I couldn't read them. They scroll by too fast! Who's the moron who programmed it that way!
Oh, there's also "Shadow Corridors" mini-levels inside each level. Half of them are good. Some of them are what I wanted, good platforming with shadows. The other half are trial-and-error "puzzles" where you have to move the stage around. These would be fine, if there were only one or two "switches," but the shadow corridors are usually, five of these things in a row. And when you come out of a Shadow Corridor, all of the enemies in a level have respawned. Great, more combat.
There's a more, but I'd rather not rant anymore. I should mention that I haven't beaten the game. I'm 55% done, I'm on the 52nd floor. And I'm never going to finish this game, because I'm returning it this afternoon. I just can't stand it anymore. The level design is atrocious. I've begun to loathe playing it. This was the last straw: on the 52nd floor, there's a ladder, and at the top of that ladder are two sleeping monsters. One of those will shoot you automatically when it wakes up. You have to climb the ladder, and kill them before they shoot you. Remember how there's half-a-second in combat where you can't run away? There's half-a-second in ladder climbing before you can start attacking. So the damn thing wakes up, I get shot and fall off. And if you try again, it will always shoot you. You got to kill yourself, and then it will be back asleep when you try again.
Oh, and this game keeps track of how many times you died. I've died 24 times. Usually because of crappy combat, and dumb-ass design choices like those. There's supposed to be a story reason counting, but screw it I don't care anymore. Did I just rage-quit? Yeah, I guess I did. Congratulations, Lost in Shadow, you beat me. Other people can beat you, but I'm not one of them. Good for them.
So, for tedious combat, obnoxious level design, no saving grace story, and just overall unpolished gameplay, I give Lost in Shadow a 2 out of 5. Not unplayable, but it noticeably needs work. I cannot more strongly emphasize that you rent the game before you buy it. If you cannot rent this game first, do not buy it.