36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2011 Sleeper Hit of the Year,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Shadows of the Damned - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
I am only a few hours into the game, but I would like to share my initial impressions so far. I will be updating this review once I am completely finished with the game. Let's get started:
First of all, please note that the "top critics" have all been giving disputing scores on this game (IGN - 7, Gamespot - 8.5, etc). I am pointing this out because so many gamers these days are number slaves. True, there are awful and fantastic games out there, but some games are caught in between; these games are difficult to judge by a number system, and so we need to be careful how to approach them. In the case of Shadows, a number cannot do it justice.
This game is a homage to old school grindfest/horror B movies. It's over-the-top, and it's vulgar. But this game does not bank on these factors alone. The gameplay, atmosphere, and pacing are near perfect in this game. The gameplay resembles RE4, but it is smoother. You are able to dodge enemy attacks quite easily and sprinting out of danger is straightforward. Some reviewers have complaints regarding the shooting. I have no idea where they are coming from because in the options you can change both the AIMING and CAMERA sensitivities. And yes, you have to try to aim for headshots. It is not a game where you spam the gun and expect great results. Please take aim. The atmosphere is another big plus for me. Although the world is quite linear, the overall sense of macabre, dread, and quirkiness flows well in this game. From books read out loud that explains the history of a boss fight you encountered to a cart full of decomposing corpses and dismembered body parts, this game defines itself with a sick style. Additionally, the music in this game is composed by Silent Hill's Yamaoko. It truely fleshes out the dark tone of the atmosphere, and I definately had nostalgia. Simply put, this game has a strong identity and is not ashamed of showing it. Lastly, the pacing of the game is also top-notch. Going from fight to fight is addictive because new variables and challenges are always being thrown into the mix. You need to be quick thinking and have a steady aim if you want to get out alive in these situations. And of course, dispersed within these segments, there are a steady number of cut-scenes and banter between Johnson and Garcia that will push things along.
-Graphics are good. They are not the best, but they serve the game well enough and are artistically great
-This is a very violent and vulgar game. Nudity is also included.
-There are many juvenile "dick jokes" and whatnot, but I believe it's critical that they are there. This game does not take itself seriously, and it wants you to know.
I've read many reviews regarding this game, and a lot of people were turned off by its juvenile attempts at humor. But please do not let that scare you off. Don't feel that you are too "mature" or "serious" to enjoy a game and let the game's intentional style cloud your judgement. I am a PhD student in the biomedical sciences. If a "nerdy bookworm" like me is able to appreciate the crudeness of the game (perhaps it's appealing to my inner 12 year old), then I believe many people will also be able to enjoy it. Come into this game with an open mind, and you will not leave dissapointed.
I just finished the game. I clocked in at 9 hours and 11 minutes at the final save point of the game. This time does not include replaying certain sequences over due to death. Also, I did not rush though the game; I played at a moderate pace searching for upgrades and observing the environments along the way. The game consists of 5 acts with several chapters per act.
-Fantastic game overall, although there were several spikes in difficulty that lead to some frustrating/cheap deaths
-Using the correct weapons when there were large mixtures of enemies was quite satisfying because the game does not hold your hand stating which weapons will take down which monsters most effeciently
-Puzzles were relatively easy to solve, and they were nice breakups to the shooting
-Upgrade system is good, constant awards and light RPG elements
-Ending was funny, poignant, exciting, completely crazy - hopefully there will be a sequel
Previously, I stated that the controls were very fluid. I still agree for the most part; however, there were parts during the game that I wished the controls were tighter.
Ultimately, this is a great game. I wish there was a New Game+ mode because it is well worth it to go through it again.