Shadows Of The Damned

Shadows Of The Damned
Format: Xbox 360
Players: 1
Genre: Third Person Shooter
Release Date: 24th June 2011
Grasshopper Manufacture, EA

Life is a real bitch when the Lord of Demons snatches your girl away just because you’ve been killing too many of his underlings. Garcia Fucking Hotspur isn’t letting that bastard Fleming get his own way though and jumps into the portal to hell with his floating skull buddy, Johnson. The start of a grand road trip and one hell of an adventure. Blood will be shed, dodgy innuendos will be said.

Shadows Of The Damned is an advancement of the Resident Evil 4 formula, a third person action game which involves the player blasting through linear set pieces, shooting the crap out of the enemy and upgrading the weapons for meatier firepower. Changes made since  Resident Evil 4 is the ability to move while shooting which brings it into 2011, though the clunky movements and lack of new drag it back into 2004. Not such a bad thing as Resident Evil 4 revolutionised third person action games and this is a blast to play, just don’t expect anything new when it comes to shooting up the scum of hell. Shotgun, pistol, machine gun, go.

Shadows Of The Damned may carry a familiar template with it, but is uses it well. The player is constantly thrown into increasingly manic situations and the blend of shooting and puzzle solving on the fly makes for a rather refreshing shooter amidst the overly serious competition. When darkness covers the play field you have to find a goats head to bring the light back, or else be drained to death by the soupy darkness. Other times you need the darkness to highlight weak points on enemies and when the game constantly mixes the light/dark format all the to the final set piece. Each of the three weapons play major puzzle roles all the way to the end too, so there is never really one dominant weapon and some rather bizarre turret and 2D side scrolling shooter sections make the game an unpredictable delight. Never does it get old, never does the pace let up, Shadows of the Damned is the ultimate gaming thrill ride of 2011.

It has style to go with the game too, hell ain’t a bad place to be at all with the Victorian styled villages and neon lit castles. It makes hell its own place and the suitably mad characters, Mexican lead Garcia Hotspur and his British companion Johnson, help bring some hilarious information on the way demons live. Perhaps we don’t learn quite enough about our cast as I’d like as the game focuses on the player actions rather than the cinematics and the humour won’t be for everyone with the constant sex jokes and the idea that Johnson can enlarge into a Big Boner. I for one loved the humour and appreciate how much of the game is yours to take part in, just feels like it could have had a bit more. More modes, more difficulties, more replay. Still, this is an adventure impossible to forget. Watch out for Paula when she is a bit ticked off…

8/10

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