Shadows of the Damned Review
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Shadows of the Damned plays homage to its film inspirations through an obscure and mature presentation, but the actual game mechanics lack the same sharp punch as the artistic direction.
- The top notch presentation
- The terrific soundtrack and audio work
- The overall road movie-style experience
- The clunky controls and combat
- The boss battles tend to lack impact
- The lack of replay value
(continued from previous page) ...roots. Shadows of the Damned is more about the experience and entertainment value than it is about really smooth game mechanics.
You essentially do the same things over and over again throughout most of the game, but luckily it’s pretty fun to solve the quick puzzles and mow down swarms of baddies. In an effort not to spoil any fun, I will say there are a handful of levels and segments that kept me on the edge of the sofa, not out of fear, but just sure enjoyment. Shadows of the Damned is single-player only and there is no reason to play a second time without a game+ system. I can’t say the game is lacking without multiplayer because the combat isn’t good enough to warrant playing competitively; however, after you finish the 8-12 hour campaign you’ll probably put this game on the bottom of your stack.
There are some little things that I liked about SotD that often go unrecognized in modern games. For instance, your health does not automatically regenerate—it takes good old fashioned booze to fix your pains. Weapon and health upgrades are plentiful and unique, allowing you to really customize how you want to play, but they also don’t come too fast, allowing you to savor your rewards. The music and sound works so well that I found myself creeped out by the cries of the baby doors or the gorgeous soundtrack that creates the perfect marriage of suspense and insanity. In a game that left me feeling really wishy-washy, these little things helped put my mind at ease and just enjoy it for what it is—a satisfying action game with killer style and over-the-top adult themes. Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to spend time these days than in the world of obscurity—it’s just too bad that when the experience is done there is no reason venture back into hell.
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