Review: Shadows of the Damned
on Mar 26 by

Review: Shadows of the Damned
Shadows of the Damned is a comedy/horror third person shooter developed by Suda 51 (Killer7) and Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil). The game’s storyline follows Mexican demon hunter, Garcia “fucking” Hotspur, and his pet skull-gun, Johnson on their trip into the demon underworld to rescue Garcia’s “girlfriend” Paula.

 

Storyline-wise, that’s about all there is – the player can choose to learn more about the demon underworld by reading posters and books dotted around, which are well worth reading because they offer some hilarious moments, but are not overly important. Most of the conversation between characters in the game is riddled with swears, puns and sexual innuendos ranging from funny to outright cringe-worthy, but I, personally, consider it one of the main reasons anyone should pick up this game. Johnson is plain amazing.

 

Shadows of the damned screenshot

 

The combat system used in this game is over the shoulder, third person shooting, similar to games such as Resident Evil. This game can be a bit of a pain for anyone not practiced in shooters because, whilst it allows you to slow down aiming speeds, the demons Garcia meets later in the game get very fast and seem to hunt in packs. This can be a huge problem for people, like me, who just cannot aim quickly enough, although the game does use a “light shot” which can stun enemies temporarily and adds a tiny amount of aid to the player, but majority of the time, I still find it useless. Your health, light shot, gun capacity, damage and reload speeds can all be upgraded by finding red gems dotted throughout levels or bought from the creepy half-demon salesman Christopher (voiced by Cam Clarke!).

 

Shadows of the damned screenshot

 

Johnson’s biggest role in the game is as your own personal armoury, whilst he’s normally held as a torch to light your path through the underworld, he also takes his place as your three trusty guns; the boner (pistol), the monocussioner (shotgun) and the teether (sub-machine gun). These guns are upgraded as you progress throughout the game using blue gems collected from major bosses, the upgrades include multi-shot for the shotgun, lock on for the sub-machine gun and sticky explosives for the boner… Er…

 

The game also boasts some other unexpected levels (although by that point in the game I’m not sure anything is unexpected anymore) which I won’t go into detail about for spoilers sake, but they can either come as a nice change or a major rage-fest. I went with rage-fest.

 

Shadows of the damned screenshot

 

Another big attraction to this game is the music. The soundtrack is written by former Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoaka, a personal favourite, and is a crazy mix of absolute randomness. Such beautiful randomness. The soundtrack also includes the voice talent of Mary Elizabeth McGlynn, also from Silent Hill series, and Troy Baker – both of which have wonderful singing voices.

 

In conclusion, this game is pretty fun, and crazy – as anyone would expect from Suda-51 but it’s also very, very frustrating at times. Whilst it also possibly lacks a little in actual storyline depth it makes up for with complete bizarre-ness and a multitude of “what the hell?” moments, the biggest of all being when you finally complete the game and make it past the credits… I think I’m in love with Johnson.