Shadows of the Damned (PS3) Review


After playing through Shadows of the Damned twice (once on Legion Hunter and once on Lemon Hunter difficulty), I am finally writing my review for it. The game took me 9 hours to finish on Legion Hunter and 6.5 hours on Lemon Hunter.

What was done well? What did I like? Controls, Camera, Atmospher/Music/Sound, Humour, Upgrade System and Weapons, Puzzles, Storyline

The controls in this game are pretty tight. They are well laid out and are responsive. There was one minor glitch with them, but that is covered later.

The camera never once gave me an issue that I can recall. It always stayed right behind me and faced where I was facing at all times. No problems here.

Atmosphere in this game was done well. It’s a dark world, and the shadows were used effectively to hide monsters and sometimes (if you set it the way it’s supposed to be set) be so dark that you can’t see anything. The only way you can see demons in the dark was if you can see their eyes, and sometimes they wear masks. Need to be fully aware of the sounds around you. The dark world, coupled with the good sound effects and music, really sets things up well for the player. Also there is an evil darkness in the game that can kill you if you stand in it. This stuff really gives you a sense of being in true danger when your in it, and it makes demons invincible while they are in it. Once the darkness is gone, it does leave a coating of darkness on demons, which must be shot off with a light shit before you can hurt them.

To compliment the atmosphere a little bit, there is Johnson. He is a demon that helps Garcia (you) along the way. He is your torch, your guns, and pretty much any tools that you require. Mostly guns though. He’s also a pretty funny little guy, and Garcia also makes his fair share of funny comments. The humour is dark and dirty, but fitting to this game. Since the game doesn’t take itself all too seriously, the humour can be embraced fairly easily, and you can relax and just have a good time with the game. There’s nothing like shooting giant demons in the face with a “Big Boner”.

Weapons in the game were pretty standard, but had pretty sweet names to them. Johnson is the demon that shapes itself into the different weapons. Each weapon fires different ammo, and the names of each weapon are in relation to the ammo. The Boner (pistol) fires bones. The Teether (machine gun) fires teeth. The Skullcussioner (shotgun) fires skulls. Each weapons gets upgraded by two things, blue gems and red gems. Blue gems are dropped by bosses, and change your weapon into a new form. Red gems upgrade stats, like damage, reload speed, and capacity. Red gems also can be used to increase your health, decrease charge time on your torch (you can hit enemies with Johnson), and improve your light shot.

The puzzles in the game were not all that challenging for the most part, but most gave you the sense of urgency. The urgency is due to the darkness in the game that can hurt you. Sometimes, puzzles require that you be standing inside of this stuff to hurt an enemy, or shoot an orb to open a door. Sometimes you can just walk into it and leave it no problem or shoot a goat head with a light shot and it goes away Yes, obviously goat heads are a source of light). Other times, you have to be in it and solve the puzzle before you die. Depending on the difficulty setting, the darkness has different severity. There is also a room in the game that is a bunch of floating blocks and you have to turn them to open pathways, but this area isn’t too difficult. None of the gave me much challenge, but I did have a huge sense of urgency when playing on Legion Difficulty.

The main reason I like the storyline in this game is because, as I mentuoned earlier, the game doesn’t take itself all that seriously. It reminds me of a Rodriquez film (like Planet Terror). You play as a demon hunter named Garcia Hotspur, who has a girlfriend named Paula. The Lord of the Underworld (a.k.a. Flemming) doesn’t like you, so he steals Paula. You chase after them and find yourself in the Underworld. This takes you and Johnson on a journey to save her. If you pay attention there are some minor things to look for, but it’s a fairly basic story. I won’t share anymore about it, but it did what it was supposed to do and held the game together. It also allowed for a lot of gruesome things to happen during your travels.

What could have been done better? Dislikes? Graphics, Some glitches, Cannot skip cutscenes

The graphics in the game did a great job of setting the mood and being gritty, but they just weren’t all that amazing otherwise. Some objects didn’t really have much detail to them, and some things in the game were a bit jagged. Minor gripes really, but it didn’t feel like a game that just came out. It feels like an older title.

There were some minor glitches during the game. Sometimes a monster would disappear before it finished it’s death animation and it wouldn’t drop it’s items or trigger a sequence and I’d have to reload the last checkpoint. There was also a minor glitch that happened once in a while where, when I went to aim my weapon, it would automatically start firing. Hopefully these will be fixed in a patch sometime.

The thing that annoyed me the most was not being able to skip the non-playable portions of the game. I do watch them the first time through, but on my second play through, I really wanted to skip them. Why do some game developers do this? If possible, they need to patch that so you can skip them.

Overall

This game was great, and I enjoyed it a lot. It’s also an easy Platinum if you want to play through the game a minimum of 3 times (might take around 20-25 hours). If you enjoy dark humour, and like gameplay similar to Resident Evil 4, then I recommend picking up Shadows of the Damned.

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