Monday, January 7, 2013

Shadows of the Damned Impressions

Another of the games I played during my "vacation" was Shadows of the Damned, so I might as well share what I thought about the game.

Shadows of the Damned
It is a shame that this game was largely ignored by the masses.  It's a competent shooter, but has lots of unique elements that set it apart.  The setting and plot are fairly different from most things out there, but I  really like how immature it is.  Lots of sex jokes and the like.  Main character Garcia Hotspur is joined by his demonic companion, a floating skull that reminds me of Bob from the Dresden series of books.  Johnson, as it is named, is your torch to see in the dark (and can be swung like a weapon) and gun.  He can transform into many different forms, with the most notable being the different firearms you use in the game.  It's not revolutionary, but I think it's really cool.  Plus, the ammo for each gun is different bones.  Skulls power the shotgun, bones for the pistol and teeth for the machine gun.  Another cool idea that just sells the whole game.

It's pretty fun, sometimes frantic and occasionally gross.  I guess to be "The Underworld" you have to have lots of blood, guts and bones everywhere.  It doesn't bother me, it's just kinda strange looking to see fairly normal streets and building with random globs of flesh in corners and other things of that nature.  The placement is so random that it feels a little disjointed.  I think the two elements could be blended together better.  Of course, that might be the intention of the art, I don't know for sure.

The frantic part is when you encounter areas of darkness.  Garcia can't survive in them for long (it will drain his health after awhile.  These sections usually have you running through them or finding a light source (goat head) to hit with your "light shot" and banish the darkness away.  The annoying part is getting lost in there or having to deal with enemies while traversing it.  Mainly they both cost time that you don't have, and end up costing health.  It's not gamebreaking, but can get a bit tedious at times, especially when you are stopping enemies from creating it while battling others.  Boss weaknesses or puzzle switches can also be seen from the darkness, which is a very videogame thing to do; "hit the big glowing ball and you can move on".  I'm ok with it here since the game doesn't take itself seriously anyway.

Garcia drinks alcohol to recover health (a mechanic explained in the game), which while not the best idea, at least fits the theme of the game.  Shadows of the Damned is a very interesting game, and I also had a few chuckles at the humor.  When I feel like playing a 3rd person shooter again, I'll likely start back here.  Looking at the art style for the loading screens...I wonder if that became Black Knight Sword?

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