Shadows of the Damned is a physiologic thriller developed by Suda 51 and Shinji Mikami.
If your looking for the weirdest and most deranged game around, Shadows of the Damned might just be it. I have never come across a game so wired but entertaining at the same time. I wasn't sure about the game at first, it's controls are clunky and doesn't feel up to quality with say, Resident Evil 5. But it's still an enjoyable third person shooter that I'm glad I experienced. If I was to describe how Shadow of the Damned is, it's like Resident Evil mixed with Dante's Inferno. That might be because Shinji Mikami, creator of Resident Evil and Suda worked close together to making it.
You play as Garcia Hotspur, a flamboyant Latino demon hunter that is on a journey to hell and rescue his girlfriend. She has been captured by Fleming, the Lord of Demons. You travel with a talking skull called Johnson. He is a big help because he can transform into weapons, like a shot gun for example. But that doesn't even scratch the surface to how ridicules and wired Shadows of the Damned is.
The main gameplay element to Shadows of the Damned is an interesting one. It mainly revolves around light-dark situations. Darkness is your enemy and every second in it will slowly kill you. Demons are immortal to it though and whilst fighting them you must find ways to restore light. This can be done by finding candles on top of goat head or even lighting fireworks. Sometimes darkness covers a full area and the only way through it is to reach a different section. You will eventually come across locked gates and these don't need an ordinary key to open them. Each gate has a face of a whimpering baby on it and to open them you must find eyes, brains or strawberries to shove one down the baby's mouth. Certain passages are blocked off by purple Demon pubes. Yes that's right, Demon pubes! These can only be unlocked by shooting it's heart whilst inside the darkness.
If I was to point out a few issues with Shadows of the Damned it would firstly be repetition. There's a nice upgrade system, choice of weapons and Boss fights etc. But you find yourself doing the same thing, restoring light, defeating some enemies and then moving on. That being said, I never seemed to find it any less fun due to it's humorous dialog and pacing. The only other complaint I have are the clunky controls, which I mentioned above. When aiming the camera will zoom in and stop you from noticing enemies around you. But this is mostly saved by the button prompt, which when pressed will smack an enemy away.
There's a lot of humor in Shadows of the Damned. It has plenty of Di**k jokes so get used to it. Sometimes it's clever and funny and other times it says something stupid and feels unnecessary.
Shadows of the Damned is a wired game but it's a very good one at that. It's an engaging game with great pacing and humor that will keep you entertained throughout.
Review by Gareth Smith