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Posted: Jun 17 2012, 07:26 PM
Group: Global Mod
Member No.: 43
Joined: 15-March 05
Shadows of the Damned heavily plugged the involvement of Suda 51, the mad genius of video games, but upon playing it becomes more apparent the Shinji Mikami contribution. In fact, the game is so much like Resident Evil 4 that it puts Resident Evil 5 to shame for the inadequate imitation. The story is fairly traditional: bad guy kidnaps girlfriend and our hero, armed with his sassy skullgun sidekick, goes on a quest to get her back. In the general sense, it’s nothing new, but in the execution and little details the game is pure magic.
The gameplay is straightforward run n’ gun, but unlike RE4 you can move around as you aim the gun. Granted, this makes the game fairly easy, but evade command is what makes the game really easy since it makes the player immune to damage. Ammo boxes and healing items are fairly plentiful, and will automatically float to you when you get close enough. Not having to scrounge for items is a nice way of maintaining the flow and managing inventory all comes down to the push of button.
Despite the threadbare premise, the game does offer plenty of story and offers a very rich universe. Examining posters spark brief conversations about the nature of the Underworld. Our hot blooded hero, Garcia F. Hotspur (and the “F” doesn’t stand for “Francis”) and his firearm, Johnson, take turns reading storybooks which tell the backstories of the various bosses with some amusing asides. Overall Garcia and Johnson play off each other well, and are a welcome break from stoic soldier types. All the macho dickswinging among faceless space marine and chainsaw vasectomy enthusiasts appear limp compared to a pair that whip out a giant cannon dubbed “The Big Boner” and fire it very suggestively.
Kidnapped princesses are an old story, but the relationship with our hero is established and she’s often on the hero’s mind as he battles through the baddies. The big bad uses his powers to torment and revive the girlfriend, which can be pretty rough to watch. On the other hand, it is a refreshing break from games which have the princess as a plot device and nothing more. Further, the player and hero are constantly reminded of what’s at stake while the cruelty and utter dickishness of the villain is illuminated.
Bugs are few and far between, even though one bug which can make the final boss effectively immortal. This bug is rare, but the first time I fought the boss for nearly three hours before giving up in frustration. Unskippable cutscenes can be a tad annoying, but at least only the first and final cutscenes have any major runtime. The Unreal 3 engine works nice and all, but waiting for stuff to properly render can be a tad annoying. Most people will generally suggest playing on Hard mode for a challenge because of how easy the game is, and for the most part they are right on the money. While QTEs are there in the game, only with one specific enemy do you have the situation where failure means death, but you only fight this type three times in the final level.
Good gameplay, lots of laughs, and it’s a lot like Resident Evil 4. It’s a damn fun game, and worth playing. In short, if you like offbeat shooters, Suda 51, rampant penis jokes, then play it, now.
"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." - Oscar Wilde