Shadows of the Damned Review
I, like what appears to be with many other gamers, missed the boat when Shadows of the Damned hit the market back in June of 2011. The lack of marketing and publicity for Shadows of the Damned from EA at the time gave the impression they had little trust in the title. Even with positive marks from other trusted sites I was still skeptical about Shadows of the Damned. Now after completing the campaign, I can say without question, “Shadows of the Damned is a game you have to experience.”
Shadows of the Damned has you playing as the demon hunter Garcia Hotspur who enters the underworld to save his girlfriend Paula. The self proclaimed “Lord of the Demons” Fleming has kidnapped Paula and taken her to his castle to endlessly torture her. Garcia obviously isn’t pleased, and with the help of “Johnson”, an ex-demon, he plans to kill any and all demons Fleming tosses his way. And did I mention Johnson is a floating skull at the end of a scepter who can change into anything from a torch to a motorcycle?
Shadows of the Damned comes from the mind of Suda 51 in collaboration with Shinji Mikami, the creator of Resident Evil. The game is an example of a third-person shooter, meets survival horror, meets LCD. There is never a moment in the game where you feel remotely sane. The underworld is filled with “darkness”, anus looking things that poop out demons, baby faced doorknockers that are bribed by strawberries, goats that produce light, and a strip club…but it’s not like you can spend much time in the club, the darkness slowly kills you, I tried. The storyline isn’t brilliant or even that creative, but it is well paced.
Combat in Shadows of the Damned is very similar to Resident Evil 4, except you can actually walk and shoot at the same time. The mechanics are very solid and aiming is quick and accurate. There’s plenty of combat options too, ranging from quick turns to barrel rolls. There are only four weapon choices, but Johnson keeps those four options interesting. Johnson isn’t just a torch, he turns into a pistol called the “Big Boner”, a submachine gun called “The Dentist”, and a shotgun deemed “Skullfest 9000”. Each of those weapons are upgradable allowing you to auto-lock on multiple enemies or launch a gigantic skull that explodes on contact. As your weapons level up, enemies have become increasingly more difficult to kill, so employing every weapon and their special attack is essential. Each weapon upgrade matches your progression in the game so you never feel too overpowered. “Strap it in G.”
Shadows of the Damned isn’t all demons and gore. It’s actually a pretty funny comedy, that is, if your into dick and fart jokes. But even then, the jokes are on que and never out of place. Which you can’t even say for the Farrelly brothers last abomination, Hall Pass. Entertaining posters, odd story books, and even a little cottage in the woods keep things interesting. The cottage is actually a cabin, and pays homage to the Evil Dead movies. That whole part in the game was quite brilliant in my opinion, but I’m also a huge Bruce Campbell and Evil Dead fan.
Shadows of the Damned is exactly as it states on the box, “A Suda51 Trip”. But I enjoy outrageous and unrealistic games. I love B-Movies and cheesy horror flicks. So Shadows of the Damned fit perfectly into my sick and twisted taste in video games. The sharp responsive gameplay, comedic yet dark plot, and fast pace campaign proves that Shadows of the Damned is one of the most underrated titles of this console generation.
Shadows of the Damned scores an A.