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Shadows of the Damned – Xbox 360

Shadows of the Damned – Xbox 360

Platform: Xbox 360

Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Release Date: June 21, 2011

Genre: Action / Third Person Shooter

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by Solo Joelo

Shadows of the Damned 1For anyone familiar with Suda 51’s work, Shadows of the Damned will stick out like a sore thumb. For anyone not familiar with Suda 51’s work, Shadows of the Damned may also stick out like a sore thumb…but that thumb may look more like a penis than a thumb. For such an oddball developer like Suda 51, Shadows of the Damned is a relatively standard third-person shooter. However, it is still sprinkled with his trademark oddball humor, quirky dialogue, and inventive storytelling. Compared to previous Suda titles like killer7, Shadows of the Damned is extremely accessible.

Shadows of the Damned is a very cinematic game – it opens up with credits and some mood setting shots, and then the player is immediately thrown into the chaos. Unfortunately, this first level is not representative of the rest of the game. We’re greeted with an annoying training level (seriously, why do they even make manuals for video games anymore?) which highlights more or less all of the problems of this game. The game play itself is your standard camera over-the-should third-person shooter, and while the game is very fast and fluid, the controls can be unresponsive or uncooperative at times. But apart from this hiccup, it’s pretty much smooth sailing from here on out. The controls don’t work out the kinks as you progress through the game, but it is possible to get used to them a bit more – however, there will still be moments where you die because of the uncooperative controls.

Shadows of the Damned 2The player plays as Garcia “Fucking” Hotspur (it’s never determined if that’s a middle name or a nick name), a demon hunter. The King of Demons, Fleming, kidnaps your girlfriend and you decide to dive into Hell to get her back. Not the most original of stories, but the presentation is borderline mind-blowing (your head won’t explain, but you’ll probably say “Wow!” a lot). The cinematic feel of the game combined with the game play gives this game a feel of Max Payne, the video game, if it happened to be created by Robert Rodriguez on a bender. Indeed, the dialogue is so fun that to quote any of Garcia’s quips would spoil the fun.

The shining element of this game is the upgrade system – you must collect gems in order to buy upgrades. You’ll need it as you advance, but you never feel so overpowered that the game loses playability points. Simple enough, which allows it to shine that much more. There’s nothing overly complicated about this game, and in that regard it gives it a classic feel – not necessarily retro, but when you start actually getting into the game you feel like it is worth your time.

Despite the control issues and standard game play, Shadows of the Damned never gets boring. It’s very polished and stylized, but does not emphasize this over substance. The boss fights are varied and the environments are strikingly well-done.

However, your enjoyability of the game will come down to your sense of humor – your sidekick’s name is Johnson and your main gun is called “The Boner”. This game tries to pull off every sexual pun it can to the point where it feels like an alpha-male version of Bayonetta. This is one of those games you should pull out (no pun intended) around your friends and play through it together. Laugh and the world laughs with you – even if an entire level is basically Garcia yelling “Taste my big boner!”

Written by Nerd Bacon

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  1. Shadows of the Damned and No More Heroes are neck and neck for my favorite Suda51 game.

     

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