Review: Shadow Complex
Sat Aug 22, 2009 at 12:49:51 PM EST
Hey guys I know that everyone is probably already hearing the praise of this game and here is my review of it. Hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think of the game.
Review by Jonathan Heier
Ahhh.... another beautiful day in the forest with your girlfriend for a picnic and adventurous cave exploring, or so you thought. You play as Jason Flemming, and by your side is Claire your average girl looking for something to do. Today you’re in luck you just so happen to pick the one cave system to explore that holds a secret facility where you stumble on a plot where a group of rebels that want to wreak havoc and overthrow the government. As nothing is ever as simple as it seems, you are now forced into rescuing your girlfriend who gets herself captured and stopping the bad guys before it is too late. In a backwards momentum style the game starts with you in an alley wearing an armor suit and a heavy arsenal at your disposal so you can see how powerful you can be when you have everything. As the fights unfolds your witness to the assassination of the vice president and are faced to take on a helicopter, only to be greeted by the title screen, that is right the game hasn't started yet. Welcome to Shadow Complex!
Gameplay / Controls
The game is presented as a platform shooter, where you will be exploring the open world to traverse though the cave systems and facility finding weapons and upgrades that will help you get to more advanced sections of the map. You start by finding a flashlight and your girlfriend's backpack, which will help you jump a little higher and get around. The weapons in the game start slow and ramp up quickly as you get a pistol, then slowly move up to the bigger guns like a shotgun for one hit kills. The controls for the character are very tight and you can aim with the right stick when you have weapons for headshots and later in the game using the special weapons like grenades, the foam gun, and rockets. As you will be moving through the game you will encounter enemies that come from different directions and not only shooting left and right but also into the background or foreground. With this "2.5 dimensional gameplay" you can find some interesting battles taking place when encountering multiple enemies. Along with this new twist on a shooter you are also triggered to take hold of some turrets for a first person perspective and let the bullets fly. With the map being so big, there is almost a couple of ways to enter each room and kill your enemies.
Also not everything has to do with weapons, you have the ability to melee your opponents and do it like your Sam Fisher sneaking up behind them for a quick action sequence that changes with the direction you’re facing your enemy and what abilities you have unlocked. With your flashlight you can determine some cool secrets through the game as certain areas will be able to break open with your gun, grenades, foam gun, rockets, or friction dampener. Keep an eye out for booby traps for both you and your enemies to trigger, in the harder difficulties you will want to use them more frequently. There is 112 items to collect throughout the game to collect including gold, weapons, armor and its missing pieces, pass keys for the final suit piece, and health and item upgrades for maxing out the amount of ammo you can hold. So keep those eyes sharp and good luck on the hunt for them all.
Powered by the Unreal Engine and using some of the features from Undertow, the previous title from Chair Entertainment you will find yourself amazed at the amount of details in this game. Probably most notable piece of beauty you will see is the dynamic lighting effects, either with your flashlight, the laser sight from your weapons, or the flood lights lighting the areas for you to explore. Not all of it about light also there is some nice scenes with the darkness and using your silhouette when you’re walking into a red back lit room and you’re sneak your way into the enemies sleeping quarters. One of the other great visuals has to be the water effects, either it being a waterfall, pools of water, or a giant lake. The water dynamics really shine when you’re swimming around and bullets are flying past your head leaving water trails and missing you barely. Explosions will take your breath away especially when blowing up the bigger mech robots and opening doors with the rocket launcher as it blows open and leaves nice shattered and bent metal debris. All the great technology can't shine unless you have a good backdrop with the environment. The forested areas and the great detail that is put into the world really immerses you into the universe and you feel like you’re running through the trees or actually exploring the cave system or diving underwater.
Added alongside the main campaign is the proving grounds which leads you through the training for all the items you acquire throughout the game and some timed challenges that will put you through your paces. There are 21 levels for you to put your skills to the test and if you complete them all you will get an achievement.
Final thoughts are that this game is very addictive and especially if you want to complete the game with all items collected. One thing I can say about this game is that your flashlight is the best thing to keep on at all times, just because if you get lost and just use your flashlight you will find a hidden door or vent that will lead you in the right direction. The game will have you back tracking around the map to collect the different items or to follow the story mode so just keep checking the map for the best way around to where you need to go. Since not everything can be perfect I did find a few small things that I found to be a little concerning. The game has auto aim for enemies or you can use the right stick for accuracy, but sometimes the two systems conflict with each other and make it harder to kill some enemies and might get you killed. Also the sections for the turrets, it feels to me the controls are a little loose and could be tighten up, because the cross hair was going all over the place for me. Also be careful not to trigger the final cut scene if you’re trying to go for 100% as the game will lead you directly into the final boss without warning and will be almost impossible to go back for items that you missed.
With the very few things that can be touched up on the game overall is amazing and worth a buy. You will be going through the game multiple times and each time you level up you become a lethal killer that is almost unstoppable.
Here is hoping that this game is a success and that a sequel can be made or maybe DLC for an expanded story.
Rating this game I would give it 4.5 out of 5