Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Hands-on: Shadows of the Damned

1:00 PM on 04.21.2011 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
  @CTZ

Take Suda51's creative mind, Shinji Mikami's long history with the survival horror genre, and Akira Yamaoka's brilliant musical skills and you get Shadows of the Damned. From what I've seen at least, Grasshopper Manufacture's upcoming "road movie set in hell" isn't going to do anything that changes the action-adventure genre a whole lot. In fact, the game feels like a faster-paced Resident Evil 4.

The charm with Shadows of the Damned comes from a really outrageous and unique presentation unlike anything I'm used to when it comes to videogames. Yet despite everything Shadows of the Damned has going for it, I still have this horrible feeling that the game is going to fail at retail.

Shadows of the Damned (PlayStation 3 [previewed], Xbox 360)
Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: Electronic Arts
To be released: June 21, 2011

The basic premise of Shadows of the Damned is that your girlfriend gets kidnapped, you get pissed, then you go save her. Sure, it's not all that original, but it's how this typical "damsel in distress" story is presented that has me looking forward to the release come this June.

You play as Garcia Hotspur, a demon hunter who's so good at his trade that he has finally pissed off the Lord of the Underworld, Fleming, enough to come after you. Fleming kidnaps your one true love, Paula, and drags her off into Hell. Garcia follows Fleming, and for the next 10 to 15 hours you'll be dispatching the minions of Hell as you try to find Paula.

Along for the ride is your friend Johnson, a former demon who's also a flaming skull on a stick. Johnson is your guide through the game, and the duo will constantly be cracking jokes and helping each other through the adventure. Garcia can swing Johnson around as a weapon, and you can hold down the melee button to charge up Johnson for a super attack.

Johnson can also transform into one of Garcia's three main guns -- pistol, machine gun, and shotgun. As you fight the hordes of the Underworld, you'll come across enemies that are covered in darkness. Normal shots won't work on them, so that's where your weapon's secondary light shot comes into play. Shoot a demon with a light shot and you'll knock the darkness off, leaving it vulnerable for your regular bullets (or bones in this case as all your weapons utilize bones, teeth, or skulls as ammo). The darkness can also be knocked off by a torch melee attack.

Shooting enemies a second time with your light attack will stun enemies, allowing you to perform execution kills. I wasn't given an exact figure, but expect "a bunch" of execution kills. I saw at least six during my playthrough, each as visceral as the next.

On top of the demons, you'll also have a secondary enemy to worry about -- the darkness itself. Certain areas of a stage will be consumed in darkness, and every second you remain in it will drain Garcia's health. In most cases, there will be something in the environment that will light up the area for a short period of time and allow you to dispatch enemies. In my demo, I needed to light up a fireworks launcher using Johnson's head and had a very short amount of light to work with before the darkness took over again.

Later in the demo, I came across a mini-boss that was surrounded in darkness. There was no light source, but the darkness didn't fill up the entire area. Normally, a player would attack the demon's weak-spot, leave the darkened area, refill health, then repeat the process. Since EA saw it fit to leave infinite health on, I simply stayed in the darkness until the mini-boss was killed.

As you're going on this demon-killing rampage, you'll find yourself running into a demon named Christopher. In classic Shinji Mikami fashion, Christopher is like Resident Evil 4's merchant in that you'll be purchasing health, ammo, and upgrades for abilities and weapons in exchange for the white gems you collect from killing demons. 

At one point in the demo, Garcia hops on a giant chandelier and uses it to ascend a giant tower. The room is filled with darkness, so Garcia needs to swing the chandelier around the tower and destroy numerous dark balls in order to continue his ascent. It was a simple change of pace, one I hope is an indication that there will always be something like this to shake up the gameplay.

The demo concludes right before a boss fight against a demon named George. You've already kicked George's ass once, but this time he transforms (by pulling out his own heart and eating it) and then summons a horse to ride around on.

While these screens don't do any justice, the game looks really good. I just love the character designs, especially the fucked-up demons. As a giant Suda51 fan, I know I'm going to end up enjoying Shadows of the Damned. The basic concept of "saving the girl" is beyond played out, but it's the Suda51 touch that I know is going to keep me engaged throughout the entire experience.

That's why I'm worried about how Shadows of the Damned is going to do in sales. I know what to expect because I've played Suda51/Grasshopper games before. While the games are great, they generally have a history of doing poorly in sales, and that's in large part because they're not advertised properly or at all. At the very least, I'm glad to see the game is now coming out on June 21 instead of the week of E3 as it was originally scheduled.

Photo Gallery: (7 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys






 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Gonna finish up my 2nd watching of Rick and Morty (this time with my dad) and then go see Deadpool tonight. Hopefully I can finish Tearaway Unfolded 100% by the time the snow hits tomorrow, then I'll blog abt it
Sarah Jane farron avatarSarah Jane farron
and bleh, it seems like there's no way to edit quick posts and for whatever reason, it's cutting off the last two characters of my last post? Tried it 3 times and left it because of it. Well if you saw my previous one: "m!"*
Sarah Jane farron avatarSarah Jane farron
Hope everyone had a good day today regardless of whether you're celebrating valentine's day with someone or like me, sitting by yourself at your PC in a warm dressing gown with a cup of tea :) Mine was okay. Unexciting but I do very much like being warm!
ooktar avatarooktar
So I bought Xenoblade Chronicles X like 2 months ago. I think maybe today I'll finally take it out of the wrapper.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Splatoon and Undertale fans, please do not walk the path of Sonic fans and Bronies. You are both very young, yet you are dangerously close to that path. Naught but ruin lies down that road.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Played SMESH with RadicalYoseph - had some hilarious matches like this one.
SmileyBarry avatarSmileyBarry
Redesigned Dtoid is super-fancy, but scaling is still fucked and Heavy Reading has odd-colored backgrounds... Still, it's fancy & a shitload more lightweight and that's enough to make me happy.
Nick R P Green avatarNick R P Green
Here it is as promised, my valentine's day gift to you all. My 2015 Reflection Series comes to a close with my Top 3 Movies of 2015 (I know, it's not games, I decided to try something different). As always, I'll have a blog version uploaded later!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The Sonic Twitter's done it again.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I CHALLENGE YOU, HUMAN, TO... A DUEL! NYEH HEH HEH!
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
In honour of Valentine's Day, let's share our names/synopsis for porn versions of popular video games. I'll start us off with Firecrotch, the tale of a red-headed firefighter struggling to save a nudist colony from a forest fire.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Leave it to Cracked...
Luckrequired avatarLuckrequired
Clicked on Google's Valentine's Day animation and this pops up. Good show, fellas. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-35570606
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Maybe this has been addressed, but what the hell is going on with Disqus here?
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Also, I think my Wii U gamepad is on its last legs... the NFC reader is still kaput, the screen is rather smudgy and the L button is started to stick like a motherfucker. Sooner or later it's just going to stop working altogether methinks. :'(
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Younger me would be so disappointed in the gamer I am today. When did I stop finishing games? Seriously!
SayWord avatarSayWord
Hosting a Murder Mystery dinner tonight. What are the chances that I actually get to play myself? =P
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
We were discussing Ben Carson, pyramids, corpses, SoFlo, and Nekro's fetishes in the Discord chat if anyone wants to know what it's like down there.
lewness avatarlewness
Nintendo just sent me an email to say "Congrats on your new Wii U!". It wasn't new it got fucking FRIED and now all my stuff's gone after repairs - I was in Chapter 9! Chapter 9! 70+ hours on XCX! And that's just one game! I was- *walks off ranting*
JPF720 avatarJPF720
Bravo Undertale, bravo.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -