Epic Games delivers another solid hit outside of there Unreal Tournament series. This time around its a 2D/3D side scroller called Shadow Complex. This title unlike there previous games on the consoles is a Downloadable Title online on Xbox Marketplace. You do not need to go to the retail moguls to own this game. Just log on to Xbox Live and bring up the marketplace and Download it to your hard drive. Simple as that, and your playing within minutes.
While out backpacking in the mountains, Jason Flemming and Claire, locate a cavern. While going into the Cavern, Claire just disappears. Jason, now inside the cavern, makes it his mission to locate and rescue Claire. While embarking on this rescue mission to find you girlfriend, you find yourself entering giant sealed Military installation which is property of the Progressive Resistance, a group whose soul purpose is to launch attacks on the United States in hopes of bringing forth there organization into complete control. The game is a stereotypical Government Conspiracy based game, but it is pulled off very well with a very good art design and theme.
Box Art (If You Can Call It That): http://i26.tinypic.com/9uvvgz.jpg
Shadow Complex Logo: http://i25.tinypic.com/2qnw37m.jpg
It’s a refreshing game to play since it shows you that you do not need an open world all the time to really enjoy a Next Gen game. The controls outside of the movement are a bit of a challenge to get down quickly, I had doubts about enjoying this game when I was playing the demo, but once I got the feel for the controls I activated the full game. The trick to really learning the controls is to think of Contra while playing this game. This is one of the first 2D shooters to finally get shooting and running at the same time correct since Contra. There is also grenades that are done correctly in this game as well. You also can move very fast and the controls keep up. Above all, once you learn the controls, you will love this game.
You Are Jason Flemming: http://i28.tinypic.com/vfwlzr.jpg
Does anyone notice that Jason Flemming looks like Nathan Drake? I don’t know maybe I just have Uncharted on my mind but this game has that feel to it. You run around freely through this world searching for all type of hidden items like weapon upgrades, health upgrades, as well as Armor Upgrades and hidden passageways that can only be opened when you unlock specific weapon upgrades. The basis of this game is centered around exploration. You use your flashlight to crawl through air ducts as well as to highlight vent covers, floor boards, and doors and you see the color the let off. This color represents a weapon, and that weapon is used to bust that door down and you can continue on your merry ways.
There are many achievements to be had on the exploration elements in this game but the bulk of them come in the form of locating hidden items. The more you collect, the more rewards you will receive. There are Grenades, Foam Darts, Missiles, as well as a Hook Shot which acts just as it’s called from the Zelda games. There is also Melee attacks you can do as well. You can also use Laser Aiming to make pin point accuracy on your enemies. However, you cannot enter a first person perspective at will to hit enemies from a far. You can use turrets to hit enemies and walking tanks only when that is presented to you as you progress.
The game has a Metroid feel to it as well since you are moving around fighting off many enemies but at the same time you will backtrack to areas over and over to unlock lots of things as well as further your completion status. There are leader boards in this game people, so make sure you find as much as possible to get a good rank. The leader boards also play a role into the achievements since most of them are based on items located, kill count, time taken to finish the single player, and so much more. It’s a single player game only, but it has a competitive element to it as well since it lacks any online play. No Co-Op or Multiplayer in this one folks.
Ready For Battle: http://i31.tinypic.com/2mpmro5.jpg
Some of the hidden items are found way to easy but then theres some that are just bizarre as to how you get them. This might scare off some at first but once you get that item to get the hidden items, it makes the backtracking well worth it. The Armor Suit you find is a prototype developed by the Progressive Resistance that comes fully equipped…only problem is you have to find the rest of the add on’s to complete it. The more you find, the faster and more agile you will become.
There is a Proving Grounds mode which shows you the in’s and out’s on how to play this game. In this mode, you will have all features of your armor unlocked, only thing is, you can use them only when the assignment lets you. Some of the missions are harder then the actual game but in the end, it’s very rewarding to play this mode because then you will be ready to play the single player. It’s good to have practice before playing this game, getting out of messy situations will be second nature to you and it should be since you will be encountering them a lot in this game.
The Proving Grounds mode looks so familiar as well, I have seen it before it’s called Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions. A rare PSone game indeed but this version of it is much different since that game you could move in a full 360 degree motion rather then just side to side like Shadow Complex. The story line in the game gets watered down but in the end, your just playing this game for the fun. It may be a Next Gen Side Scroller, but it still maintains that old school mentality, Fun Gameplay will overshadow the weak story.
Is This Men In Black? Metroid?: http://i29.tinypic.com/27xe938.jpg
Although I do like the dialog and the message the game is sending. This game is based off a book written by Orson Scott Card. The script is written by Star Trek famed writer Peter David. You got good writers and you get the Unreal 3 Engine so this game really has lots to offer. What I do not like about this game is that you die way too much and sometimes way to easy. This is due to the fact that no matter how much you remember it’s a side scroller, you still try running around freely. Also again the controls, while good, can cause you to choke up. You also die easily from the fact that while it’s a side scroller, when you do climb up and down, you cannot see enemies that are below/above you. So you tend to collide with them or set yourself up for an easy target. There are some cool aspects about the enemies in this game.
The drone enemies can be used as weapons. You can kick them when you stun them or walk up to them and they will detonate and kill other enemies or open up passageways. Also you get an achievement for that as well. You can sneak up on guards and knock them out without alerting other enemies. You can also use your Foam Darts to freeze enemies and keep them from alerting backup or to just keep them busy while you attack others. There are cameras that have alarms and guns just like Metal Gear Solid. And also just like MGS, you do battle with huge robotic bosses that have lots of firepower. The boss battles are great and rewarding and the suspense they bring is awesome, as well as the graphics in the explosions. The sound effects are somewhat good at best, no where near as good as they are in other Epic hits.
The Shagohod?: http://i31.tinypic.com/25fpxf4.jpg
This is a game that all 360 owners should have not because it’s new but because it shows that Side Scrolling is still successful and fun. Shadow Complex is now available only on the Xbox Live! Arcade for 1200 Microsoft Points. Rated T For Teen.
-Fantastic Side Scroller
-Great Art Design
-Lots Of Collecting
-Lots Of Big Bosses
-Feels So Much Like Metal Gear, Metroid, Castlevania, Uncharted
-Lots Of Exploring To Do
-Leader Boards Keep You Competing With Your Friends
-Feels Old School
-Controls Can Be Tough
-You Get Killed Easily
-You Forget This Is A Side Scroller Often
-Shallow Story Line
-Voice Acting Is Blah
-Enemies Can Appear Out Of No Where
-Lots Of Back Tracking
Shadow Complex Rating: 5 Stars Out Of 5
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