Impressions: Shadows of the Damned

Hey. Do you remember No More Heroes and its brand of juvenile humor? That was pretty good, right? Well, I’d like you to meet Shadows of the Damned: a game whose sense sense of humor will turn you off entirely, or will win you over with a sort of charming crassness.  You’ll be able to quickly figure out what category you fall into after watching this trailer.  Suda51 doesn’t hold back in his games, and SotD is no exception. It’s rare that I pre-order games anymore, but I was won over by the game’s allstar team of designers and the promise of, if nothing else, something different. It’s hard to match the energy that Suda brings to his games.  They aren’t always great, but I’ve always found them to offer something unique.

The game play itself has been consistently enjoyable, but it’s worth mentioning that you have to turn down the aiming speed of the game in order to get the most out of it. I usually don’t bother with adjusting these things in favor of trusting that the default setting is what the game was designed for. Just turn it down to the lowest setting right off the bat. It is otherwise a painfully frustrating experience trying to land your sights on enemies that like to convulse and dart around the environment.  Once you’ve found a comfortable way to play, its hard to put it back down.  Even if you were to ignore the story altogether the game play itself is well-paced and varied enough to keep players engaged and looking for more. There’s never a lull in the action, even for the game’s puzzles. There’s a steady stream of upgrades at frequent intervals, and efforts to hone your skills are rewarded with gems to purchase new items and slow-motion cuts of exploding demon heads.

I suspect that most people will either love it or hate it. Either way, I’ve found it to be good piece of entertainment.

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