Shadows of the Damned Launch Guide

Shadows of the Damned hits store shelves on June 21 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and GamerNode’s got the low-down on the fright-fest down under. From goats to guts, brains to boners, this is your exclusive launch guide for all things hellish in a nightmare-filled romance adventure.

To call Goichi Suda a mad scientist would be an accurate compliment; it’s how EA’s Steve Matulac (Senior Producer) and Joel Wade (Producer) described Suda-san in a recent interview about Grasshopper Manufacture’s artistic hell-horror, Shadows of the Damned. “Over-the-top” barely begins to categorize it. Part blood orgy, part punk song, part Resident Evil, part Dante’s Inferno, Shadows of the Damned delights in the twisted, and will show gamers a kind of hell they never saw coming. In a nutshell: strawberry-craving demon-baby doors.

The game is a collaboration between Goichi Suda, mastermind behind No More Heroes and the psychotic Killer 7, Shinji Mikami of Resident Evil fame, and Akira Yamaoka, composer for the Silent Hill series. They make up what EA calls the “Nightmare Team,” a meeting of brilliant, bizarre minds whose distinct influences are apparent in the finished product. Mikami’s traditional third-person over-the-shoulder perspective returns (though simultaneous movement and shooting are possible), and there’s no mistaking the horrifying aspects of hell. Yamaoka has traded in discordant quartets for punk rock guitar to match Suda’s grungy, irreverent aesthetic. It’s a match made in… heaven?

Famed demon hunter Garcia Hotspur peels up to the neon-lit, pulsating gates of hell on his companion, weapon, motorcycle, and nightstick (formerly a Brit, now a British demon), Johnson. Don’t think the dick-jokes have passed over the Japanese developer; the revolver shoots bones and is called The Boner. The dark, playful attitude extends to level design, puzzle design, and the Faustian demons. An evil goat-god rides a reanimated horse statue that poops darkness until the horse is defeated. Then the goat-god grows to the size of an apartment flat, eats the horse, and stomps about the village square. Think Spain meets hell meets a David Bowie music video. Or just Labyrinth. It’s that kind of crazy.

And it looks to be an insane amount of fun. Simple puzzles pepper the first fifteen minutes, introducing players to gunplay, demonry, and the light vs. dark mechanic. Most battles rely on the dynamic between normally lit areas and space consumed by darkness. Shadows hurt Garcia, but are sometimes necessary evils, so to speak, to solve puzzles. Mix in a 3D maze, an Escher-esque paradox room, a billboard that launches a 2D segment, health-restoring absinthe machines, and weapon-upgrading (macro and micro) half-demons and the underworld has never seemed so bright.

If words seem too esoteric a medium to convey the all-out gaming penetration of Shadows of the Damned, check out the launch trailer. And, if it bears mentioning, this game is only safe for… unique work environments.

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Author: Dan Crabtree View all posts by
Dan is Managing Editor for GamerNode and a freelance gaming writer. His dog is pretty great. Check him out on Twitter @DanRCrabtree.

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