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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit disappointed, 17 Nov. 2011
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Shadows of the Damned (PS3) (Video Game)
I picked this game up because it looked like a creepy gory action style adventure a bit like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta. Sadly I was a bit disappointed. Although it looks good, it doesn't play very well and it tries way too hard to be cool.

The story tells of a guy called Garcia whose beautiful girlfriend has been abducted by demons from Hell, so he goes to Hell to get her back. That's it, that's the whole plot. I guess that's enough as this is really just a game where you kill lots of monsters and progress through levels, but a bit more depth would have been nice.

Anyway the game plays just like Devil May Cry - you start with a weapon and can enhance it or earn new weapons and upgrades by collecting energy dropped by monsters. You can also upgrade your own stats and buy items. The levels take the form of twisted visions of hell, and most f them are pretty grim, strung up corpses and body parts litter the screen as you progress through gothic city slums, foggy graveyards, farmsteads, mazes and cathedrals, and there's blood literally everywhere. Not a game for the squeamish. Anyway it's pretty much a case of kill everything and move on, but there are a few unique features, one of which is the aspect of Darkness. This is when waves of darkness cover the playing field (usually spewing from some boss or from a portal somewhere), and while it's covering the area, enemies can't be killed and your health gradually drains away. There are many points in the game where you have t keep de-activating the darkness, attacking monsters and then de-activate it again as monsters keep turning it back on. This is not as much fun as it might sound. Playing in the darkness is disorientating and difficult - but I guess that is the idea. Didn't make me enjoy it, though. Nearly every boss you meet will have some kind of darkness phase which you will have to interrupt to make progress in killing them, and this became quite predictable after a while.

The monsters that come after you range from the annoying but easy enemies that simply come in waves, to the annoyingly difficult. Some are hugely frustrating to kill, as they have specific attack patterns that you have to learn and dodge, and a few only have very few hidden weak spots - case in point, some are like spiky hedgehogs and they only reveal their weak spot (concealed on their belly) when they are stunned and fall flat on their backs for a second or two. You need to be an extremely good aim to kill these. Sadly I found the aiming really tricky! This is a 3rd person shooter mostly (Not sword swinging), so think Chris in Resident Evil 5, but a lot faster. Fun for those who like a challenge to the reflexes.

Anyway, now for my most severe criticism: this game tries so hard to be cool it just made me want to turn off. It is extremely vulgar, there is way too much talk about sex, bodily functions and general bad language. Things reach a low point when your gun (which has a character and a voice) gets an upgrade that makes it behave like ...an erection. The level involves a peep show and the gun only works when you let it become aroused via a dirty phone call. I found this puerile in the extreme, and it really left me not wanting to bother finishing the game. But if you love things crude and dirty, then roll up, but it didn't engage me in any way whatsoever.

There was some more ingenuity - a couple of levels were 2D side-scrolling cartoons! Very odd (and not all that simple). In general the whole game is pretty surreal, it's all based in Hell so anything can happen at anytime - actually that kind of worked against it, as after a while you're just saying: "yeah yeah, what are you gonna do to me next?".

So to wrap up, I didn't find the game much fun. Aiming at monsters was very tricky - and that's almost 90% of the fighting style. Levels became predictable - oh look more heads on spikes - and the sexual and toilet-based humour should have been left out. So for me, this was a bit of a miss rather than a hit.
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Location: London

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