Friday, September 4, 2009
Shadow Complex Review (XBLA)
Shadow Complex is set in the Empire universe (owned by Chair Entertainment, penned by Orson Scott Card) and it takes place simultaneously with the book. Shadow Complex tells the story (game story written by Peter David of comic book fame) of Jason Flemming and his new girlfriend Claire. They are hiking in the Pacific Northwest when a group called the Progressive Reformation kidnaps Claire. From there we are strung along by a barely existent thread of a plot into what is the first and best game in this genre in 12 years.
The first and foremost object that needs addressing is that one just needs to get their hands on this game to know what quality lies in store for them.
The game is beautifully rendered in 3D, but is played in a 2D plane, by Unreal Engine 3 and from the second that you boot it up you will be greeted by crisp visuals that one may only expect from a retail title. The cut scenes are the one area that one can notice that this is an arcade title but if they are bothering you that much you are either missing the point of this game, which is not the story, or you just are not skipping them, which is an option I took during my second playthrough.
Shadow Complex really shines in its wealth of collectables and unlockables. The game can easily be replayed several times over without any sense of boredom. It is extremely easy to lose oneself in this game and on more than one occasion you will find that you are telling yourself, “Just one more collectable,” only to find that you will play well past that point.
This game will have you reevaluating what you spend $15 dollars on in the future and I mean that in the best way possible. This is best arcade game to come out this year (this could have easily been a $40 boxed retail title) and one can only hope that that it means more of the same from Chair. Perhaps other developers will also see the success of Shadow Complex and will jump on this age-old bandwagon once again.