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Shadows of the Damned
XBox 360, Playstation 3

Reviewed on: XBox 360
Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Rated: "M" for Mature

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

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User Rating: 6
Presentation: 6

In typical Grasshopper Manufacture fashion, Shadows of the Damned visuals are best described as a throwback to classic action games of days gone by; which would be great - if the animations and environments didn't look so dated.

Gameplay: 5

Though it tries to be different, Shadows of the Damned often comes off as a dated game, suffering from many of the problems that action games of generations past have.

Lasting Appeal:

There's no multiplayer and no option to continue save games or restart with your current levels, but Shadows of the Damned does have a pretty lengthy campaign.

Overall: 6
Every time you start to feel like Shadows of the Damned is really starting to get into its groove and carve out its own identity, the dated feel comes back and you're taken out of the game. Though it has its moments, they're few and far between.
CHEATfactor: 6

You know, I've always thought that hell is a weird idea. Think about it, what you may consider hell - I could consider being heaven. It's all based on someone's views. Well, Grasshopper Manufacture, the developers of the new action title Shadows of the Damned have a pretty clear view of what they think of hell…they've turned it into one big dick joke. Yes, it's funny, but what do you get when you take away that humor? Shadows of the Damned showed a lot of potential, but in the end plays like a game that should have come out years ago - and that's not a good thing. Though it side steps some of the elements that have become so cliché in games like this, Shadows of the Damned never seems to carve out its own identity.

Stop me if you've heard this one before, your girl has been taken to hell and you've got to go down there to get her back. Even though the premise has been used, the team at Grasshopper Manufacture (most famous for the No More Heroes games) have done a great job giving the tale its own spin, and yes - it's potty humor. The game wastes no time, or chance to make a crack about genitals. You see, you run around hell with your Johnson, a floating skull that acts as your tour guide and can turn into a pretty bad ass weapon when the need arises. The good news is that the voice acting and the rapport between the two characters feels so natural and it's actually fun to listen to. Once again, Grasshopper has delivered with great voice acting. As I'm sure you could guess, there's a lot of opportunity for low brow humor there, but as immature as it is, it works well here - come on, No More Heroes wasn't exactly clean was it?

"It's part third person action game, part shooter - and even part arcade."


From the gameplay aspect, Shadows of the Damned is a bit hard to describe. It's part third person action game, part shooter - and even part arcade. In the simplest terms, you peruse around hell with your Johnson as it turns into everything from a giant knife, to a machine gun and even a flamethrower to take out the creatures of the damned. There are some interesting puzzle elements thrown in, but they all sort of feel the same after a while. As you progress through Shadows, the difficulty will amp up and you'll have to change up your strategy; sometimes in ways you wouldn't expect.

Shadows of the Damned also employs an interesting light VS dark mechanic to make things interesting. Though it's a simple concept - you're safe in the light and your health depletes in the dark, it does change how you go about the game. To make an area lighter, you'll have to find a goat head hanging on the wall (no, really), and they're sometimes hard to come by. Do you try to search out the goat head or be quick with your strikes to keep the pace moving?

"...the mechanic feels awfully dated and clunky. "


The problem with Shadows of the Damned is that it's so full of mechanical issues, it's hard to enjoy at times. For instance, for a game that you're going to be spending a lot of time aiming at enemies, the mechanic feels awfully dated and clunky. You'll often be aiming at a fast moving target, only to have it move and the game can't keep up, leading to missed shots and a hell of a lot of frustration. Another issue you'll find is that the camera never feels like it's positioned just right. More often than not, it pushes in too far and you're unable to see everyone you're fighting, which of course can also be incredibly frustrating.

The Game's biggest offense though is just how repetitious it is. Yes, you'll get new weapons, upgrade them and level up, but the core action never really changes. Walk into an area, stay in the light, attack enemies...dick joke. It's a fun equation, but you're bound to notice just how much you'll be doing it before long.

Regardless of the issues, I enjoyed my time with Shadows of the Damned; it's a stylish, fun and interesting action game that only Grasshopper Manufacture could bring you. Though it never really creates its own identity, and features a slew of mechanical problems, this is a game that should at least be experienced by anyone who likes a good, crass action experience.



CHEATS USED: Achievements/Trophies Lists

You know, this could be the first time I've ever written this sentence - I want unlimited goat heads.

While there are no cheats available (besides achievements and trophies on their respective systems), the game aches for cheats, and chief among the requests I'd have would be the need for an unlimited supply of goat heads to change darkness from light. Being able to do this would change up the way you play, as you could just go in and kick ass - no longer having to worry about what's light and what's dark.

I'd also love to see cheats to have all weapons and all abilities of your...uhh...Johnson unlocked. It would be immensely fun to take some of the game's more powerful attacks to the game's lesser enemies since there's no new game plus feature.

Stick with for more info on any cheats for Shadows of the Damned.



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