[PS4 Metroidvania Review] Shadow Complex Remastered
You are on a camping trip with your girlfriend, and suddenly you stumble upon a secret military facility in a cave. Next thing you know, she is captured, and it’s up to you to rescue her. Can you save her in Shadow Complex Remastered?
ChAIR’s fresh twist on classic side-scrolling design with modern gameplay is amplified in Shadow Complex Remastered, featuring all content from the award-winning original game, updated with graphical enhancements, new dynamic melee take-downs, and additional Master Challenges and Trophies to support its PlayStation®4 debut.
Through 10+ hours of exploration and fast-paced combat, players discover game-altering power-ups to overcome obstacles, thwart legions of enemies, and delve further into a mysterious and challenging, non-linear game world.
– Original single-player experience inspired by classic non-linear exploration side-scrolling genre set in a compelling action thriller storyline
– Huge game world with legions of enemies, challenges and jaw-dropping boss battles
– Dozens of game-altering power-ups and 100+ additional items and enhancements to discover
– Immersive graphics made possible by Unreal Engine
– Proving Grounds provide side-challenges to test the most skilled players
Shadow Complex Remastered – Announcement Trailer | PS4
Shadow Complex was originally released on XboxLive back in 2009. As someone who never owned a 360, I definitely missed out on it, but I did get to hear from some of my friends about how great it was. So when the Remastered version was announced for PS4, I was very happy about finally having a chance to experience it.
You are on a backpacking trip with your new girlfriend, Claire. You stumble upon some caverns, which turn out to be the headquarters for a military force that is planning to destroy San Fransico in the very near future. They capture Claire, and your quest to save your Girlfriend and the world begins.
The game is a Metroidvania title, with a strong focus on exploration, getting new items, and backtracking to older areas with said new items. With this game being more grounded in the real world, it uses more real-world items as well. Some of the things you will gather in your journey are grenades, missiles, foam, a hook shot, scuba gear, and special armor that will shield you better, help you run faster, and be able to take extra jumps (OK, fine, not all of it is completely rooted in reality!).
The game is littered with items between the aforementioned upgrades and also extra ammo capacity upgrades for each of them, extra defense, extra health, gold bricks and passkeys (both of which allow you to access some really cool end-game items.) There is a lot to do and find. What I liked was the focus on the storytelling, as you search for your girlfriend and learn the plot of what is really going on. The story was written by Peter David, who is a pretty prolific comic book writer, and this game actually sets up Orson Scott Card’s book Empire. The game takes you from objective to objective to keep the pace of the story going, and you can deviate and explore from there.
Here is where the Metroidvania aspects actually show up. As you shine your flashlight around certain things will change color to green, red, purple, and blue. You need to find the proper tools to destroy them. For instance, you need the grenades to destroy the green hatches, missiles will blow up red things, the foam will neutralize purple openings and doors, and your upgraded running boots will allow you to pass through blue objects. You will often see things you want to get but can’t, and the game does you a solid and marks it on your map with a question mark so you know that you need to go back to that area.
The combat is really good, almost having a 3D element to it even though you are on a 2D plain. You have a gun, which will get several upgrades over the game, but it does have unlimited bullets. You can shoot enemies, and headshots will take them out immediately so accuracy makes a big difference! You can also get close and use a melee attack that triggers a cool takedown. You will also see enemies in the background and your gun will auto aim and take them down as well. Really cool and it adds some depth to the combat.
Shadow Complex Remastered is not long. I beat it in just under 5 hours and that was with me taking some time to explore. However, this title encourages exploring the environment and before the game is over you can go back through the entire fortress and find everything you missed. This is usually one of the things I like most in this type of games, however navigating the facility can be quite trying. Areas are color-coded by sectors, but I had trouble navigating around quickly as they were closed off from other areas. More current titles have definitely made this easier in recent years, and this game is seven years old, so it does show here and there.
The game looks great and has a good visual polish to it. If I didn’t know better I, would have thought this was a recent title. The main character is actually voiced by Nolan North, of Nathan Drake fame, and actually resembles Nathan Drake’s character in his design. Nolan does a great job interjecting personality into the role of Jason as you infiltrate the base, still finding humor where needed. The music gives off a military feel, but is very generic and nothing to write home about.
The game is littered with trophies allowing you to play the game in many ways. You get a bunch for beating the regular campaign, collecting everything, doing speed runs while only collecting small amounts of the items., and more. It really shows you the options of how this game can be played. There is even a trophy for a unique secret early ending. With some time, this could be a great trophy list to complete!
Shadow Complex Remastered is a great title that I’m glad to have had a chance to play. I’m a big fan of Metroidvania titles for their exploration and hidden secrets, and this game is loaded with them. With strong voice acting and a decent story it really drives you to complete the game. I just wish backtracking through the facility was a little bit easier near the end of the game, as that could get frustrating. Play this game, or you will be missing out.
This review is based on a copy of Shadow Complex Remastered provided by ChAIR-
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