Shadow Complex Remastered, released May 3rd for Steam and PS4, and previously released for Xbox One, is true to the original, but is cleaned up with a new shiny coat of paint. While I don’t think the 360 original looked bad at all, this version makes the most of the original assets, and releasing on different platforms allows a new generation of people to experience this great game.
For those that haven’t played the game before, Shadow Complex Remastered is a Metroidvania style game, and starts with a couple out for a hike. The main character, Jason, discovers his girlfriend has been captured, because apparently they had stumbled upon a secret military base, and a plan to take over the American Government. Jason’s main goal is to rescue his girlfriend, but the more he explores, he realizes he has to take action.
As you traverse the map, finding secrets and hidden passages, you begin to unlock upgrades for your weaponry and abilities, in true Metroidvania fashion. The ultimate goal of the game, besides rescuing your girlfriend and saving the country, is to uncover 100% of the map, and find all hidden collectibles as you proceed through the story. The more health and weapon upgrades you find, the easier it will make your path to victory.
The great thing about this game is that the action and set pieces all flow together so well that you feel like a hero. The epic confrontations with giant mechs, helicoptors, and heavily armed soldiers will keep you on your toes. Everything flows together well to blend a great action game, with a sense of adventure, all while letting you explore if you want.
The story of the game is standard fare, and though it is based on an Orson Scott Card novel “Empire”, it isn’t very memorable. I wouldn’t call the story ‘bad’…but it isn’t that great either. While the story fails, that isn’t the games main focus, so I can let is slide. Characters could have been more fleshed out, but the way this game plays, with minimal cutscenes, that could change the pacing of the game, which I wouldn’t want.
Although the combat and set pieces in this game are well planned out, the choice of having this be a 2.5D game causes some issues with the shooting mechanics. Luckily the places where it causes issue don’t pop up often, but it can get frustrating dying because the gun didn’t shoot where you wanted it to. Checkpoints are provided often, so you never have far to go if you do die, which is nice.
The other main issue I came across in this game were certain sections where it seemed the camera didn’t follow as it should. When I needed to swim through a cavern, the camera would focus on the sediment at the bottom of the water pool, and I couldn’t see myself. Again, this only happened a couple of times, and it didn’t change the gameplay, once I figured out where I needed to go and orientated myself.
The achievements in this game are pretty good. You will get at least 15 achievements for completing the game and finding all of the collectibles. Even more will be unlocked if you kill enemies a certain way, get headshots, etc. The skill required to complete this game is fairly high, as you will need to complete it in under 2 hours on any difficulty, and under 3 hours on Insance. There are also a few achievements for the minimalist, like completing the game with 4% of the stuff you should pick up. Because of this, it will require several play throughs.
Shadow Complex Remastered is a great game that is highly recommended, and although it shows its age in certain places, it is still one of the best games available today, and owners of any of the platforms available should play it, especially those that are fans of Metroidvania style games. Give it a shot, and you won’t be disappointed. And if you played it previously on the 360, play it again for the Challenges and new achievements!