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Release Date: June 21st, 2011 Movie Release Year: 2011

Shadows of the Damned

Overview -

Shadows of the Damned is much more than another stylishly directed horror game with a raunchy sense of humor and over-the-top gameplay. This game is also a collaborative effort from some of Japan’s top talent, including Goichi Suda, aka Suda51 (No More Heroes), Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil 4), and Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill). With talent like that behind it, Shadows is almost destined to blow everyone’s mind, and it might very well do just that, it’s just a matter of whether or not this is your “thing.”

Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Video Resolution/Codec:
Audio Formats:
Dolby Digital 5.1
Release Date:
June 21st, 2011

Video Review


This is a gorgeous game and definitely one you’ll want to play in HD, if only to see the tremendous amount of detail in the creatures, environments, and specifically, the gore. Gorehounds will find a lot to love but if that’s not necessarily your thing there’s always the unique interpretation of hell. This is a very vibrant game, filled to the brim with bright colors, cool effects, and all things red and squishy. For the most part the character animations are solid, but there is one exception: Garcia Hotspur. Controlling him is easy, but his awkward jog animation consistently bothered me. Outside of that, the characters move great, especially the monsters that come at you in a creepy, freak circus sort of way.

There are also the ingenious visual cues that let you know what’s about to happen before it does. These range from certain spots in the environment and on enemies that give you hints as to how they can be vanquished without completely giving it away, as well as environmental tips like the glowing blue flowers that let you know the merchant is nearby (no doubt a reference to the blue torches in Resident Evil 4, one of Mikami’s previous games). And like I said before, you’ll be able to customize the experience a bit to fit your setup and personal tastes, including adjusting the brightness and turning the subtitles on or off.

Audio Review


The voice work is amazing—Garcia Hotspur and his sidekick Johnson are funny, charming, and there’s a chemistry between the duo that can’t be found in many other games. I’ve mentioned how gory this game can get (it’s not for the squeamish), so it’s only fitting that the game should have satisfyingly wet and squishy sound effects. Blowing the limbs off enemies sounds great, with each gun having a unique sound and feel to it, and I constantly found myself wondering how they made the roar or howl of a particular monster sound the way it does. It’s all done extremely well.

The music is quite possibly one of the best things about this game. I’m sure those who are familiar with Akira Yamaoka’s work on the Silent Hill soundtracks aren’t terribly surprised to hear that, but it’s true. The flavor is decidedly different, but that’s a good thing. Shadows of the Damned is an opportunity for Yamaoka to give us more of what we love but in an altered way to match this new game. You’ll recognize it instantly, but it’s different enough to keep you from wondering when Pyramid Head is going to show himself.

Shadows of the Damned isn’t like anything else out there right now. It’s original and not afraid to do something wildly different with its familiar setting and story. Add to that a Suda51 inspired punk-rock edge and a fantastic score composed by Akira Yamaoka, and Shadows really is a beautifully bizarre game.