Shadows of the Damned Catch-All

Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil, Vanquish) and Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill) have teamed up with Suda51 (Killer7, No More Heroes) at Grasshopper Manufacture to make Shadows of the Damned:

Right now it looks a bit like the video game equivalent of a crazy Robert Rodriguez movie. The game's official website describes it this way:

Venture deep into a hyper-demented re-imagining of hell as demon hunter Garcia Hostpur on a mission to rescue the love of his life. Defeat the armies of darkness with the power of the light and the help of the trusty Johnson, a former demon with the ability to transform into an array of viscious weapons. Shadows of the Damned delivers shocking and unique gameplay experiences that include over-the-top action, grandiose boss battles, demented puzzles, grotesque enemies, heart- pounding moments and pychotic imagery.

The release date is currently listed as 6/7/11. Is this on anyone else's radar?

(And no, we don't talk about the other thread.)

I've always wanted to defeat armies of darkness with the help of my trusty Johnson.

/snicker

That namage sounds great.... but i've done the "shocking and unique gameplay experiences that include over-the-top action, grandiose boss battles, demented puzzles, grotesque enemies, heart- pounding moments and pychotic imagery." too many times before...

Sold. If it makes me a hypocrite to love this after all the hate I spilled over Dante's Inferno, then I'll happily take the hypocritic oath.

So far I've had fun with everything from Suda 51 no matter how bizarre. Having Mikame, the guy behind RE4, in charge of an over-the-shoulder shooter sounds good to me. Not sure what to expect from the music. While I enjoy his ambient work I dislike the pop songs that Yamaoka had stuffed into the last few SH games.

Plus, I love the idea of a cowardly talking gun. I've loved sentient weapons ever since I read the book redrobe.

New gameplay video up

Yikes!

Game looks interesting from the last couple of trailers, I might get this

gains wrote:
Sold. If it makes me a hypocrite to love this after all the hate I spilled over Dante's Inferno, then I'll happily take the hypocritic oath.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I haven't seen anything linking this game to a majorly important piece of classical literature, so I think you're safe. The last couple videos and the preview in EDGE got my interest up big time.

Lawrens wrote:
Enlarge your johnson!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd8Is...

I now regret the choice of words at the end of my most recent post.

imbiginjapan wrote:
gains wrote:
Sold. If it makes me a hypocrite to love this after all the hate I spilled over Dante's Inferno, then I'll happily take the hypocritic oath.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I haven't seen anything linking this game to a majorly important piece of classical literature, so I think you're safe.

Well, they are both games about warriors whose love interest get kidnapped by demons, and the entire game is about tearing Hell to pieces to get them back.

The big difference is that Dante had balls, and Hotspur has cojones. Orale pendejo!

Point of order: Beatrice was not kidnapped; she just plain died.

Time for tagging.

I haven't got a very good sense of how the game will play out from their marketing so I'll wait for reviews. Definitely exceptionally crazy.

One galling issue is that I am experiencing pretty significant screen tearing - I'm going to try to change the output resolution on my Xbox and/or try some TV settings to see if that helps, but it is definitely noticeable and a bit annoying. From what I have read mileage may vary for this problem based on setup, but people have reported it on both PS3 and Xbox versions.

Beyond that (relatively minor) issue though, I've enjoyed what I've played so far. The style of humor is reminiscent of Bulletstorm but is a lot sharper than that and does not lean entirely on the creative use of the word 'dick.' An early chuckle I had was when ex-demon and flaming skull Johnson complained that after losing his body, he was relegated to a life of heavy metal jokes and posing for pirate flags. The stylized attributes and voicework of the main characters help sell the writing as well. Garcia Hotspur may be just as brash and abrasive as Grayson Hunt but everything is cooler when said with a Spanish accent, and Johnson makes for a more likeable companion than the semi-robotic Ishi. Even with the underworld covered in filth and viscera, the game somehow comes across as a oddly light-hearted.

Some have complained that the world is a bit bland, but so far I have enjoyed strolling through it between combat sequences. The fact that the maps are small enough that you can actually walk places is kind of nice - I get annoyed sometimes that the only way to get places in a timely manner in many games is to sprint around like a madman. Once you get to the next encounter the basic mechanics of combat will be familiar to any RE4 fan but the pace here is faster and the mechanics a bit looser. Saving every bullet is not a necessity, and mobility is improved as you can aim and move at the same time, so the calculated patience of RE is replaced with a more frantic, aggressive style. I haven't yet gotten a good read on the challenge level but so far "normal" difficulty has not been too tough.

Also a hearty approval of Akira Yamaoka's sound work and score. The sound fidelity in this game is honestly the best I've experienced recently. Every tone is crisp and rich and surround sound is well implemented. The musical score is excellent as well and there are moments where I have found myself lingering in a quiet area just to enjoy the music.

imbiginjapan wrote:
Also a hearty approval of Akira Yamaoka's sound work and score. The sound fidelity in this game is honestly the best I've experienced recently. Every tone is crisp and rich and surround sound is well implemented. The musical score is excellent as well and there are moments where I have found myself lingering in a quiet area just to enjoy the music.

Well, if you think about it this makes total sense. Akira Yamaoka was the only member of the team who had (almost) singular input. Suda51 was "exectuve director" and Mikami was the "executive producer" but the actual director was Massimo Guarini. So while Suda and Mikami influenced the game, and Suda clearly had more hands on with this, the actual game was in the hands og Guarini.

The sound, however, was basically all left up to Yamaoka.

Picked this up today, and I've been enjoying it so far. I loved the Act 2 boss

Spoiler:
who ate his own heart, then turned into a giant goat man and rode around on a horse with a human face that poops darkness. Then you kill the horse so the goat man eats its heart, grows into a giant, eats the rest of the horse, and starts peeing darkness all over the place.

That's some quality weird right there.

So, it's good? Reviews seem a bit mixed, so someone here: enthuse about it.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
So, it's good? Reviews seem a bit mixed, so someone here: enthuse about it.

The guys on the CC were pretty positive on it. For a polar opposite view, listen to the latest Jumping the Shark.

If I didn't have so many games on my plate right now, and some great ones coming all summer, I'd have already bought it. Same views apply to Alice. Makes me personally sad because I love to support projects like these, but it doesn't make sense for me right now.

I finished it last night and overall I enjoyed it. My only real gameplay complaint is that when the game introduced a new gameplay mechanic it tended to overuse it. Also, it kind of felt like they blew their load too early when it comes to crazy character design. The Act 2 boss was insane, the Act 3 boss less so, and the Act 4 boss was pretty bland. A lot of the crazier gameplay elements (goat heads, light sushi, baby heads, etc.) were introduced quite early as well.

The combat mechanics were solid but nothing special, the level design was mostly pretty good, the writing was entertaining. The voice acting was pretty decent, except for Paula who was annoying. The plot was so-so: the individual stories of the different bosses, told in illustrated story books, were fun. The main plot was just a standard "rescue the girl from the villain" with a few minor twists thrown in near the end.

It's not a great game, but it's still above average. If you want to run around a crazy hellscape full of illuminated goat heads, giant angler fish, and damned souls while drinking tequila and listening to a floating skull tell dick jokes, you'll probably enjoy this game. If the setting and characters aren't enough to draw you in, the underlying gameplay probably won't be enough to hold your interest on its own.

Like the guys on the CC said, I think the dick jokes are a level of intelligence above those offered by competing dick joke games Bulletstorm and duke Nukem Forever.

Context is really important with humor. While still won't call it subtle, there is something about the presentation in Shadows that makes the humor more lighthearted than aggressively puerile. I see it as the difference between making fun of a stranger on the street and sharing jabs with your friends while having a few drinks. One of those things is in good fun and the other is in bad taste. Shadows serves up its jokes with a wink and a smile, Bulletstorm (somewhat precariously) rides the middle ground, and Duke throws itself off the Cliffs of Good Fun straight onto the Rocks of Bad Taste. Based on the context and presentation, you could put the same line in all three games and experience a completely different reaction.

Mike Barnes still found it annoying, which for some reason I found surprising. If your tolerance for anything like that is particularly low I think you will find the same thing to be true. Once a general distaste is established, it's easy for something unrelated that may normally be excused or be seen as a minor annoyance to start becoming an inexcusable flaw. In an impression he mentioned struggling with a particular shooting sequence and he expressed surprise that nobody else mentioned having an issue with it. In those situations I would have to assume its because they didn't have an issue with it, or saw it as such a minor thing it was not fit to explicitly mention.

PS. I am having a boatload of fun with this game.

I just noticed that Mr. Banks commented on the same section on Barnes. So there ya go. Depending on your tolerance for rough mechanical spots, you might hit a speed bump there.

So...I guess I should buy this game as soon as possible? It's obviously a gigantic flop at this point, and a lot of places don't seem to be carrying it all suggesting EA doesn't have a ton of copies it needs to unload, so it seems like this will be one of those games that if I want to play it a year from now, I can only find used copies for $80+ on ebay or something.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
So, it's good? Reviews seem a bit mixed, so someone here: enthuse about it.

I am really, Really, REALLY enjoying this game. Wholeheartedly. It definitely shares similarities with Bulletstorm in terms of tone and unique design elements, but it's a notch...cleverer. As biginjapan said, the writers don't rely on unique combinations of curse words, but rather heavy innuendo. It's a dick joke, but a dick joke in a sweet tooled leather jacket.

It's also verrrry grindhouse. Hell, they make no qualms about all the B-horror schlock films that they were influenced by, and the very beginning has the protagonist plainly stating that they are about to go on their very own road movie adventure. And the main menu even says 'start a new movie?' as an option.

But it's really a personal taste thing I believe. My buddy enjoyed Alice more than this, but I have a feeling I'm going to be the opposite. But I am a sucker for B horror flicks. Basically, if you liked Grindhouse, From Dusk Til Dawn, Machete and others of that ilk, you'll like this game.

The controls are definitely...loose. They aren't tight in their responsiveness, and I find myself pressing a button 2 or 3 times before my character responds on the screen. While it can make for some frustrating situations in combat, the difficulty isn't so bad (I'm also playing on normal) that it causes you to die alot. I don't agree that they overuse the mechanics, however. They do introduce alot of them quickly, but they pepper them throughout sparingly enough that when I do see them ahead of me it's more of 'oh, I get to do [insert fun mechanic here] again'. And you do get to see ahead. The level design is great as you enter a large area, and you clearly see where you need to get to, but you also see that you have a roundabout way that you need to take to get there. So it's really satisfying to get to your destination, turn around, see where you started and marvel that you just fought your way to where you are at.

And I agree, the sound design/soundtrack is off the chain. Chugging metal for the opening, eerie trip hop/electronica for ambient exploratory moments, weird old timey stuff for interstitials. So great, I really hope they release the soundtrack.

Just one page for this game? What a bummer!

I'm about to start it. How's the difficulty? If I can roll through normal without any problems or cursing in a shooter I sometimes get bored. I see imbiginjapan mentioned normal not being rough, but his was an early impression.

Sitting here at the difficulty select, you're not wrong about this badass chugging metal track Clockwork.

I just beat it on hard last night, and it really wasn't(to me atleast).

Fantastic game - you are going to laugh your butt off.

nel e nel wrote:
Chugging metal for the opening, eerie trip hop/electronica for ambient exploratory moments, weird old timey stuff for interstitials.

Blind_Evil wrote:
Sitting here at the difficulty select, you're not wrong about this badass chugging metal track Clockwork.

nel, you have no idea how tempting it is to edit in a reference to chugging metal in an earlier post of mine.

Hal, sorry nel.

So I'm beginning to regret playing on Hard from the start. I first regretted it at the second incarnation of George, but moreso at the third Sister Grim. You know a boss fight is messed up when they put a heath vending machine (and means to get currency) in the boss room.

It's been pretty good so far, super weird, as expected. Some of the music is great. I want to get this finished by the end of the day so I won't be distracted from the RPG extravaganza tomorrow (Amalur and FFXIII-2)

ClockworkHouse wrote:
nel, you have no idea how tempting it is to edit in a reference to chugging metal in an earlier post of mine.

Blind_Evil wrote:
Hal, sorry nel.

Vindication is mine! Orale pendejo!

And yeah, that last Sister fight is pretty grim. Even on Normal it felt like it went on forever. You miss a shot on her vulnerability cycle, you have to wait a good 30sec-1min before you get another shot.

I don't know what it is, but this game stresses me out. I know it's not frightening (or is it?), but something about it is unsettling enough to make me not want to go for more than an hour at a time. I think it has to do with the darkness runs and Crazed-Paula chases. They both get my blood up.