Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

IMAGE(http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/418240/header.jpg)

* Developer: Mimimi Productions
* Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
* Genre: Commandos-like
* Steam page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/418240/
* Launch Trailer: https://youtu.be/qtJ3dZyoS94
* Developer Walkthrough: https://youtu.be/QkSoSFn_or4

Surprised there isn't a thread about this game. Just read the RPS impressions and it sounds great.

Atmospheric and impossible to rush, Shadow Tactics is a fabulous game – a game I think I prefer to both Commandos 2 and Desperados. I can see myself replaying it regularly.

Post a thread? Ain't nobody got time for that! You think these bodies will throw themselves down the well? Started to last night, then realized that the demo was generous and offered another level.

After remapping for WASD camera control, and once I encountered the second party member and forward, things started to pick up. I like how each team member feels unique; not just the special abilities but, for example, how the samurai can haul two bodies, one per shoulder, (or unconscious enemies if you are playing nice) whereas the ninja guy can only haul one and moves at a walk.

The shadow synchronize (or whatever the contrived name was) seemed pretty cool: you can plan each party member to execute one move then tap a key to set everyone in motion at the same time. I suspect that as the game progresses, and the party size grows, that this will become very much necessary. It certainly seemed challenging if you deter yourself from power quicksaving. Feels better to roll with things and have to rely on healing vs the aforementioned .

One thing that bugged me was the voice quips. They're done well, and varied, but seem to trigger almost every time or at least way too often. With as much click-click-clicking as this game requires they start to feel stale fast.

One thing I missed, and perhaps it just feels odd after so many isometric RPGs, but the lack of a pause was jarring. It's not as if that would help you once spotted (enemy reactions are swift) and several things are on a timer system.

I'm very interested but a lack of pause might be a deal breaker. I just can't think or react quick enough in games like there.

Perhaps wait for a future Steam sale, though in the game's defense I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that, the more I play, I believe they're trying to reinforce that you should always pull a planned attack from either behind an enemy, out of a door, a bush, elevated position, or other ambush state.

To balance out, most characters with direct attacks seem to be of the one hit one kill variety (some have different amounts of noise associated with them).

Facing an enemy in the open appears to be a no-no by design and reinforcements almost always seem to be within shouting distance if you're spotted. Along those lines: thus far and as example, the shinobi team member only has one shuriken so you have to tag the body to retrieve it -- which helps reinforce using all party members. The samurai seems to be the go-to for small groups. He essentially pops a small, point blank AOE of death around him verus the shinobi's backstab. Mechanics-wise there's a dedicated long range attacker (limited ammo) and the other characters seem more focused on utility or diversion. aside: for those that like the challenge the Shinobi can also knock people out.

It's not like a real time version of X-Com and indeed seems a callback to the Commandos series (as disclosure, I quite honestly only have awareness of but never played thoroughly growing up. I didn't have the patience back then).

content edit/add: It's a very sneaky game. You can select a person and it will show their cone of sight. You can lock this for one enemy or person at a time. Also, you can quick toggle between them but I don't think you can lock all cones to be visible at once (?) at least persistently for all cones. Also, the cones seem to be marked different ways. I believe it's so you can tell if a crouch position is hidden whereas standing would give you away. Also, handy, a dbl click will make you run to a position or, from what I can tell, run to and perform an action if you have an attack/etc toggled on.

... yeah, the cones can be very important to check. If you watch even seemingly stationary guards can tilt their heads back and forth in wide, sweeping arcs. You can see it zoomed in, but zoomed out the cones are way helpful as it's harder to tell by the animation then.

Played a bunch yesterday and I'm really impressed with the overall presentation and polish. This is a relatively new studio and yet it feels like a refined AA package.

I'm also really surprised at how enjoyable the characters and their interactions are with each other. And I love that there is an option for Japanese voice over.

Gameplay wise, when you pull off a well planned Shadow Mode attack, it's really satisfying. And it's interesting how this game just embraces save scumming in Commandos-like games and has a save timer.

Let's Play in case you want to see a bit of the game in action.

I wasn't sure if this game was for me and it is pretty expensive at $40, but fortunately the developers wisely decided to a release a demo. I played for about 15 minutes tonight and that was enough -- I'm totally sold. Where has this type of game been all my life? I've already added the Commandos and Desperados series to my GOG wishlist.

Djinn wrote:

I wasn't sure if this game was for me and it is pretty expensive at $40, but fortunately the developers wisely decided to a release a demo. I played for about 15 minutes tonight and that was enough -- I'm totally sold. Where has this type of game been all my life? I've already added the Commandos and Desperados series to my GOG wishlist.

Commandos Pack is on sale for $1.94 on Steam.

Set up a Shadow Time gank last night where Hayato and Yuki dropped down from a ledge to knife two fools and then Takuma sniped someone on the tower. It was so simple but I felt like a tactical god

And I like how each mission is beefy, has a unique palette and introduces new mechanics. Man, this game is so good and I haven't even done a mission with all 5 at once. I'm sure it's going to get bonkers.

The demo leaves a good first impression. Even the initial level was tough at the end and it took me a dozen tries or more to figure out what to do with a set of enemies.

This game kicks ass. The quicksave system automatically keeping your last 3 saves is great, the character variety is great, and taking down bases is much more incremental than it ever was in Commandos. There are far more small, interesting areas in each level, rather than a single huge thing with tons of long and overlapping patrol routes that cover the entire base. It's a steady drip feed of dopamine hits as you successfully neutralize each section.

Two thumbs up, highly recommended as a relaxing game that you can easily dip in and out of for little 15-30 minute play sessions.

Watching the Let's Play has me very interested but I'll wait til the Steam Sale to see if it gets any discounts.

I'm loving this game, but then it embarrassed me by giving metric of my number of saves on loads!

So great:) I'm finding my keybindings a bit clunky though! I have my characters on F1, F2, F3, F4, and....the number 6 (1-5 for abilities).
I also rebound the use button to space and crouch to tab.

Yeah, I found that rebinding the keys made all the difference. I also set Characters to F1-F5, Abilities to 1-6, WASD camera, Use to X, etc.

Another thing I did (in the middle of the demo) was to change the dialogue audio track to Japanese. Sooo much better. Feels tons more immersive.

Another +1 for the dev releasing a demo for the game. Damn, that thing enabled me in like 5 seconds flat.

Absolutely loving the game so far. It takes the Commando template and fully modernizes the formula with sweet production values and QoL improvements. (While you can toggle the Quick Save timer at the top of the screen, I think it's amazing.)

Thumbs way up so far.

I would love to use F5 as my 5th character but there is the weight of at least 2 decades of quicksaving using F5 and i don't think i can recondition!

Oddly, it wasn't a stretch to move that quicksave from F5 over to F6.

Seems like I've seen a lot of default mapping of quicksave on F6 over the years. Like F5 should be the industry standard, but it doesn't quite stick that way, compared to the say, "You can pry WASD movement/camera out of my cold, dead hands." sentiment.

The demo left a *very* strong impression - Commandos and Desperados was my jam back in the day and I haven't seen a game of that ilk in such a long time. This one seems polished to hell and back, I'm also digging the theme a lot.

A nice side effect of this game being a save-scumming simulator is it encourages you to try really crazy sh*t. And when it actually works, it feels awesome.

The cool thing about you folks playing the demo is the progress carries over if you end up purchasing the game at some point.

I was suspecting progress would carry over but wasn't sure, good to know it will!

I love that they included the option to play completely in Japanese as well, it adds so much to the atmosphere, especially since the old-timey dialects don't really come across in the English version.

Bought it yesterday, will hopefully get to continue the mission that the trial booted me out of some time this evening. Proof that demos can still work, at least if your game is as strong as this one!

Some of these later missions are bonkers. Took me 2 hours and 40 minutes to beat one of them

But...Mission 3 took me 3 hours.

Yeeks.

I downloaded the demo the other day and have progressed nicely through the first mission. Currently trying to work out how to move those barrels of explosives.

Production values are excellent and the first level is beautifully realized.

I've very conflicted.

On the one hand, it's very gratifying when a shadow move combination works out and there's something very compelling about sneaking around slowly taking out all the guards one-by-one (it's how I like playing my sneaky FPS games as well).

But on the other hand, there's a lot of frustration as mistake-reload after mistake-reload keep happening. While I realize that the game is geared up for that "learn the perfection required by your mistakes" game-loop, I always feel a little dirty by save-scumming.

Should I be enabled?

I don't think the dev would have prominently placed the "time since last QuickSave" at the top of the screen unless they seriously wanted you to save-scum. Heck, it's even color coded (1 min. = green, 2 = yellow, 4 = red).

Let go, have fun, and save-scum. Certainly gives you motivation to be more adventurous.

Moggy wrote:

I downloaded the demo the other day and have progressed nicely through the first mission. Currently trying to work out how to move those barrels of explosives.

...

But on the other hand, there's a lot of frustration as mistake-reload after mistake-reload keep happening. While I realize that the game is geared up for that "learn the perfection required by your mistakes" game-loop, I always feel a little dirty by save-scumming.

Should I be enabled?

That's the part I had trouble with too. It felt good when I finally got it. Like Aaron says, I think the devs intention is that you try stuff and see if it works without the cost of failure being too high, so save away.

I want this game - looks so good but I've bought a lot of stuff lately. That said, I'll have something to look forward to in the future! It's not like it will go stale

Loved the demo. I quit about 15 minutes in because I didn't want to spoil it for myself.

That said, my Pile reaches several times to the moon and back, so it'll stay on the wishlist for now.

This final missions is really hard. You gotta be super ninja and Captain Planet with combining your powers.

robc wrote:

That's the part I had trouble with too. It felt good when I finally got it. Like Aaron says, I think the devs intention is that you try stuff and see if it works without the cost of failure being too high, so save away.

I've embraced my inner save-scummer and completed the first mission. More enjoyable. Well, less frustrating, anyway

So I went ahead and ordered it. Currently snipping away at the second mission.

I'm enjoying it in micro bursts. Treating it a little like a puzzle-based adventure game.

Just finished a playthrough. Steam says my total playtime was 24 hours. Man, what a great game. I hope it does well and "Shadow Tactics" is a series in different eras as there are so many possibilities.

That final mission was a doozy, but so very satisfying to complete. Had to get seriously creative with some of those enemy groupings, and now I can't wait to go play through it again and apply all the tricks I've learned.

If I have one tip to give, it's not to be stingy with ammo. Every mission I agonized over every bullet and always ended up with tons left over, or wound up not firing a shot.