Shadow Complex was released while I was out of town with no Xbox 360 in sight so I had plenty of time to read all the hype before I got a chance to sit down with it. Going in with high expectations is always a bad thing. This isn’t the case for Shadow Complex however, it definitely lives up to the hype.
In case you live under a rock Shadow Complex is a downloadable title from Xbox Live Arcade. It’s 1200 MS Points which totals $15. SC is probably the best looking XBLA title I have downloaded to date if not the best overall game. The visuals are top notch and the environments are very detailed. SC is a side-scrolling shooter which means you can only go up, down, left and right on a 2D plane even though the environments tease you into thinking you can move in a 3D plane. Even though the movement is from left to right, you can still shoot enemies that are located anywhere in the 3D plane. Confusing right?
The gameplay in Shadow Complex may be a little slow in the beginning until you get familiar with how it plays. In the beginning I was taking my time, exploring it all but then once I completed the first area I found myself flying through the rest of the game, kicking butt and taking names. I think the game was built like this on purpose. Another reason SC is so enjoyable is the fact that you never have to find ammo for your gun, it has an unlimited supply of ammo. This helps shift the focus of the game from being stressful to being fun. The items that you are to search for throughout the game help give the game depth. Finding items is crucial to your success in the game as well. These aren’t just items you have to find to get achievements, these are items that increase your total grenade count, your total health, your armor, etc. By the time you’ve collected all the items you are indestructible. The one thing that stuck out for me about Shadow Complex is that I never wanted to put it down, it was so easy to just keep playing. Even once I finished the game I didn’t want to stop playing it so I went back and collected all of the items I missed. In case you were wondering, I completed Shadow Complex in 8.5 hours so it is a pretty lengthy game for an XBLA title.
I’m hoping that Chair has plans for some DLC in the near future because I want more. With the game doing so well I can almost guarantee a sequel will be in the works very shortly. Overall Shadow Complex is an amazing game. It looks great, it plays great. I highly recommend downloading it. I would even go as far as to say it may be very close to my top 10 favorite games of all time. Yes it’s that good!