Review: Shadow Complex

Jordan Deam

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Review: Shadow Complex

Think you've already played a game like Shadow Complex? Think again.

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Arkhangelsk

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Seems like a good game. I've seen the demo and it looks fun. Although it looks suspiciously much like Super Metroid in terms of game play and the map. But that's just observation, doesn't make the game worse... I hope.
 

Drakey

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May 17, 2008
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Some nice tounge in cheek Footnote there. Yes, I got it, and kudos for remaining Neutral on the subject... till that point...
 

Gxas

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I downloaded this game after seeing it get a 4.5/5 in Gamepro. It isn't too often that an XBLA game will get that sort of review and I had to check it out. Not disappointed in the slightest.
 

MrSnugglesworth

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Jan 15, 2009
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I honestly didn't like this game. I don't know why, because I love retro platformers.

It just doesn't feel right, but then my friend said "Play it for a few hours" so I went for it, and after that It still didn't feel right. I also think the story is hilariously bad. I guess its just the controls for why I swiftly put down the controller at my friends house, but none the less, I will not be buying this game.
 

domicius

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It's a great game, actually. Easily on a par with the old platformer shooties of days gone by, and without the convoluted level structure of the Metroids and Castlevanias of the world.

There are some downers, mainly the Bosses who are generally not so interesting to fight. The standard troopers are a lot of fun, though, and there's plenty of interesting set pieces.

The star of the show is the superb control over the character, the very interesting powers he acquires and the proverbial Shadow Complex (the base) which feels well realized and quite naturalistic.

One thing I'll say, there isn't really a problem in saving most of the times - you can enter any of the save rooms along the way and... save. I rarely found myself having to replay more than one or two rooms, and in fact the game is rather good about allowing you to save before something dangerous comes along.

Well worth the money if this is your kind of genre.
 

Jordan Deam

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If you're going to mention that Orson Scott Card is against gay marriage, I think it would be fair to mention things like he's a prolific, excellent sci-fi/fantasy writer. He wrote Ender's Game. If that was all he ever did, he would still be deserving of some respect; suming him up as a guy fighting against gay marriage is like referring to Thomas Jefferson as "that guy who endorsed slavery."
 

janiak

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I agree with Giantdragon. What do Card's views on gay marriage have to do with the quality of the game that is being reviewed? I would expect more integrity and less sensationalism from an outfit like The Escapist. Card was hired by Chair to pen a novel about the polarization of the nation between the Left and Right from the perspective of a conservative. The developer had to be aware of Card's religious and political views going into the project. Regardless of anyone's opinion on the topic of gay marriage, the topic has no business in a review of a game that has nothing to do with it.
 

L.B. Jeffries

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The plot was once of the most ham fisted and awkward things I've seen in a game in years. It's constantly badgering you to rush somewhere then tells you go exploring and find grenade containers. Not to mention the protagonist's insecurity after he goes on massive killing sprees.

Kudos for mentioning Card's homophobia. No one wants to acknowledge the big ugly elephant in the room with that one and I'm glad it's getting attention. Since he's so adamant about declaring the evils of homosexuality, he won't mind if people start bringing it up his views more often.

I'll separate the artist from his work when he's dead. Alive, I can still hold him accountable.
 

Wandrecanada

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janiak said:
I agree with Giantdragon. What do Card's views on gay marriage have to do with the quality of the game that is being reviewed? I would expect more integrity and less sensationalism from an outfit like The Escapist. Card was hired by Chair to pen a novel about the polarization of the nation between the Left and Right from the perspective of a conservative. The developer had to be aware of Card's religious and political views going into the project. Regardless of anyone's opinion on the topic of gay marriage, the topic has no business in a review of a game that has nothing to do with it.
It wouldn't be such a big issue unless if he didn't use the funds raised by his scifi work to actively promote the war against gay marriage. That means that buying one of his works is actively funding anti gay campaigns. Its the same reason you shouldn't buy Conflict Diamonds. Your consumption directly supports something that's vile.
 

Jordan Deam

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Wandrecanada said:
janiak said:
I agree with Giantdragon. What do Card's views on gay marriage have to do with the quality of the game that is being reviewed? I would expect more integrity and less sensationalism from an outfit like The Escapist. Card was hired by Chair to pen a novel about the polarization of the nation between the Left and Right from the perspective of a conservative. The developer had to be aware of Card's religious and political views going into the project. Regardless of anyone's opinion on the topic of gay marriage, the topic has no business in a review of a game that has nothing to do with it.
It wouldn't be such a big issue unless if he didn't use the funds raised by his scifi work to actively promote the war against gay marriage. That means that buying one of his works is actively funding anti gay campaigns. Its the same reason you shouldn't buy Conflict Diamonds. Your consumption directly supports something that's vile.
I'd caution players against viewing Shadow Complex as "one of Card's works." While it serves as a bridge between two of Card's novels, the game was written entirely by Peter David. I can't speak to the financial arrangement between Card and Chair, but it seems silly to me to punish what is proving to be a promising young game studio for the views of one of its business associates. The fact is, you're not always going to agree with the people you work with.

And janiak, you're absolutely correct: Card's views on gay marriage have nothing to do with the quality of Shadow Complex. If you got a different impression, then you're probably confusing this with another review.
 

Jordan Deam

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janiak said:
Then why even bring it up in this context?
Because other gamers have made it an issue, and I wanted to affirm that while I'm aware of Card's views on the subject of gay marriage, they didn't color my perception of the game.
 

janiak

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Jordan Deam said:
janiak said:
Then why even bring it up in this context?
Because other gamers have made it an issue, and I wanted to affirm that while I'm aware of Card's views on the subject of gay marriage, they didn't color my perception of the game.
I can't imagine why it would. The fact that I am aware of the political leanings of the State of Idaho certainly doesn't color my perception of a baked-potato prepared in New York, either.

Extrapolating from your reasoning, it would seem that you have a very low opinion of the intelligence of your readers.
 

Jordan Deam

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janiak said:
Jordan Deam said:
janiak said:
Then why even bring it up in this context?
Because other gamers have made it an issue, and I wanted to affirm that while I'm aware of Card's views on the subject of gay marriage, they didn't color my perception of the game.
I can't imagine why it would. The fact that I am aware of the political leanings of the State of Idaho certainly doesn't color my perception of a baked-potato prepared in New York, either.

Extrapolating from your reasoning, it would seem that you have a very low opinion of the intelligence of your readers.
Did you click the link in the "offending" text? There have been numerous articles on the subject, not to mention forum campaigns to boycott the game. A single clause acknowledging those concerns in a two-page review doesn't seem out of hand to me, but I understand it's a sensitive issue.

Enough about the politics, though. What did you think of the game?
 

janiak

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Jordan Deam said:
janiak said:
Jordan Deam said:
janiak said:
Then why even bring it up in this context?
Because other gamers have made it an issue, and I wanted to affirm that while I'm aware of Card's views on the subject of gay marriage, they didn't color my perception of the game.
I can't imagine why it would. The fact that I am aware of the political leanings of the State of Idaho certainly doesn't color my perception of a baked-potato prepared in New York, either.

Extrapolating from your reasoning, it would seem that you have a very low opinion of the intelligence of your readers.
Did you click the link in the "offending" text? There have been numerous articles on the subject, not to mention forum campaigns to boycott the game. A single clause acknowledging those concerns in a two-page review doesn't seem out of hand to me, but I understand it's a sensitive issue.

Enough about the politics, though. What did you think of the game?
Worth every penny. And to those that may shy away due to Card's views: They do not appear in this game at all, nor was he the writer of the game. Card was tapped to write the Empire novels which occur alongside Shadow Complex. If you want to keep money out of Card's pocket, boycott his books. By boycotting this game, you are only keeping yourself from one of the best expressions of the art to come along in a long time.
 

Wandrecanada

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I just want to iterate that I agree to the quality of Shadow Complex, but I wanted to explain why some gamers find putting money towards any IP he might make profit from disagreeable. A specific example comes from a gay reviewer from a prominent review site, who managed to reconcile the two simply because he got a free reviewer copy of the game. While highly praising the game for what it was he also acknowledged that some gamers would find it difficult to support the IP.

You have to really separate the game from the source to understand the comments. I'll simplify the notion using extreme examples. What if Call of Duty 4 was published by Blackwater?