SHADOWS OF THE DAMNED
PS3 (also on Xbox 360)
collaborations are kinda de rigueur. The great – Queen and
Dave Bowie, Run DMC and Aerosmith, Kirsty MacColl and The Pogues – and the
stinkers: Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney and
Jacko, Paul McCartney and the Frog Chorus...
First the phew news; McCartney had zilch to do with psychological
(with emphasis on the ‘psycho’) thriller third-person shooter (plus
spoilerific-if-we-mention-them bits) Shadows of the Damned.
It is, however, a meeting of two masterful gaming minds – Suda 51 (No
More Heroes) and Shinji Mikami (Resident
Evil). So, ‘Under Pressure’, or ‘The Girl is Mine’? Erm,
howsabout ‘Under Mine’?
We wanted to LOVE this. We wanted to have its babies and earmark it
for ‘GotY’ because of its collaborative creators’ previous opuses.
There’s stuff to adore – the story, foremost, is like a mash-up of
Robert Rodriguez and Dario Argento on song, whilst dialogue could
have emanated from Quentin T. As protagonist Garcia Fucking Hotspur
(perhaps his christened name – his partiality for the f-bomb makes
it apt), you assail Satan’s fiery playground after apartment-headed,
six-eyed demon Fleming strings-up your gal and drags her to Hell.
You’ve a buddy though, not-the-only-dick-joke ex-demon Johnson, who
sounds alarmingly like Wheatley from
Portal 2, but looks more
skull-on-a-stick when not busy mighty-morphin’.
You can guess the rest; get the girl, kill the baddies (the Poppies
should start slinging us royalties...)
But, ARGHHHH-inducingly, the glue used has the adherency of Clag.
Combat lacks focus as you can’t lock onto arseholes – more time’s
spent getting bearings than pumping demons full of death - whilst
progress is stilted due to near-constant unskippable cutscenes
(which incite bloodlust after getting hurled backwards progress-wise
following another ‘WTF?!’ demise). It’s, well, it’s just sloppy.
There’s so much good here, it just needed to be stuck together
better. Plus it’s ruined strawberries for us forever...