This game has been a long time coming. I remember my first Suda51 (Real name Goichi Suda) experience on my PS2 when I randomly bought Killer 7. It was strange, had me scratching my head, it freaked me out, but also had me chuckling a few times. It was overly bloody, sexual and funny. Since then, I’ve been an avid fan of Suda51 and have bought the majority of games he’s worked on and thoroughly enjoyed them.
Shadows of the Damned is a game that has three big names involved in it. Goichi Suda, Shinji Mikami and Akira Yamaoka. The game’s director is relatively unknown, Massimo Guarini. Shinji Mikami is known for being the creator of Resident Evil, Akira Yamaoka did amazing work as the composer and sound designer for the Silent Hill franchise. So their job was to combine everything they were known for into this one game and it seems like they have successfully done that.
When you play the game it just feels like a game worked on by Suda51 and Shinji Mikami, the over the top action is a mix of No More Heroes and Resident Evil. The game doesn’t really take itself too seriously, which is a good thing. The music is great and fits right in with the general ambiance and the sound effects are downright creepy.
The game so far has been pure fun. The story is simple, you’re a demon hunter, the king of the demons has kidnapped your girlfriend and you follow them into hell to bring her back. The towns in Hell look like ordinary towns… except they’re littered with body parts, blood fountains and crazy demons. You have a side-kick named Johnson (who is a “friendly demon”), who can transform into your different weaponry and is also your handy torch.
The story progression is old school, you fight demons through a bunch of levels, exploring as you go along and ending the stage with a boss fight. There are puzzles to solve and keys to find. Ammo doesn’t seem scarce, so it’s not a “survival horror” game, but you’ll be wasting a lot of ammo if you can’t get those headshots. You can find red gems to level your weaponry and health up and as you defeat bosses you’ll receive blue gems to gain new weapons. Diamonds are the currency of the underworld and you’ll find pubs and vending machines to restore your health (Alcohol doesn’t kill you in hell, but recovers your health). This isn’t a game that has layers of underlying messages in the premise of the narrative, it’s just simply a third person shooter that kicks ass.