Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 56 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 56
  2. Negative: 0 out of 56
  1. Jun 21, 2011
    93
    Its freshness shows just how stale a lot of the industry is and it's what's needed in an era of grey, modern shooters.
  2. Jun 20, 2011
    93
    Shadows of the Damned is unapologetically adolescent, but instead of trying to be cutely ironic and wink at players, the humor comes off as genuine, playful, and fun. Even if you don't find the idea of a sniper rifle called "the Big Boner" funny, you should still enjoy the solidly designed shooting and bit of thought required to play the game. Grasshopper has finally come into its own, and I hope it carries this momentum (and Mikami) forward to whatever project is next.
  3. Jun 21, 2011
    90
    I guarantee you won't know what's going to happen until it has, and more often than not the results are hilarious. If you want to experience a game that's different from everything that's come before it, Shadows of the Damned is for you. It's a tasty concoction of horror, humor, gore, and naughty bits that's guaranteed to make you laugh, scream, and beg for more.
  4. Jun 28, 2011
    88
    Shadows of the Damned has a lot going for it, and a few drawbacks as well, but the point to take away is that it's just a really fun game to play through.
  5. Jul 11, 2011
    85
    Shadows of the Damned is a primordially charged adventure into hell with sexuality and violence turned up to 10. Pleasantly disturbing, humorously shockingly and never boring, gamers with an acceptance for the weird will want to have this game in their collection.
  6. 85
    Suffice to say, if you can live with the juvenile humour and mental blank slate which makes up Garcia's education, Shadows of the Damned is an awesome game with great gameplay and graphics and it's a hell of a lot of fun.
  7. Jun 21, 2011
    85
    Shadows of the Damned balances strong gameplay with artistic delights to create a mesmerizing experience.
  8. Jun 27, 2011
    84
    Shadows of the Damned doesn't quite hit the heights of either Suda51 or Mikami's history, but as long as you're willing to accept the sometimes vulgar humour there's an experience well worth its weight, and comes to a clever climax finale around the 10-12hour mark that leaves me hoping there's enough demand to warrant a sequel.
  9. Jun 27, 2011
    83
    If you've got any interest in this kind of insanity, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Oh, and leave the drugs and alcohol behind-the game is trippy enough already.
  10. Jun 29, 2011
    82
    There is absolutely nothing to keep Shadows of the Damned in your system except for achievements; it's made to be played once, then fondly remembered, like the action movies it's based upon. It's still very much worth checking out, but it's impossible to give an unqualified recommendation.
  11. Jun 28, 2011
    82
    A guilty pleasure worth telling your friends about...provided its their kind of game, obviously.
  12. Jul 8, 2011
    81
    The game features a pretty weird setting, a badass main-character, awesome sounds and entertaining gameplay. Only the oldschool graphics and the highlight-free story lower the score, but all in all it's a pretty cool survival action game.
  13. Jun 27, 2011
    81
    The design, style, attitude, and bearing of the game is great; it's loaded with a certain swagger that is to be expected from Shinji Mikami and Suda 51. There's even a fair amount of genuine comedy...your gun's name is "Johnson," after all.
  14. Jun 23, 2011
    81
    One of those games which will be loved by old-school gamers thanks to its great gameplay, hilarious humour and overwhelming charm.
  15. Jul 21, 2011
    80
    A truly unique, absurd action game that no one should miss. With the help of Shinji Mikami, Suda 51 has delivered his most palatable experience to date.
  16. 80
    This game is fantastic. It's also very divissive. Some people will love the dry humor and bizarre enviroments, while others will will feel it's a boring mess of boss fights and too much talking. Personally though, this is a gaming milestone. Go get it.
  17. Jul 8, 2011
    80
    Shadows is certainly not for everyone. Still, it's far more accessible and appealing to the mainstream than Grasshopper's last few games, while remaining super-satisfying for their faithful following.
  18. In the hearts of these developers, Damned finds it salvation. [Aug 2011, p.77]
  19. Jul 1, 2011
    80
    There isn't much replay value left after defeating Shadows of the Damned (about 8-10 hours), but I found myself back at it just to take in the experience of digesting this mishmash of action and terror ideas and trying to figure why I was so entertained. Perhaps I should stop asking so much and just appreciate what I see sticking on the wall.
  20. 80
    Takes solid gameplay and pairs it with a hilarious story. Shadows of the Damned varies the gameplay enough to keep you engaged, and the story will have you craving for the next witticism from Johnson. Poor enemy and boss design is the only thing holding this game back from being a hit.
  21. Jun 28, 2011
    80
    Shadows of the Damned is everything you'd expect from a Grasshopper game, made better by the collective experience of Akira Yamaoka and Shinji Mikami working together with Suda51. It's pure pulpy, cult grindhouse fun, with some excellent action mechanics and awesome sound and music throughout.
  22. Jun 27, 2011
    80
    Although being made by Suda 51, Mikami and Yamaoka, Shadows of the Damned lacks a bit more of ambition. It's a really fun game, but it also has some flaws that prevent it from being excellent.
  23. Jun 25, 2011
    80
    Shadows of the Damned is an entertaining, bizarre, and absolutely hilarious experience. Don't miss out on this trip.
  24. Jun 24, 2011
    80
    Shadows of the Damned is a Road Movie made game. You watch and play it, enjoying the fun an politically incorrect humor, over-the-top atmosphere and appealing characters. Too bad some shortcomings like camera issues, a rather short campaign and some lack of exploration undermine its otherwise enjoyable formula.
  25. Jun 24, 2011
    80
    Shadows Of The Damned provides eight hours or so of some of the best third person shooting we've seen for ages – it's well produced, expertly paced and deliciously funny.
  26. Jun 23, 2011
    80
    You'll still be thrilled by this original, amusing and brilliantly playable horror game.
  27. Jun 23, 2011
    80
    Shadows of the Damned is one of those games that needs to be experienced. The wacky version of Hell, the cool characters, and the totally insane action combines to create a game that is a blast from start to satisfying finish.
  28. Jun 22, 2011
    80
    And yet, despite Shadow of the Damned being a more approachable adventure than the typical Grasshopper creation, it's what you see and hear over the course of the 10-12 hour campaign that really sticks with you.
  29. Jun 21, 2011
    80
    I'd recommend it in an instant to fans of the developer's past works, and just as fast to those looking for a fresh, fun shooter with a penchant for the eccentric.
  30. Jun 21, 2011
    80
    In many ways Shadows of the Damned doesn't seem polished and well-refined, but Grasshopper's game is still a lot of fun, gore and charisma.
  31. Aug 18, 2011
    79
    If it wasn't for the not-for-everyone grind house aesthetic of the game and the short play length, Shadows of the Damned would be a slam dunk recommendation. If you want some grindhouse and road movie in your game, this is the experience just for you. Even if you're a horror fan who's looking for something a little less serious than Dead Space of the latest F.E.A.R. title, you may just find what you're looking for here as well.
  32. Jul 19, 2011
    79
    That most rare of jokes - one that's still funny even after the 50th time you've heard it. [Issue#207, p.88]
  33. Jun 21, 2011
    79
    Like the best games in Grasshopper works, Shadows of the Damned contains excitement enough to keep players in their seats. It's a prominent exercise in teenage horror movie's homage in the form of a very funny third person shooter.
  34. Jul 6, 2011
    78
    Even though Shadows of the Damned is relatively short game (10+ hours), it's actually quite satisfying and even when you died more than a dozen times, you just want to continue playing because every chapter that you play offers something uniquely different, whether through its demon fights, puzzles or power-ups.
  35. 78
    The game offers a funny presentation. But after a few hours the gameplay of Shadows of the Damned becomes boring and repetitive. Don't expect a fresh, new action game experience.
  36. 75
    Shadows of the Damned plays homage to its film inspirations through an obscure and mature presentation, but the actual game mechanics lack the same sharp punch as the artistic direction.
  37. Jul 4, 2011
    75
    Given the amount of puzzles tied to light and darkness I would risk a statement that has the Shadows of the Damned been developed using the fantastic Alan Wake's engine, it would be outstanding. What other game offers you gross visions of hell flavored with crude humor? Where else can you find a horse pooping spheres of darkness? Or an infernal lord called Fleming? [July 2011, p.78]
  38. Jul 1, 2011
    75
    Shadows of the Damned will not be appreciated by everyone, but if you love Grindhouse, horror, action, Resident Evil, or all of the above, click yes and grab a copy of Shadows of the Damned. It's a weird, crazy, bloody good ride into hell that you have seen, and have not seen both at the same time that all result in one word...Groovy!
  39. Jun 30, 2011
    75
    I honestly don't know what the deal is with Shadows of the Damned. Great names produce a fairly good game - we should be happy. But despite that I feel something's not quite right. It's just like being fooled by Banksy's "Exit Through the Gift Shop". But maybe it's a good thing? Reservoir Dogs' ending left us with a feeling that something is off as well. My intuition tells me to smile: Electronic Arts introduced a new franchise to the market and that's a dying habit. I recommend Shadows of the Damned only to those that can keep a healthy distance to the world of video games.
  40. Jun 28, 2011
    75
    Shadows of the Damned is more than the sum of its rough parts, a rollicking gamers' game which brims with personality and individuality amid a muddy ocean of po-faced shooters. Experience it before its relegation to the status of 'cult classic'.
  41. Jul 3, 2011
    73
    An ordinary shooty adventure, dressed up in a bizarre plot. With knob gags. [Aug 2011, p.82]
  42. We're not entirely sure who's going to play this game, or even who it's ultimately suited for. People who are fans of Mikami and Suda will no doubt snap it up without a thought, and so will those who are tired of the 'usual' slew of action games. Sure, Shadows of the Damned has character and shows of incredible, grotesque and inventive beats, but as a game it's left lacking. [August 2011 p70]
  43. Sep 4, 2011
    70
    The game delivers what you might expect from two iconic developers. Unique story, plenty of grindhouse-style visuals and slightly lackluster gameplay. Fans of these auteurs will be pleased. Parents of impressionable youths will not.
  44. Jul 11, 2011
    70
    While it may initially grate, and the writing definitely misses more than it hits, Shadows of the Damned is a solid, snappy third-person shooter that retreads old ground with a... erm... unique style.
  45. Jul 7, 2011
    70
    Shadows of the Damned will make you laugh and cry at the same time. The funny conversations and the cool grindhouse style will put a grin on your face but the weak gameplay might cause you to throw your controller against the wall sometimes.
  46. Jun 27, 2011
    70
    The all-star cast behind Shadows of the Damned sporadically shows how creative, passionate and talented it is, but doesn't dig deep enough when it comes to game design. The game remains bizarre and stylized, and it works for a literal ride to hell.
  47. Jun 22, 2011
    70
    Although its artistic and visual merits are unquestionable, Shadows of the Damned's gameplay flaws reduce the experience's quality much more than expected.
  48. Jun 22, 2011
    70
    A mixed bag. On one hand: a unique design and some great visuals. On the other: quite linear gameplay and a painted on attitude.
  49. Jun 21, 2011
    70
    But as a weird tour through a Hell we haven't seen before, with a love for subject matter that neatly sidesteps the likes of other Grindhouse-inspired games over the last few years, Shadows of the Damned is an experience that's worth having... for a particular audience.
  50. Jun 21, 2011
    70
    The game coaxes out hearty chuckles and swear-laden outbursts in equal quantities, but there's no denying that the resulting blend of emotions make for a memorable experience.
  51. Jun 22, 2011
    67
    Perhaps unwittingly, Shadows of the Damned accomplishes what it set out for, by providing a B-level experience in video game form. It has more than its share of groan-worthy one-liners and irritating gameplay mechanics, but there's enough oddness and variety for it to pull in a cult following.
  52. Jul 5, 2011
    65
    This game is a collaboration between a few great developers, but the quality isn't that we were hoping for. The gameplay is repetitive, the graphics aren't really good, the humor is a bit cheesy and the swearing is a bit too much. Besides that the game can be fun to play, but that says everything.
  53. Possibly the most disappointing aspect of Shadows is that we know these developers could have made this awesome. [Aug 2011, p.102]
  54. Jun 28, 2011
    60
    The game mechanics are solid, bosses are satisfying creatures. The Suda 51/Mikami/Yamaoka trio clearly have a lot of ideas on their plate, but the games' infantile humor and macho bravado goes a little too far, and the end result lacks the magic that's promised in the beginning.
  55. Jun 25, 2011
    60
    Very Japanese in spirit and construction, Shadows of the Damned made efforts to adapt to Western productions, but it's still below the current standard of games in its class.
  56. Jun 21, 2011
    58
    Although Shadows of the Damned has fun and interesting moments, the end product turns out to be a decent to slightly above average shooter that, at times, feels a little bland.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 93 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. Jun 21, 2011
    10
    I'm currently on Act 3-2 (about 5 hours in). If you have any interest in Suda 51's dark humour & art style as a developer, then this game will not disappoint you. Shadows of the Damned is a perfect combination of eerie & hilarious, and while graphically the game doesn't break any new ground, the game more than makes up for it with it's stylistic visuals and unorthodox gameplay elements. Not to mention, the musical score is a unique achievement all its own; which can only be described as Silent Hill meets Planet Terror.

    The combat, more often than not, is intense and enjoyable; and the boss battles are fun & challenging without being frustrating. My only gripe is that the controls can feel a bit clunky & sluggish at times, but not any more so than say Resident Evil 4. The one-button 180 degree turn mechanic helps remedy this to some degree, but on occasion the sprint button does feel unresponsive (and it really should have been mapped to L3 instead of R1). Again, this is a minor gripe, and it doesn't occur frequently enough to hurt the gameplay. Aside from that, the game does feel like it will probably clock in at around 10 hours. However, I'm playing on the hardest difficulty, so I'm probably looking at about 12 hours. Personally I'm okay with this.

    The light & dark gameplay mechanic is somewhat similar to what is found in Alan Wake (and is executed just as well), but it definitely has the Suda 51 trademark -- shooting munching goat heads as light sources, and igniting fireworks machines instead of boring flood lights. Goat heads you say? Yes... absolutely. And even the game's main character is as baffled as you. Upon discovering this, he aptly replies: "What do I have to do to unlock a door? F##K a horse?"


    Buy this game now. Support creative game development.
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 25, 2011
    10
    Most fun I had this year!! DON'T listen to the reviewers which gave the game negatives, they are unfair because they complain about the gameplay being too similar to Resident Evil 4, but how come no one complains about Dead Space?
    Some critics say its too repetitive, but aren't all shooters repetitive? We still all love shooters even so.

    Legendary japanese names such as Suda Goichi who is known for his crazy ideas in his games directed No More Heroes, Shinji Mikami who is the guy who basically created the third person genre and created the Resident Evil series, and Akira Yamaoka who made the creepy sounds for the Silent Hill series, they all 3 team together to make this awesome game.

    Design:

    This game has a punk and B-movie style feel to it, its design is unique, especially the vibrant neon colours which renders the strange new hell. This hell is like no other hell expressed before, it has like a medieval design to it and goes by it's own rules.

    Those out there who like Quantin Tarantino and Rodriguez should love this as this game is heavily influenced by movies like From Dusk Till Dawn and Grindhouse. Some reviews pointed out that they did not like the dialogue in the game, but it is meant to be cheesy because it is also influenced be Evil Dead.

    FIRSTLY, this game was made to give the players pure fun and is not meant to be taken seriously. The dialogue is there to make you laugh as it is influenced by B-movies, the main character swears alot, makes memorable quotes with his mexican accent and acts badass, he reminds me alot of Ash from Evil Dead. He calls his gun the Boner because it can extend and become bigger. The main character's demon partner, Johnson has a british accent and is hilarious, he tours you around hell as he used to live there, he reminds me of the robot with the british voice in Portal 2.

    Story:

    The story of the game is about a demon slayer, Garcia Hotspur, who has upset the lord of demons, Flemming by killing one too many demons. Flemming kidnaps Garcia's lover Paula to get revenge on him for what he has done to his minions. Garcia, with the help of his demon partner and friend, Johnson, who has the ability to shapeshift into different weapons, set out together to kick the prince of demon's ass, and to bring back his lover, the story progresses along the way and odd things happen.

    Gameplay:

    The gameplay plays like Dead Space and Resident Evil 4, it is an over the shoulder shooter in which you aim with a laser sight and walk while aiming, headshots are vital to execute demons quickily. You upgrade your guns in the game alot as you progress through the game, making it more dangerous for your foes. Light and Darkness play a big role in the game, you must lure enemies away from the darkness, as the darkness makes demons invulnerable and then shoot them with a light shot to make them vulnerable. If you love bosses to fight against, this game is made just for you.

    Overall:

    I give this a 9.5/10 as this game is like no other, it is random in a good way because it is full of surprises, and has a B-movie style to it.

    The gameplay is great overall besides from the rarely occasional camera problems when you are aiming in a tight space, but that doesn't effect the overall experience as it does not happen much.

    There is no new game which means you can't start a new game with your upgraded weapons after you have completed the game which is a little bit of a disappointment, but you can always play the game on the harder difficulty if you have completed the game on normal. You can always experience the crazy journey again or try to unlock trophies.

    It is like experiencing a 10-12 hours Tarantino and Rodriguez movie which everyones gotta experience, its ashame there isn't much hype to this game. Definitely a must buy.

    Story: 8
    Gameplay: 8.5
    Design: 9.5
    Enjoyment: 10

    Overall: 9.5
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 27, 2011
    9
    I just finished this game, and I don't know what people are complaining about. It's a campy gridnhouse game, of course it's going to be immature and cheesy. You don't go see The Dark Knight not wanting to see Batman do you...The game sets out to be a thrill ride to Hell with some cheesy jokes along the way and it does just that. The game play is smooth and fun, although later parts in the game get a little frustrating which is the only thing keeping this game from gaming nirvana. The story is simple, go to Hell to get your girlfriend back from Hell. It's a road trip game. Along the way you get amazing new weapons with great upgrades, and you face harder and harder bosses. That's a good thing, the game play is varied enough that you wont get bored. I beat this game after 2 gaming sessions, its almost impossible to put down. Don't miss out on this amazing game! Full Review »