Generally favorable reviews - based on 73 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 73
  2. Negative: 0 out of 73
  1. Shadow Complex is an incredibly well-made game that finally grabs the "Metroidvania" subgenre and drags it into the modern era instead of relegating it to a land of remakes or portable games.
  2. 100
    It's a must-play game for anyone who loves the reward-based exploration and side-scrolling action of the side-scrollers of old.
  3. 100
    Saying that Shadow Complex is a triumph of Live Arcade almost sounds insulting. It’s one of the best games in the 360 library. The gameplay is tuned tighter than a Maserati, and Jason’s flowing movements nearly make the Prince of Persia seem crippled.
  4. 100
    Shadow Complex is an amazing game, and the 15 bucks this will be the best buy you do this year. Chair has a bright future ahead of them and after seeing what they could do with this game I can't wait to see what they could create if they were given the chance to make a big AAA title.
  5. 95
    Despite the short-but-sweet nature of the game, it actually delivers more value than a significant portion of full retail-priced Xbox 360 games. Shadow Complex is a game that is incredibly simple and straight-forward in the most intuitive and imaginative way possible.
  6. An incredibly solid game that could fetch $30-40 as a retail copy.
  7. Also of note is the game’s wicked cool take on stat and achievement tracking. Things like how many enemies you’ve performed a melee attack on or mini spider bots you’ve kicked are tracked, and you’re shown updates as they happen.
  8. Good omen have been more than confirmed, this is a Metroid-like game which will please those looking for alternative action formulas, and it makes its job very well.
  9. Shadow Complex completely revolutionizes the console's downloadable market by setting a new standard for quality that is second to none. Simply put, it is the best original game you can currently buy on XBLA.
  10. Its stellar design, eye-popping presentation, addictive gameplay and, of course, that very reasonable price tag, make it an easy purchasing decision for anyone looking for an endlessly engaging experience—you might find yourself playing start to finish in a single sitting.
  11. It may seem like the average price of games on the XBLA is increasing without any correlation to quality, but rest assured, Shadow Complex is worth every Microsoft point you pay.
  12. 94
    One of the best games yet in 2009. And I'm not just talking about the Xbox Live Arcade. The classic, exploration-heavy gameplay is a winner.
  13. What’s ultimately important for Shadow Complex, is that it is completely unimportant how people got the game. It could be download, it could be retail, who gives a you know what. What matters is that it is great, truly great even. One of the best new games you’re going to play on your Xbox 360 this year, hands down.
  14. If you are a fan of Action games you should buy Shadow Complex, If you aren't... you should buy it too.
  15. Offers a perfect blend of retro gameplay and modern design sensibilities. Xbox Live Arcade games don’t come much better than this! [Aug 2009]
  16. One of the best games on Live Arcade, capable of rivaling even many of the retail games out there. A great level design keeps the gameplay interesting and entertaining from start to finish, together with great visuals and very high overall production quality. Definitely a must buy.
  17. While the narrative could’ve used better pacing – and more antagonists to boot – Chair Entertainment did an overall great job at retaining the interest all throughout the storyline.
  18. At 1200 Microsoft Points (around $15), Shadow Complex is one of the most fulfilling, robust packages the Xbox Live Arcade has to offer, which is a steal for a game that could have easily been released at retail.
  19. All in all, Shadow Complex is a finely-crafted game that is sure to please anyone with a fondness for the older Metroids or the newer side-scrolling Castlevanias as this offers up a similar experience, with some of its own touches that help it stand out from the rest.
  20. The four years Shadow Complex spent in development was well worth the effort. Shadow Complex is absolutely amazing and shouldn’t be disregarded because it’s only available for download.
  21. While the classic Metroid gameplay might not appeal to a few gamers, this new 2.5D graphic twist with some excellent new gameplay choices we have an instant classic. If the 1200 MS (15$) point price scares you or even turns you off don’t let it, this is worth every penny and more.
  22. It's accessible, fun, and rewarding to play through. Shadow Complex is a crucial game, as it raises the bar for future budget-priced downloadables.
  23. A stunningly-executed, modern-day Super Metroid.
  24. It's a game that will delight gamers old enough to recognise the classics it celebrates, while captivating those oblivious to its inspirations.
  25. Shadow Complex is a stunning demonstration of what you can squeeze onto the service. Play it, marvel at it, and hope that it's the future of downloadable games.
  26. Shadow Complex is a must have game, it oozes quality and puts some box titles to shame.
  27. Shadow Complex is a triumph, a new standard for downloadable games. It’s a game in the purest sense, but is as “next-gen” as any Xbox 360 owner could hope for. And at 1200 MS Points it’s an absolute bargain guaranteed to fill rival XBLA developers with fear.
  28. Chair Entertainmet and Epic Games developed Shadow Complex as an action game based on classiscs like Metroid series. This game will allow you to explore secrets in a EE UU military basement with a fast paced action gameplay and stunning graphics powered by Unreal Engine 3.
  29. Shadow Complex is still 1200 Microsoft Points well spent for a simple shoot-em-up that will keep trigger-happy gamers blasting bad guys for days on end.
  30. Shadow Complex offers a retail-quality experience for 1/4th of the price. Fans of any type of action-adventure gaming would be crazy to miss out on this refreshing shooter. Now bring on Shadow Complex 2!
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 191 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 46
  2. Negative: 3 out of 46
  1. Jan 18, 2014
    Shadow Complex captures the essence of Metroidvania games and has some very great upgrades to boot. Excellent sense of progression,Shadow Complex captures the essence of Metroidvania games and has some very great upgrades to boot. Excellent sense of progression, interesting plot great exploration and a good combat system. This game is probably the best XBLA game you can get. Full Review »
  2. Oct 2, 2013
    Awesome Metroidvania type of game. One of the most fun games I've played. Game design is excellent. I loved the mix of 2d with 3d. SometimesAwesome Metroidvania type of game. One of the most fun games I've played. Game design is excellent. I loved the mix of 2d with 3d. Sometimes the controls can be frustrating though...the character doesn't do what you want him to do. Full Review »
  3. mobius
    Aug 26, 2009
    Looks like there are a couple of PS3 voters here and they seem a little annoyed that shadow complex aint on their system boo hoo. anyway Looks like there are a couple of PS3 voters here and they seem a little annoyed that shadow complex aint on their system boo hoo. anyway regardless if this is a metroid ripoff or not because ive never played a metroid game. for me this game brings back memorys of old classics like Flashback, Abe's oddysee and Another World. . its a big game and a real beauty to look at. now im off to give random PS3 games negative reviews because their not available on the XBOX boo hoo. Full Review »