User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 44
  2. Negative: 7 out of 44
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  1. Apr 12, 2019
    6
    The best way to describe this game is that it plays like a cross between Trine and Diablo. You play as a demon who has the ability to absorb the souls of others and this then gives you the ability to switch between the demon and up to 3 other characters at will (typically an archer, warrior and mage class character), though you only actually control one character at a time. Each characterThe best way to describe this game is that it plays like a cross between Trine and Diablo. You play as a demon who has the ability to absorb the souls of others and this then gives you the ability to switch between the demon and up to 3 other characters at will (typically an archer, warrior and mage class character), though you only actually control one character at a time. Each character (including the demon) has up to 8 unique abilities (with up to 3 skill ranks in each) which they can learn, though only 3 of these can be mapped for use in combat at any given time.

    You begin play as the demon (known as the devourer) and then explore this strange mausoleum where you get to choose your first soul from one of three tombs nearby. Depending on your play style, you may opt for Kalig (a warrior), Jasker (an archer) or Evia (a mage). Once you have chosen one of them, the other two can never be recruited in your current game. The demon and your chosen character can then never be removed from your group and can later be joined by up to two other companions, who you may come across in your travels. I'm nearing the end of the game playing as Evia, and I kind of regret choosing her as her abilities seem quite underpowered compared to those of her companions.

    Combat is quite fun and plays out in a similar way to this studio's earlier title, Vikings: Wolves of Midgard, with the two main differences; firstly, you can switch between any of your 4 characters on the fly to make use of their abilities or to remove a character who has taken a severe beating. Secondly, as the devourer does not exist in the material world, you immediately find yourself in the shadow world when switching to him. This means you have additional enemies to fight who are native to that world, though some enemies exist in both. You also gain the ability to see certain things, like clues to puzzles, that would not be visible in the material world, and you may also be able to travel through areas that would be otherwise restricted. This makes combat a bit more interesting and adds more of tactical element as you switch between your active characters to combine their abilities. Boss fights can be a bit frustrating though, as you will often be forced to kite them just to survive.

    The game's weakest points are its story, its puzzles and the camera. The story is a bit vague, even right at the start, and I still don't understand it completely or my characters' motivations for travelling together as a collective group of souls owned by the devourer. Some mysterious mage who summons the devourer at the beginning of the game wants to overthrow some order known as the Inquisition, who have taken over the known world and banned the worship of any gods. Apparently your job is to defeat them and prevent the end of the world, but it never seems clear as to why or how this is going to happen until near the end of the game. The lore which gets presented to you in the game, in the form of books and notes you come across, is somewhat unintuitive and does almost nothing to pique your interest, sadly. There are seem to be numerous spelling and grammatical errors in the game's tooltips, particularly when compared to their earlier Vikings game.

    The puzzles are my second gripe. It seems the developers put these in to extend the length of the game, unlike Vikings which was almost purely a hack-and-slash title. These puzzles typically involve flicking some levers in a certain order, or walking across a series of tiles in a certain order to open a locked door or gate. In some cases, switching to the devourer lets you see some runes in the shadow world which indicate the sequence of tiles etc to follow, but in a lot of other cases, you will have to use trial and error to figure out some of the puzzles, which can be time consuming and irritating. It would have been better if more of the puzzles involved logical thinking, or if there were just fewer of them instead.

    My third gripe is that, just like Vikings, you also still cannot rotate the in-game camera, nor can you zoom it. This means you may still have your character partially obscured by a wall during a frantic boss fight, and you won't be able to zoom in close to admire your character's nifty new set of armour except from their character sheet.

    Summary:
    - A Diablo/Trine type game with some nice level design, a decent soundtrack, acceptable voice acting and a combat system that is made more interesting by the ability to switch between 4 different characters on the fly. Sadly, it's let down a bit by a somewhat short length, vague story, numerous spelling and grammatical errors, irritating puzzles and a horribly limited in-game camera.

    Would normally be worth 7/10, but subtracting 1 for the gripes above. Definitely worth picking up on sale if you like games like Diablo or Grim Dawn though.
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Awards & Rankings

Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. 70
    An interesting take on the isometric ARPG, Shadows: Awakening provides a short romp through the main campaign with three different endings providing some limited replayability.
  2. Sep 23, 2018
    74
    Clever gameplay with changing worlds drives the action role-playing game, but long-term motivation fails to appear.
  3. Sep 17, 2018
    72
    Shadows Awakening is a solid ARPG with a deep lore and engaging story. Tragically, a few outdated elements bog down its fun and unique combat system.