Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows Image
Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 4 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

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  • Summary: Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows is a free expansion for Shovel Knight, a sweeping classic action adventure game that won over 70 Game of the Year Awards in 2014. You play as Plague Knight, the villainous master of alchemy, in a quest all his own. Using his maniacal scientific mind, PlagueShovel Knight: Plague of Shadows is a free expansion for Shovel Knight, a sweeping classic action adventure game that won over 70 Game of the Year Awards in 2014. You play as Plague Knight, the villainous master of alchemy, in a quest all his own. Using his maniacal scientific mind, Plague Knight is seeking to concoct Serum Supernus, the Ultimate Potion. However, to retrieve these ingredients, he must extract them from his former allies… the villainous knights of the Order of No Quarter! World class platforming, music, storytelling, and art all return in Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows; an explosive quest with a new play style, new story, new bosses, and more! Expand

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Shovel Knight - Battletoads Teaser Trailer
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. 90
    If you already have Shovel Knight, you can play this for free today. For people who haven’t already bought Shovel Knight on whatever platform you own, what’s wrong with you? It’s one of the best games I’ve ever played, and this massive content pack doubles its scope.
  2. NF Magazine
    Sep 30, 2015
    85
    Plague Knight may be stuck in Shovel Knight's shadow, yet despite the lack of sunlight, he's able to shine in his own quirky way. [Issue #17 – September/October 2015, p.19]
  3. Oct 6, 2015
    80
    This might be a free add-on; the content and fun is as good as the full story. The controls of Plague Knight feel so different and the surroundings feel brand new. This is a great excuse to play Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows again.
  4. Oct 28, 2015
    80
    One of the best retro homages of recent years combines the choicest elements of older 2D games with plenty of new ideas of its own – as well as a completely free expansion pack.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Mar 26, 2017
    10
    Shovel Knight was a perfect game. This is a perfect expansion. Everything controls and handles so differently from the core game, it really isShovel Knight was a perfect game. This is a perfect expansion. Everything controls and handles so differently from the core game, it really is a different experience. Better story, more fleshed-out characters, great customization, challenging (but not frustrating) difficulty level, etc. Expand
  2. Sep 18, 2015
    10
    *While I feel that there are times where looking at either the screen or game-pad during game play can be discerning, using the pro controller*While I feel that there are times where looking at either the screen or game-pad during game play can be discerning, using the pro controller quickly removed the middle man from the equation.*

    The game is essentially just Shovel Knight, except with a new character to play as. And IT'S AMAZING!

    Every course feels new, all the songs are memorable and great to listen to, the fights are completely different and scary at some times, and Plague Knight feels like his own person, both in dialogue and performance. The money system is pretty on-point in terms of feeling like I should check all my shops before frivolously spending left and right. And those green alchemy coins, while bizarre, are the basic unlockables of the game, and that's all right with me.

    I have 2 problems with the game: it feels weird on the Wii U, and the process of how to start the game.

    1. The screen either feels too pushed in, or too far apart at times, for my enjoyment - though to be fair, that may just be my TV - I recommend playing Shovel Knight on the Wii U... but maybe take a look at the 3DS version for Plague Knight. It just works better on the handheld.

    2. My other problem is that some bug or glitch occurred, where I downloaded the update after I had already beaten the game once. It didn't tell me to start a new game in order to play as plague knight, and sat there for half an hour, beating the final boss again, just to see if that's what I needed to do in order to unlock Plague Knight. Despite the bad taste in my mouth that bug left me, I immediately felt better after playing the game.

    Overall, a must-have for any Shovel Knight lovers out there.

    Also, it's a free update. Even though technically the KickStarter-ers already paid for it... technically.
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  3. Nov 30, 2015
    9
    Let me preface this by saying shovel knight was one of my favourite games of last year, in fact one of my favourites of all time. This freeLet me preface this by saying shovel knight was one of my favourite games of last year, in fact one of my favourites of all time. This free DLC add on gives so much more in ways of content that I still am amazed it was indeed FREE.

    The titular character Plague Knight is the main character here utilizing his potions and other alchemical tricks to fly around the stage and dispatch of enemies in explosive ways. While shovel knight had near perfect controls and game play, plague of shadows utilizes speed and bomb hops to fly around the stage and drop bombs on the baddies. Which at first takes a while getting used too, but once you shoot off at high speed and eliminate all the enemies you feel like a badass.

    All of the stages have been remixed to best suit this new gameplay style with extra areas to test your new skills. Added green alchemy coins make up the collectibles used to unlock different bomb blasts and potions, all which can be useful in certain situations, however I did find myself sticking to the same combination by the end half.

    New bosses and new music are amazing and brilliant and no more needs to be said.

    The best part of the game is the new story elements introduced as to why plague knight would fight the other knights of no. quarter, even hiding in the sewers of town as an outcast. All the romance, the story, the dialogue is fantastic and you become invested into this quirky character alot

    Honestly a stellar DLC and would be worth paying for let alone being FREE. pick it up along with shovel knight if you haven't already.
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  4. Jan 26, 2018
    8
    Just as good as the main campaign tight controls and some really challenging areas that took a lot of attempts to get past (mainly in the 2ndJust as good as the main campaign tight controls and some really challenging areas that took a lot of attempts to get past (mainly in the 2nd half) and the cherry on top is the charming little story. Expand
  5. May 27, 2017
    8
    8.5 - Great platformer. Innovative levels and cool, distinct character abilities, however certain soundtracks feel too similar to Shovel8.5 - Great platformer. Innovative levels and cool, distinct character abilities, however certain soundtracks feel too similar to Shovel Knight's and character movement feels like it could be improved. Challenge mode is really good as well, and the final bosses are challenging and well made. Expand
  6. Sep 18, 2015
    2
    This would've been a pretty decent game if it had come out first, but following "Shovel Knight" it only ends up bloating the experience. VeryThis would've been a pretty decent game if it had come out first, but following "Shovel Knight" it only ends up bloating the experience. Very few new music tracks, and most of the new tracks are just remixes of Plague Knight's theme so they get old pretty fast. The Knight levels only have a few new areas specific to Plague Knight, and many sections designed for Shovel Knight's limitations are an absolute breeze as Plague Knight. Only two new boss fights, the rest are exactly the same as they were in the original campaign, most are much easier as a result of being able to pepper them with bombs at a distance while spamming the overpowered tonics, there's only one boss that really gave me any trouble. I feel confident in saying 90% of the content is a retread.

    Plague Knight constantly controls like Shovel Knight did on ice, and controls even worse when actually *on* ice. A few sections are made more difficult due to the lack of a Phase Locket-esque item, but again Plague Knight's air mobility generally makes the game much easier to get through. Spending more time in the air than on the ground is the way to go with Plague Knight.

    You'll get a lot of bomb upgrades but I only ended up using three variants. I spent very little time in the menus so I don't know their exact names, there's the standard throw you start with, the lob, and the one that creates an orbiting effect like many Mega Man weapons. I ended up testing all bomb types on the one boss that gave me difficulty, but ultimately these were the only three I needed to get through the game and it was still pretty easy, there are a ton of options here but it's completely unnecessary. Ultimately this is Shovel Knight's world, and putting Plague Knight in an experience that is largely identical was inevitably going to break things. A new character in brand new levels designed to take full advantage of all his traits while reusing the same assets to cut down on resource requirements in development would've been far more enjoyable, even if it ended up being half the length of the original campaign as a result.

    There's a nice little love story going on here which I enjoyed quite a bit. There's something endearing about an awkward 8-bit love story, it's without a doubt the best thing going for the game - I actually enjoyed this story more than Shovel Knight's.

    Ultimately this ends up suffering the same way Shovel Knight did. Stage design is too reliant on what was already done on the past than providing something new. Combat is generally clunky. The biggest issue is actually that the game is too long. Two knights could've been tossed to help with pacing but felt like they were put in there because they had the idea, might as well throw it all in, right? Then the last few stages feel rushed, there's a huge difficulty spike that makes the game unenjoyable, it's really inconsistent with the rest of the game, but like Shovel Knight, I pressed on anyway due to the time investment to get there, I figured I might as well finish what I was so near completing. It is absolutely a slog though, and it's disappointing they didn't take the time to refine the final act.

    Overall Shovel Knight is a game best experienced as Shovel Knight, but I do have my other review up on here if you want to see my opinion on that. I feel both these attempts at the classic 8-bit platformer are outclassed by "Castle in the Darkness", which I highly recommend checking out if you have yet to play it. There's a challenge mode present with this content as well but aside from a handful of brand-new half-baked bite-sized stages, it's really just a boss rush mode. Pretty throwaway.

    I kind of feel like a jerk for giving free content a 2/10, but free =/= good. There are some good ideas here, but if it came down to it I really would've been okay paying $5 to get a better Plague Knight experience. This is free, but it doesn't improve on Shovel Knight, nor does it do it better in a different way. It plays more like an unlicensed attempt at Shovel Knight than an official attempt at improving/restructuring the Shovel Knight formula, and that probably has everything to do with it being free. We get what we pay for. Honestly the Battletoads stage exclusive to the XB1 version of Shovel Knight's campaign is better than anything present here. Maybe if they had focused more on polishing this mode than porting the game to every system under the sun (this is currently available on 10 different platforms), things would've been better.
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