Generally favorable reviews - based on 76 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 76
  2. Negative: 0 out of 76
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  1. ZTGD
    Jul 5, 2011
    Suda's crazy story actually works, and the jokes are downright funny at times.
  2. Jun 21, 2011
    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.
  3. Jun 20, 2011
    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.
  4. Jun 27, 2011
    In a world where darkness reigns and the street are engulfed with blood it needs a tough guy like Garcia Hotspur to survive and rescue his loved one. Shadows of the damned is an amazing survival-horror-game with an unique atmosphere and an amazing gameplay. Though the levels are a bit linear the strange and dark scenery make the game a must have, not just for horror fans. Not to forget about Johnson, your loyal companion, who guides you through the underworld, always having a good joke on his lips, ensuring a lot of funny moments.
  5. Jun 26, 2011
    Suda 51's warped, pop-culture-obsessed vision and Mikami's sure-fire action make a heck of a match.
  6. Aug 8, 2011
    The pairing of Suda 51's unhinged creativity with Shinji Mikami's sense for distinguished mechanics is enough to make Shadows of the Damned a compelling release in its own right.
  7. Jul 11, 2011
    Like the grindhouse films it draws inspiration from, Shadows of the Damned might not be for everyone. It's mature sexual content (and immature sexual humor) that's woven together with gore-splattered gameplay set to a unique and refreshing sense of style. Nonetheless, it's an enjoyable experience that never flags.
  8. Games Master UK
    Jul 8, 2011
    Buy this and wonder why more horror-themed games aren't this smart, different and funny. [Aug 2011, p.78]
  9. Jul 7, 2011
    Shadows of the Damned is one of the best games of the year, and I never expected to say that. The only fault I can think of is that it's probably a bit too easy.
  10. Jun 27, 2011
    In an industry where many complain about lack of innovation, Shadows of the Damned is a breath of fresh air. It is an amazing mixture of sensations and provides unimaginable fun.
  11. Jun 25, 2011
    Combining childish humor with bloody demon murder, Shadows of the Damned pays off on the promise of the creative team of developers involved. It may momentarily waver, but SotD has some of the finest grindhouse fun of the summer.
  12. Jun 21, 2011
    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.
  13. Jul 5, 2011
    Frustrating at times, but totally original and completely hilarious throughout, Shadows of the Damned is one of the cleverest, naughtiest, most brilliantly constructed games I've played this year.
  14. Jul 11, 2011
    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.
  15. Jun 23, 2011
    Crude humour, intricate design and a genuine sense of uniqueness make Shadows of the Damned one of the finest games 2011 has served up thus fa
  16. Jun 21, 2011
    Shadows of the Damned balances strong gameplay with artistic delights to create a mesmerizing experience.
  17. Jun 21, 2011
    This crackbrained horror romp takes camp to a new extreme and wants you, the player, to have nothing but fun the entire time. For those in the right frame of mind and a willingness to forgive, that fun will be easy to discover and enjoyed by the bucketful.
  18. Jun 27, 2011
    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.
  19. Jun 29, 2011
    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.
  20. Jun 28, 2011
    A guilty pleasure worth telling your friends about...provided its their kind of game, obviously.
  21. Jun 24, 2011
    Shadows of the Damned is definitely not a game for all those out there, but I do have to say that Grasshopper Manufacture has crafted an original experience that was worth my time to play.
  22. Jul 25, 2011
    While it probably won't rush out and win game of the year awards all over the place when all is said and done, it will contend for a lot of your time right out of the box and is more than deserving of it.
  23. Jul 5, 2011
    An engaging and refreshing survival horror, if that's what it truly can be called. Its got solid combat and challenging puzzles, all wrapped up in excellent atmosphere.
  24. Jun 23, 2011
    One of those games which will be loved by old-school gamers thanks to its great gameplay, hilarious humour and overwhelming charm.
  25. 81
    Shallow and simple design means that there's nothing to obstruct the fun of smashing demon skull. But it also means it's shallow and simple.
  26. Jul 8, 2011
    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.
  27. Jul 1, 2011
    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.
  28. Jun 28, 2011
    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.
  29. Jun 27, 2011
    It's true that, at times, it feels a bit disjointed, the dialogue is occasionally annoyingly clunky and given that it has no online element, you could argue that it's hopelessly old-fashioned. But if you like the sort of gameplay that Resident Evil offers, it will bring you a lot of enjoyment, more or less from start to finish.
  30. Jun 27, 2011
    Shadows of the Damned isn't without its problems, but at the end of the day, it's good demon-blasting fun, with one of the better soundtracks we've heard in a while to boot.
  31. Jun 26, 2011
    A game with a very strong personality and two great main characters, reminiscent of some Rodriguez movies. It sports a solid and varied gameplay, but it could have been much better if it was tweaked to deliver more tension and fear to the player; moreover, eight hours for a playthrough without any incentives to replayability aren't enough. Notwithstanding, it remains a very good game for action-horror lovers.
  32. Jun 25, 2011
    Shadows of the Damned is an entertaining, bizarre, and absolutely hilarious experience. Don't miss out on this trip.
  33. Jun 23, 2011
    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.
  34. Jun 22, 2011
    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.
  35. Jun 22, 2011
    Shadows of the Damned is, overall, a fun game, with hilarious moments and great gameplay. It lacks an interesting plot and it resembles its creator's previous works, but it's a worthy experience that will satisfy third-person action lovers.
  36. 80
    An opera soprano with rocket launchers. Dick jokes. A hulking demon item seller whose tentacles double as lamp lights. Gates with the face of babies, that need to be fed stuff before they open. And best of all: great gameplay, very funny (and immature) dialogue and a hell of a ride. Welcome to Shadows of the Damned.
  37. Jun 21, 2011
    A fantastic road trip through hell, but be aware of what that means. You see some crazy sights, meet some insane characters, and have a lot of fun, but once the trip is over, it's over.
  38. Jun 21, 2011
    It's unapologetically immature, boner-obsessed, and grotesquely violent. And yet, unlike other unapologetically immature, boner-obsessed, and grotesquely violent games of recent memory, there is no meanness of spirit to Shadows' intentions. Practically every gag in the game seems to come from a place of easygoing silliness, rather than a need for forced edginess.
  39. Jun 21, 2011
    A campy, silly and over-the-top adventure. It's certainly pleasing to annihilate demon hordes, but the real drive of Garcia's "road movie" is to see what weird and wonderful thing pops up next, be it a friendly demon with a southern drawl or an unexpected series of 2D shoot-em-up levels.
  40. Jun 21, 2011
    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.
  41. Jun 21, 2011
    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.
  42. 80
    Shadows of the Damned saddles itself with too much fetch-the-widget downtime to be the wholly unpredictable thrill-ride it aspires to be, but it is stuffed full of boisterous personality and pulse-pounding bloodshed.
  43. Aug 18, 2011
    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.
  44. Jul 8, 2011
    Shadows of the Damned will not change games, or gaming. But it will make you laugh and will keep you engaged for some time. It's a solid 10-hour experience for anyone versed in the genre, and if you're into upgrading and collecting, you could squeeze a bit more out of it.
  45. Jun 21, 2011
    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.
  46. 78
    Shadows of the DAMNED is a great action shooter but some parts of it really bring it down, namely a lack of content following the completion of the game and a few issues with the game's pacing as well as a bit of a disappointing couple of boss battles.
  47. Pelit (Finland)
    Oct 19, 2011
    This weird exploitation version of Alan Wake is filled with dirty jokes and interesting scenery. Unfortunately the dull controls make the game situated in hell feel like it's from hell. If you can get past the clunky controls and cramped level design, the game is quite good substitute while the next Resident Evil is in the making. [Aug 2011]
  48. Jul 31, 2011
    It's not perfect, but gamers looking for a title that features lots of quirky humor and some decent gameplay will definitely find both of those things lurking in these Shadows.
  49. Jun 21, 2011
    The "horror road movie" of Suda and Mikami reveals itself as a shooter with a traditional core beneath a unique atmosphere. Stylish characters and funny churlish dialogues make this a game to remember, even if its gameplay doesn't represents anything memorable.
  50. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    Jul 13, 2011
    A defiantly old school shooter that bleeds imagination, but feels stuck in the past. [Sept 2011, p.81]
  51. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jul 30, 2011
    Tribute to B-movies and knowingly "stupid" shooters from the realm of demons. As for the action it is not that stupid – especially thanks to the spectacular scene lighting. [July 2011]
  52. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Jul 25, 2011
    Bizarre, bonkers but not quite brilliant. [Issue#74, p.78]
  53. Jul 21, 2011
    A lot less raunchy juvenile humor and more focus on fixing the weapon aiming would have elevated Shadows of the Damned from the depths of hell to a almost heavenly third-person shooter experience. As it is, though, once gamers acclimate their aiming and focus their efforts on the demon-hunting adventure found in the shadows of the debauchery, Shadows of the Damned is a sometimes-scary ride to Hades and back.
  54. Jul 11, 2011
    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.
  55. Jul 7, 2011
    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.
  56. Jul 5, 2011
    Shadows of the Damned's erratic, slapdash nature leaves you slightly dazed. But despite some alarming dips in quality, despite the game never quite reaching the level of brilliance you hope for, you will be glad you played it.
  57. 70
    With Shadows of the Damned though, Grasshopper nearly has the makings of a franchise that could have a decent future. It does lack replayability and longevity though, and with some repetitious gameplay mechanics in terms of shooter and puzzle action, it's by no means a perfect start. In truth, if it wasn't for the likeable cast of characters, engaging story and Grasshopper's unique take on hell, Shadows of the Damned would almost certainly be a complete let-down.
  58. Jun 27, 2011
    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.
  59. Jun 24, 2011
    A low-brow mix of Resident Evil 4 and No More Heroes, that is far from the best from either creator but still a fun and subversive shooter.
  60. Jun 22, 2011
    A mixed bag. On one hand: a unique design and some great visuals. On the other: quite linear gameplay and a painted on attitude.
  61. Jun 21, 2011
    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.
  62. Jun 21, 2011
    Lacks the polish of Mikami's Capcom work, showing a rough edge that its creators no doubt hope communicates their punk attitude to game development, but really just comes across as a bit shoddy. But at a time when few publishers of EA's stature are willing to take genuine risks, its uniqueness is welcome and interesting. And as a celebration of the puerile, it leaves Duke Nukem Forever standing, staring longingly at its tit bridge.
  63. 70
    Unique, entertaining but over all too quickly.
  64. Jun 21, 2011
    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.
  65. Jun 20, 2011
    Shadows of the Damned is all about the gritty charachter design of Suda 51. The game itself is nothing more than a fast-paced action version of Resident Evil 5.
  66. Sep 16, 2011
    The weapons feel great, it's fun to navigate the levels, and some of the boss fights are pretty fun. Shadows of the Damned has a comfortable base level, it just lacks the peaks to make it great.
  67. Jul 24, 2011
    Not as scary as the likes of Silent Hill or Resident Evil, not as funny as No More Heroes and not as original as Killer7, leaving it stuck in video game limbo.
  68. Jul 8, 2011
    Shadows of the Damned's slick visuals and offbeat sensibility is worth checking out, despite its ordinary gameplay. Besides, ordinary doesn't mean bad. Beheading demons with a shotgun that fires skulls has a certain amount of appeal, after all. It's pretty brainless, but it's a weekend's worth of stuff to shoot, and sometimes that's all you really need.
  69. Jun 25, 2011
    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.
  70. Jul 14, 2011
    Shadows of the Damned, despite some interesting ideas and intense action, falls victim to poor game design in the second half of the experience. Frustrating turret levels, going back to the 2D well one too many times, and puzzles that literally halt the game's pacing all mar what could have been a great game.
  71. Jun 21, 2011
    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.
  72. Dec 12, 2011
    Short of the opening music, which is awesome and sounds like a demonic mariachi band, I can't think of many redeeming qualities in Shadows of the Damned. It's not in the same craptastic league as Thor, which suffered from horrible gameplay and production values; it's just a waste of time.
  73. Jul 7, 2011
    It is a great pity that Grasshopper did not manage to match so masterly created environment and a story packed with black humour with a game of appropriate quality. Each of the great ideas is almost perfectly drowned in a flood of incomprehensible errors.
  74. Jun 27, 2011
    Shadows of the Damned is one of the more compromised and conventional games on either Suda's or Mikami's resume despite the expected mild surrealism and occasional nods to old school video game grammar. And that makes it a resounding disappointment.
  75. Jun 23, 2011
    Accentuat[es] Suda's often over-indulgent scriptwriting and accelerat[es] Mikami's brand of horror into a hyper-gothic, shock-free world of bright lights. With a little more restraint and focus on the core experience, Shadows Of The Damned could have been the action thrill ride Garcia Hotspur thinks it is. Instead the game – like Hotspur himself – is all talk.
  76. Jun 22, 2011
    Functional, but unexciting, Shadows' will fill the rainy Sunday mornings of ardent Suda 51 fans, but doesn't have any specific grounds upon which to recommend it. This game really is just painfully average in every way, and you shouldn't let Garcia's accent and tattoos deceive you into thinking otherwise.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 177 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 177
  1. Jun 25, 2011
    This game is what Duke Nukem Forever should have been. Its funny, creative, and entertaining. It is also very rude and very graphic, so thisThis game is what Duke Nukem Forever should have been. Its funny, creative, and entertaining. It is also very rude and very graphic, so this game is not for the easily offended or the faint of heart. The one main draw of this game is its linearity, however, it is not enough to hurt the overall experience. Good game: A- Full Review »
  2. Jun 23, 2011
    Wow, great job Grasshopper. I was skeptical when first hearing about this development. Although my 8 year old son should not play this, due toWow, great job Grasshopper. I was skeptical when first hearing about this development. Although my 8 year old son should not play this, due to the crude language, he will just have to stay in his room haha. Excellent game play and such a diverse game that I have never seen before...and I have played many games. The bowling alley scene is genius, props to whoever came up with that. These level designers must be highly experienced to say the least. Although It would of been nice to drive that car. I mean c'mon lol. Whomever is the designer or team who creatively summed that bowling scene should teach other companies how to add a little spin and the unexpected to video games. Great job Grasshopper, great job. Full Review »
  3. Jun 21, 2011
    Love this game so far, it reminds me of Constantine the movie If Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino had directed it. So in all it'sLove this game so far, it reminds me of Constantine the movie If Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino had directed it. So in all it's Constantine meets Ghost Rider meets Machete meets The Evil Dead= Shadows Of The Damned Full Review »