Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

The Campaign Mode In Total War: ROME II

Jul-26-2013
Comments Off

Sacred 3

Aug-4-2014
Comments Off

From Dust

Aug-9-2011
Comments Off

Shadows: Awakening

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 5 - 2018

An action RPG across two realms.

 
Developed by Games Farm and published by Kalypso Media, Shadows: Awakening is the latest game in the Heretic Kingdoms saga, not that this will mean much to the majority of players on console, and it didn’t mean much to me. I could not remember ever visiting the Heretic Kingdoms before, but while I admit that some previous knowledge of this rich game world could have enhanced my experience in Shadows: Awakening on Xbox One, I certainly didn’t feel like I missed out on anything. Shadows: Awakening is quite capable of standing on its own, and makes a very attractive proposition for fans of the action RPG genre that are looking for something new, with a little twist.

 
sa1 (Copy)

 
That twist is given to the player almost a the very beginning of the game, and plays an important role throughout. Players begin the game as a Devourer, some kind of demon, that has been summoned by a mysterious hooded man. Quite quickly, the demon must consume the soul of a fallen hero, giving the player a choice between three heroes fitting into the usual stereotype classes of warrior, thief or mage. This is where things get interesting though, as once a soul has been consumed, the player can switch between playing as the demon, or the hero, which also means swapping between realms.

 
The demon exists in the shadow realm, while the hero in the mortal realm. The simple press of a button will swap from one realm to the other, opening up all sorts of interesting possibilities for play. There will be different enemies in either realm, along with different treasures and rewards. But there will also be different routes available. In the mortal realm may be a broken bridge, while the shadow realm will reveal a whole bridge and a new area to explore. When in combat, swapping between the realms opens new possibilities, and often defeating a boss will involve carefully negotiating both realms. Even the puzzles in the game will often have solutions base in both realms.

 
sa2 (Copy)

 
However, flitting between the two realms does present some problems. It’s a cool mechanic that opens up all sorts of possibilities. But it also means that each area is pretty much double in size and to find every treasure and defeat every enemy will require pretty much double the time. This is no big deal in the early hours of the game, but can start to feel like it is artificially extending the game and can become a bit tiresome once the player starts getting into double figure hours of gameplay.

 
Still, there is an overriding story involving another bunch of demons and a threat to the world, all guided by the old guy in the hood. It’s an okay story, but what is more interesting is the individual stories of the initial three heroes that the player can choose from, as they each have their own motivations and personalities that shine through in the gameplay. As the player progresses, more heroic souls can be devoured and thus the player will be able to develop a team of very different characters to switch between during play.

 
The characters that make up the players team have their own different skills, and can be equipped with different weapons and armour, making for a huge variety of customisation options. As is the norm in games of this type, the loot drops come quick and regularly, giving access to a huge number of choices for the player when dealing with as many as four different characters. Coin is also dropped, which can be spent at the various vendors to give access to yet more choice. Weapons and armour can further be enhanced with essence, providing different buffs to the character using them. For players who love the idea of maximising a team and getting the most from them, Shadows: Awakening will provide hours of entertainment as the player looks through the masses of equipment available, while trying to match up the skills of different characters to create epic, enemy destroying combos. However, for those who prefer to just get on with the actual job of playing the game, the choices can become a little overwhelming.

 
sa3 (Copy)

 
The combat is enjoyable, and works pretty much as you would expect from an action RPG. Each character has a standard attack and then a selection of timed special attacks, and the obvious switching between characters and realms gives the player plenty of chance to match their attacks to the enemies. Some enemies will need to be damaged in the shadow realm before being attacked in the mortal realm, and some skills work great in conjunction with the skills of other characters to create devastating overall attacks. I have to say that using ranged attacks, be they magic or physical, were more tricky than I would have liked due to some difficulty targetting enemies, but this was a small fly in the ointment and just became something else to take into account while playing.

 
Visually, Shadows: Awakening does look like an old school RPG. The characters and enemies all look good, but their movements can be awkward and not fluid,  although it has to be said that the environments are nicely detailed and give the game personality. On the flip side, the voice work is stellar, despite the overuse of lines by some characters, and the sound work is equally great.

 
sa4 (Copy)

 
Shadows: Awakening brings some great ideas to the action RPG genre, with the character switching and realm switching offering something slightly different to the wealth of other similar games on the market. It may prove to be a little deep for some of the more casual players, but for anyone happy to crawl through different load outs to get the most from their team, there is a lot here to like. It is perhaps not as polished as would have been nice, but that doesn’t prevent hours and hours of action RPG fun for anyone who picks up Shadows: Awakening.

 

 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 



 

Comments are closed.

The Settlers – 25 Years Anniversary Trailer

Posted by GG Goblin
  • title_ad2
  • title_ad2
  • title_ad2
  • title_ad2
  • title_ad2
  • Surviving Mars: Space Race

    Posted by GG Goblin
    Nov-19-2018

    Pilot Sports

    Posted by GG Goblin
    Nov-19-2018

    TSIOQUE

    Posted by GG Goblin
    Nov-15-2018

    LEGO Harry Potter Collection

    Posted by GG Goblin
    Nov-13-2018

    For Honor: Marching Fire

    Posted by GG Goblin
    Nov-12-2018

    Call Of Cthulhu

    Posted by GG Goblin
    Nov-12-2018

    The Colonists

    Posted by GG Goblin
    Nov-9-2018

    Red Dead Redemption 2

    Posted by GG Goblin
    Nov-8-2018