Shadow Complex

Proving that DLC doesn't have to stand for "disappointingly little content."

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Epic Games Shadow Complex
  • Epic Games Shadow Complex
  • Epic Games Shadow Complex
  • Epic Games Shadow Complex
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • A terrific action experience and further proof that DLC games can be just as compelling as full-pledged products

Cons

  • The story is lacklustre, gameplay moves along a fairly linear path, 2.5-D plane makes navigation a bit tricky at times

Bottom Line

Shadow Complex is an engaging and action-packed title filled with the type of old-school arcade action that you just don't see too much in this day and age.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    TBA (AUD)
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[CODED TRANSMISSION]
[RED TAG=Shadow Complex]
[KEY=X1-Delta-B]
[PRIORITY CLEARANCE=EYES ONLY]
[TRANSMISSION BEGINS]

Listen. I don't have much time. They've keyed into my position and they're closing fast. I'll have to make this quick. Infiltration of target [CONTENT CLASSIFIED] complete. Acquisition of project 'Shadow Complex' complete. I repeat: acquisition of project 'Shadow Complex' complete.

Field notes have been uploaded to data house [CONTENT CLASSIFIED]. Initiating extraction protocol six-one-nine-charlie. That chopper better be there on time, Command, or I'm going to be pissed. Wait a minute...hang on.
No.
No, come on...not now. Not-
Damn it! Position compromised, Command! Aborting six-one-nine-charlie! I repeat, abor-

[END TRANSMISSION]
[CURRENT AGENT STATUS=MIA]
[STATUS OF KILLSWITCH=inactive]

[ATTACHMENT]
[HEADING=FIELD NOTES]
[GREEN TAG=Agent TKK]

- The 'Shadow Complex' project is much bigger in scope than we initially thought. Preliminary field reports did not fully account for the complexity and sophistication of the project. Though development was thought to be small-scale, it is now clear that it is far bigger than we realized. 'Shadow Complex' is similar in scale to previous initiatives such as 'Symphony of the Night' and 'Super Metroid.'

- Visually, 'Shadow Complex' shows a level of sophistication previously unseen in a project of this size. They must have recruited some top talent for this one, Command. I was pretty damn impressed by what I saw. The 2.5-D plane works well, even if navigation is sometimes hampered by the camera angles. You wouldn't think such a small project would be capable of delivering this level of visual complexity but you'd be wrong.

- Gameplay wise, 'Shadow Complex' follows the protocols found in the two inititives mentioned above. I didn't see anything particularly new or inventive; it looks like they're just working off the same playbook. But again, the level of refinement is pretty damn impressive. This thing moves like butter and tastes just as good. The gun battles are satisfying, there are tons of secret areas to uncover and even though it moves you along a linear path, it never feels stunted or closed off. You're constantly acquiring new powers and abilities and these open up previously unaccessible areas; it's damn addictive, Command.

- Fortunately, the threat level isn't nearly the same. While 'Shadow Complex' does a good job of mimicking the formula, it doesn't contain the same level of depth or complexity, especially in terms of story. Still, I wouldn't second-guess its threat capability. This thing has the potential to cripple a victim's free time reserve.

- The delivery vehicle also has me worried. This thing is designed to infiltrate systems through the XBLA protocol at a cost of 1200 MSP. That may seem prohibitive but it's not; I predict adoption rates will be high. Thankfully, the infection only lasts about five to six hours, possibly seven or eight in severe cases. There's also a secondary pathogen called "Proving Grounds" that may exacerbate things. Though infection times may seem minimal, the effects, while they last, are noticeable and include a sense of euphoria and elation.

- In conclusion, I have no choice but to label 'Shadow Complex' a high priority threat. I'm still shocked that a project of this scale could produce such a viable threat but I guess it's a lesson not to underestimate the capabilities of the digital distribution channel.

[END NOTES]

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