Publisher: Microsoft/Xbox Live Arcade
Release Date: Out Now
If you’re ancient enough, Shadow Complex will bring memories of several classic 2-D platform adventures flooding back, and they’re all good ones. Impossible Mission, Another World, Flashback and the first two Oddworld games were all probably inspiration for Shadow Complex.
Jason Fleming is the reluctant hero—much like Conrad B. Hart from the classic 2-D platform adventure Flashback or Abe from the Oddworld games. On what is supposedly a romantic exploration of a local beauty spot, Jason’s girlfriend is arrested and abducted by some unidentified and heavily armed soldiers, and naturally he wants her back, and so the adventure begins.
Starting out with nothing more than a torch, you explore a secret underground complex and find weapons, gadgets and parts of an awesome hi-tech battle armour suit that you get a brief experience of right at the start of the game. What this brief time with the armour doesn’t let you in on is how clever some of the levels are, or how explosive the action is, or how complex the complex you have to explore is.
Shadow Complex costs 1200 MS points (currently £10.20/$14.99), and I must say I did balk at its price tag slightly as many quality DLC packs come at 800 MS points or less. But you can’t really go wrong (especially if you’re a fan of the aforementioned 2-D platform adventure classics) because of its lifespan of 9 hours or so (if you don’t run through the game) and more than a little replay value thanks to lots of hidden items and 21 VR-style challenge levels - some of which are devilishly designed. Epic did well to take Chair under their wing and have set an impressive benchmark for XBLA titles with this one.
- Classic 2-D gameplay mixed with quality HD visuals.
- Cool weapons
- Clever levels
- Twitchy aiming
- Sudden movement makes some platform sections overly tricky