I’ve never played the original Shadow of the Beast (Amiga, 1989), but from what I’m told, this game is a pretty faithful remake. It’s a short play – roughly 3 hours on normal – but it’s an enjoyable mix of counter-based combat and side-scrolling platforming.
The gameplay is solid and the shining feature of this game. It’s fun and tight, the platforming is solid and feels good. You fight with straight-forward attacks that are pretty much one-hit kills, and the way bodies fly off the screen is quite satisfying. One gripe is that when you’re building a combo, and you lose your rhythm, you really feel it – so much that you’re basically a sitting duck. This was ok on normal difficulty, but I can’t imagine it on anything harder.
Shadow of the Beast looks fantastic, it’s art and scenery often making you forget that you’re limited to simply moving left and right. The levels look great, and provide a lot of depth to an already crisp style. Teleporting to different depths looks awesome as well and when the camera pans out to show you a huge area of a level you thought was pretty linear, it’s quite refreshing.
The game has a throw away story that is even further muddled by the fact that you pretty much need to unlock it yourself. You’ll notice that the characters all speak in foreign languages from the get-go and you’ll have to play through the game to unlock a translator – then play the scenes again to see what was said. It’s neat in concept, but in reality I had very little desire to play this again other than the leaderboard, so I, frankly, had no idea what was happening other than what I could put together from the acting.
All things considered this was a fun little game with great looking visuals and tight controls. It’s a Playstation 4 exclusive, so if you’re a PS4 owner, give it a try! If you’ve played it, let us know what you think in the comments.