Official Shadow Man Site
Come to the Deadside
Back in June, FiringSquad (motto: lookit them hamsters fly!) brought you a preview of Shadow Man, a new 3D adventure game by Acclaim. While you may have thought you were rid of our rantings on the subject, they're back even stronger now, like a nasty case of herpes. We recently got our hands on the gold pressing of Shadow Man, and we're here with the full scoop: should you play it? Should you buy it? Should you devote your life to becoming Shadow Man, Lord of Darkside? Keep reading to find out! (That's called a teaser, kids)
For those of you that didn't read my preview, I know where you live, and I'm going to slash your tires. Shadow Man is based on the Hero comic book of the same name. The plot, in a fairly small nutshell, is this: Mike LeRoi, an English Lit grad student turned hired assassin, is overtaken by Mama Nettie, a centuries-old voodoo priestess, and has the Mask of Shadows implanted into his chest. At night, or when he crosses over into Deadside (land of the dead, strangely enough), he becomes Shadow Man, immortal being and lord of Deadside. He is controlled by Mama Nettie via the mask in his chest, and must follow her bidding, which is to stop evil forces from usurping Deadside.
Shadow Man has earned a Mature rating from the Evil Software Rating Board, and it's fairly obvious why. One of the main objects of the game is to track down five undead serial killers, all of which you must read detailed files on. Blood and gore abound in the game, from huge butcher-looking thugs to tormented souls crying in anguish as you gun them down. There's even a bit of sex alluded to; to maintain her voodoo powers, Mama Nettie forces Shadow Man to sleep with her (yes, in the biblical sense), transferring the Mask's power back into her current body (that of an unfortunate woman who got entangled with the priestess).
Garth Ennis (the writer of the comic books) did not write the in-game story, but it smacks of the same things: repetitive and already-done Gothic imagery, ultra-violence and macabre imagery in a lowest-common-denominator attempt to shock. While a few areas of the game's story are quite chilling, the bulk of the tales told are so over the top with attempts to be dark and sinister that they end up as simply laughable. Combine that with very mediocre writers, and you'll get a storyline that could use a major overhaul.
Waterfalls of blood
Hot hot hot!