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Shadows of the Damned
Review The old saying goes that if you go to hell, you'll be far too busy shaking hands with friends to care. Well, not in Shadows of the Damned's hell, you won't. Your finger's never off the trigger long enough to shake with fear, let alone shake hands with anyone.
Lighten up, mate
Developed under the banner of Grasshopper Manufacture, Shadows of the Damned is the demonic love child of two of gaming's most twisted minds, Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil) and Suda 51 (Killer 7, No More Heroes). A relentless shooter-puzzler, it marries Resident Evil 5's over-the-shoulder gunplay with the outlandish pulp-couture of Suda's games, this time drawing inspiration from grindhouse flicks such as From Dusk till Dawn and Evil Dead to present an hyper-violent, sleazy and sweary experience as bizarre as it is disturbing.
You play as Garcia Hotspur, a Mexican demon hunter descended into hell to save his girlfriend Paula from the clutches of a six-eyed, high demon called Fleming. For reasons left largely unexplained, you're accompanied on your odyssey by Johnson, an English-accented skull sidekick who acts like a Swiss army knife of weapons, transforming between mêlée torch, pistol, machine gun and shotgun at the press of a button.
Looking down the barrel of a Swiss army knife
Johnsons' ability to purge demons is matched only by a propensity to spew knob gags at every turn. Initially cringe-worthy, his lewd innuendos might make Duke Nukem seem priestly, but they improve throughout to become strangely amusing. In fact, his tongue-in-cheek vulgarity typifies Shadows of the Damned's knowingly puerile sensibilities.