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.
Next page: Alcohol-fuelled violence?
Citation needed (and not just a link back to the front page of ElReg, for preference!)
>"the more sexual, visceral imagery of Lovecraft "
Can you provide references quoting any of this supposed imagery? I've not read all of his books by any means but as far as I've read so far, he's certainly no HR Giger. His imagery is sinister, macabre, twisted, perhaps occasionally a bit visceral, but sexual? That old prude? I have yet to see any evidence of it. His books relied on tension and atmosphere, not full-out gore guts and tentacle sex.
3/4 of Shakespeare's plays fit that description. The existence of a feature is not the only thing that matters - the use and quality of that feature are also important.
Duke Nukem played with a turd; my dog played with his turds - my dog was still a better way to spend my time than DNF
"skull sidekick [snip] (with) a propensity to spew knob gags" - so Morte? [http://shrines.rpgclassics.com/pc/planescape/characters.shtml#morte]
Shadows of the damned: Mediocre graphics, knob jokes, linear gaming - 70%
Duke Nukem Forever: Mediocre graphics, knob jokes, linear gaming - 40%
DNF didn't even get bonus points for having multiplayer?