Shadow Complex Remastered (PS4) Review
Shadow Complex originally released on the Xbox 360 on August 19th, 2009 to much critical and consumer acclaim. The game was praised for its "metroid-vania" gameplay, clean graphics, and fast pace that keeps you wanting to play for just another 5 minutes. So how does it hold up nearly 7 years later?
The original SC was built using the Unreal Engine 3, meaning the assets were all constructed in a higher resolution and then scaled down to run on the 360, so making them look crisper on the current gen hardware was a pretty simple task to undertake. While I do appreciate the resolution bump and the clearer textures that really make the backgrounds pop, I did find that the textures in the foreground were quite the mixed bag. The character models on the other hand are just plain dated. It didn't look as if they were touched at all. It's not to say that this is a bad looking game (it's not) it's just that with some of the stellar HD remasters out there that really seemed to bring their games to the modern age, this one seems lacking.
Luckily this game still shines where it counts- the gameplay. After all these years Shadow Complex is just as fun to play as it ever was and if you haven't played it and are a fan of side scrolling action games you really owe it to yourself to check it out. The action is quick and the pace in which you obtain new abilities is darn near perfect! I never felt frustrated or bored when finding a new door orobject that I couldn't interact with yet because I knew that my next ability or upgrade was right around the corner. Normally, in this genre of games I tend to get tired of all the backtracking but with a game that is this fun to control, it never felt laborious. Still, by the end of the game I would have welcomed some form of fast travel mechanic. I did notice that there were a few glitches here and there that were never addressed. The rag doll physics more than a few times would completely glitch out, causing the bodies to convulse and and drag themselves across the screen as if possessed. I also noticed that the framerate would drop significantly during many of the cutscenes which is completely unacceptable for a game that is supposedly remastered on hardware that is seven years its successor.
At the end of the day, gameplay is still king and despite some of the technical limitations that still exist, the pacing and fun that Shadow Complex offers is more than enough to warrant my recommendation.
3.5 out of 5