At today’s Microsoft E3 press conference, Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski helped take the wraps off the 2D/3D Xbox Live scrolling shooter Shadow Complex. The title is being developed by Chair Entertainment, the studio behind the Xbox Live Arcade game Undertow and will be exclusive to the Xbox platform when it launches in North America this summer.
Demonstration gameplay showed that the action remained focused on the 2D plane, but we saw deep and immersive 3D background environments. At one point the game camera pulled back from the industrial corridor setting to reveal a dam location with verdant trees and foamy, churning water cascading. The development team is promising that interactive environments will allow for branching gameplay choices. We saw the environment used for cover, and it also allowed gamers to go on the offense, with the main character shooting out loose electrical cables to shock a pair of nearby guards. Shadow Complex will feature boss battles, and we saw a brief encounter with a giant mechanical spider.
Conventional shooting mechanics appear to get the job done just as well, and the demo showed off mainstay weapons, including pistols and assault rifles, as well as hookshots and triple-jump moves to reach otherwise inaccessible areas. Fans of exploration will be pleased to know that the game will feature 120 hidden collectible items in the 10-hour-plus single-player campaign mode.