Shadow Complex takes us back to the good ol' days of Super Metroid... Mmmmm... Delicious.

User Rating: 9 | Shadow Complex X360
The game opens up in the heat of the action, prior to assassination of the Vice President to give players a quick feel for the action. Then, we are introduced to the games hero, Jason Fleming and his girlfriend Claire. As they are spelunking in the mountains, Claire vanishes inside of a cave and Jason soon stumbles upon a mysterious underground facility that just so happens to belong to a radical organization known as the Progressive Restoration. Just as Jason gets inside, he watches Claire being brutally tortured and finds a conveniently placed pistol. He then decides the only way to get out alive is to fight their way out. Shadow Complex is actually based within Orson Scott Card's novel Empire, you won't actually find this out by playing the game however. And even though Jason's main goal throughout the game is to save Claire, it's poorly implemented into the plot.

The single player portion of the game is fun and it's competitive. Upon completion of the single player, you're rewarded with points for just about everything you did during the course of the game and tracked on a leader board. There are also leader boards for killing enemies a certain way which pop up and compare your progress to those one your friends list. There are also the challenge packs which offer players more to do outside of the main game and teach you to use certain abilities in fun, various ways.

In the beginning, Jason is armed simply with a flashlight and witty banter that only Nolan North can bring to the table. The flashlight can not only be used to bring light to the often dark corridors and caves of Shadow Complex, but can also show what certain objects are weak to. Orange means things such as vents can be destroyed with a few bullets, red takes a missile or two, purple needs the foam gun and blue objects can only be destroyed by running at them with a certain upgrade. As you progress through the game and explore the facility, you'll level up and come across a plethora of hidden objects and upgrades. Each major upgrade will allow players to advances farther into the facility and find more upgrades all the while kicking more Progressive booty. For anyone who tries and finds all the upgrades, you'll be a god. Finding all item upgrades for certain abilities earns you infinite ammo for that type and if you find all passkeys, you'll have access to the fusion helmet which grants the player invulnerability, so long as they stand still or move slowly. It's just too bad once you get all these upgrades, the game is pretty much at it's end. Jason will usually aim automatically and become more accurate as you gain levels, that doesn't mean he won't need some assistance during larger gun fights. There are also times where the aiming system just becomes a little frustrating when Jason aims at the wrong places when shooting at enemies in the background.

The game is a 2D side scroller but all environments, characters and objects have been rendered in 3D which makes for a unique experience. Enemies can be fought in both the foreground and background. When manning turrets, the camera moves and allows players to mow down enemies on a 3D plain. Using the Unreal engine, all the environments look fantastic. Each section of the base has it's own unique look and comes with an amusing and perfect soundtrack for the game.

Shadow Complex gives a fun and competitive 2D side scroller while subjecting you to gorgeous graphics. There's enough to keep you coming back, time and time again to unlock more achievements, find more bonus objectives and hidden treats like the humorous hidden ending. Shadow Complex is this generation's Super Metroid and for $15, there is no reason you should pass up on this game.
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