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June 17 2011
Shadows of the Damned - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
23/6/2011EA GamesEA GamesGrasshopper Manufacture
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1None$109.95
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So can you explain this screenshot?
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Now that's an epic weapon!

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Shadows of the Damned is out on PS3.
There are two things that are most exciting about this title. The Executive Director is Goichi Suda, and the Creative Producer is Shinji Mikami. So what you say? Well Goichi Suda has been the creative force behind some of the most unique titles in recent years including Killer 7, No More Heroes, Michigan: Report from Hell and the much respected Fatal Frame IV.

Shinji Mikami sits among gaming's greats having directed and produced the Resident Evil, Onimusha, Devil May Cry and Dino Crisis franchises, as well as titles including Vanquish, Viewtiful Joe, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Killer 7 (where he worked with Suda) among a list of others. Putting these two geniuses (or is that geniuii?) together again was always going to produce something interesting, and it was little wonder that Electronic Arts picked up the rights to publish the game.

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Taking on a crazy demonic enemy!
So what is Shadows of the Damned? When evil demonic creatures kidnap Garcia’s girlfriend, it's up to him to travel to the City of the Damned to get her back. Aided by a former demon with the ability to transform into an array of vicious weapons, Garcia will once again take on the mantel of "demon hunter" and rip apart the horrifying forces of the underworld to protect what he loves most.

As he explores the farthest reaches of the netherworld, Garcia battles through hell and back, with danger and turmoil around every corner. Throughout Shadows of the Damned gamers will find themselves challenged by demented puzzles and thrust into gruesome battles with vile and deformed creatures that can only come from the darkest recesses of hell. Interestingly the developers a "unique light versus darkness gameplay that will forever change the way gamers perceive puzzles, combat, and terror". Time will tell just how unique this game turns out to be, but given Grasshopper's track record we could expect something quite different to your normal action title.

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Strange indeed. Shadows of the Damned has some 2D sections in it!
One interesting thing which you may have noticed from the surrounding screenshots is that there is also a 2D side- scrolling looking screenshot. Indeed while the game is primarily a 3D action title there are some sections of 2D as well. Indeed, it's a twist that 'ordinary developers' wouldn't dream of taking a risk on in such a high profiled title - but Grasshopper Manufacture are anything but an 'ordinary developer'.

Using Unreal Engine 3 to power the game this is a pretty nice looking title - albeit with often twisted and grotesque visuals. If the game can hold a solid frame rate then we would expect this will be a title well worth looking at, especially with some massive boss battles certain to be included in the game.

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Shadows of the Damned sure looks unique.
If the graphics weren't enough the audio is being created by music composer Akira Yamaoka who was the sound designer for Konami's haunting Silent Hill series before leaving to join Grasshopper Manufacture in February 2010. We can't imagine a better fit to do the sound design in Shadows of the Damned.

With a release set for June 23, 2011 there is only a week to go before we get our hands on this title, and it certainly looks like one to keep an eye on. While Grasshopper Manufacture are generally very solid developers, their ideas are often too extreme to be accepted by the wider gaming public and often remain Japanese only releases. Still with Shinji Mikami overseeing the title, and the game being published by Electronic Arts, everything seems to be in place for something quite impressive indeed. We'll know soon enough...