LifeisXbox’s Shadow Man Remastered review | I’ve seen remasters that are just simple ports of a game with nothing new added to them. The Shadow Man Remastered developers, Night Dive Studios, on the other hand, did their best to not make this just a simple port, but an actual remaster! This remaster has better visuals, audio, and even adds content that players of the original game missed out on back in the day! In Shadow Man Remastered you’ll take on the role of Michael LeRoi, who’s goal it is to find all of the Dark Souls as Shadowman, in order to prevent an evil called Legion, whose goal it is to send apocalypse to Liveside with the help of a group called the Five. You’ll find yourself collecting Dark Souls and Cadeaux while you take it on against hordes of enemies with your trusty pistol.
Most Memorable Moment
Most of the Dark Souls in Shadow Man Remastered were pretty easy to find. But, there were just a few that were well hidden. It was pretty neat to finally find one of the harder ones, and to level up after finding the remaining Dark Souls. Finding 100 Cadeaux was also pretty nice, since that gave me some more health.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion from the writer.
What we Liked!
- The Plot | Shadow Man was actually based on a comic series written by Jim Shooter, Steve Englehart and David Lapham, which lasted from 1992 until 2002, when the publisher sadly got bankrupt.
Now, the actual plot; it’s quite interesting in my opinion.
In 1888, a man named Jack the Ripper prepares to perform a ritual on himself to prove the existence of a mythical power. However, before the ritual takes place, a man named Legion tells Jack that this power actually exists, and offers him his powers if Jack makes him an asylum in Deadside – and thus, Jack commits suicide in order to get into Deadside. In the present day, in Liveside, Michael LeRoi becomes the Shadowman. Nettie has a dream about Jack who’s trying to collect as many Dark Souls as possible, which can be used to make soldiers immortal, to send apocalypse into Liveside. Michael has to stop the Five, a group recruited by Legion. In order to prevent this apocalypse from taking place, Shadowman has to find the Dark Souls before Legion does.
Fun fact: the Five are based on 5 actual serial killers from back when the original game came out. 4 of them have a clear connection with an actual serial killer, but the 5th one is still a little unclear, but there is an idea as to who it could be.
- The Progression System | I personally found the progression system to be very similar to one of my favourite games, Spyro (the classic games). In order to progress through the game, you have to find Dark Souls (which are kinda similar to the orbs, found in Spyro!), there are a total of 120 of them. Every level has a different amount of Dark Souls; some levels only have 3 (and rarely 1), and some even have more than 10. There’s one level (which can be compared to a homeworld) which has Soul Gates. Soul Gates unlock new area’s of the homeworld, which have pathways that lead to new levels. In order to unlock these gates you have to be in a certain Shadow level, these levels can be increased by finding more Dark Souls!
If you completely explore levels (like me), you’d usually have enough Dark Souls to unlock the next few Soul Gates, unless you miss a few, which tends to happen every now and then.
- Achievements | The achievements were pretty straight forward. If you go for the 100% completion of the game, you should have about 30/33 of the achievements. The achievement for finding all secrets was a little more difficult, since these are invisible (unless I didn’t see them every single time), but you should be able to find them all as well, if you’re going for the 100% completion. If you missed one, you can always look up one of those handy guides! And now, the 2 hidden achievements. One requires you to find an optional, second, violator, but that should be pretty obvious!
There’s one achievement, though, that you’ll have to keep in the back of your head if you’re going to collect all of the achievements. I personally missed this achievement, because it’s a missable one, and because it’s hidden. The achievement in particular is “Immortal Voodoo Warrior”, which requires you to complete the game without dying. Luckily, you can use save points, in case you die. The fact that this one achievement was hidden, was oh-so-dirty, but I personally don’t mind going through the game a 2nd time.
- A Remaster it is! | While I personally haven’t played the original Shadow Man, I did look up some stuff about the original before writing this review!
First and foremost, the visuals, and they look pretty good for a 20+ year-old game. While the polycount is still relatively the same compared to the original game, the textures and lighting have completely been reworked, and they look stunning! Honestly, it’s quite satisfying to switch between the original and remastered graphics, and you can actually tell that the textures are still based on the original, which is very impressive! Switching between the OG and remastered graphics isn’t as easy as in Halo MCC though, you have to manually disable settings in the menu, but this does add for some graphical customisation!
The soundtrack and sound effects have also been remastered, which is quite nice! The soundtrack was quite enjoyable to listen to! One issue that’s still present in the remaster, is the voice acting, which still feels a little on the weaker side.
Something that will definitely satisfy fans of the original game, is the fact that the developers have brough back cut content that was cut due to time constraints with the development of the original game! The cut content can be as small as enemies or weapons, but there are also entire levels that have been added back into the game, and these were actually some of my favourite levels from the game!
- Backtracking | When you play a game that requires you to find a bunch of collectibles, it’s kinda obvious that there’s going to be backtracking in this game. I wasn’t a huge fan of this, though, as it was pretty difficult to find items/powers that are required for some of the Dark Souls. It especially didn’t help that I had to re-explore certain levels completely over again, just to find the Dark Souls and Cadeaux that I couldn’t collect my first time through. Speaking if which, Cadeaux, there are exactly 666 of them (haha), but these are not required for the story’s completion (unless you’re going for the 100%). These Cadeaux can also be used for some extra health!
What we Disliked
- Easy Combat | I found the combat to be way too easy… All you are able to do is walk, jump, roll and shoot. Sure, some items have abilities which can be used during combat, but… these make the already fairly easy combat even easier… There are also extra weapons that can be found during your walkthrough, but I never had to use them, never!
How long to beat the story | About 20 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Either 20 or 35 hours, depending on the missable achievement
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