PREVIEW – Long, long ago in a not so distant galaxy, there was a game. A game that was released in 1989 with the protagonist called Aarbron, this was the Shadow of the Beast. We will soon meet him again in the form of the remake. The product back then was an exceptionally good game, so the remake that will be released on the 2nd of March has to deal with high expectations.
Even if you played the original game, you still could not know fully what the remake will be, and if you did not play the original well here’s what the story was in 89. Aarbron was kidnapped during his childhood by Lord Maletoth and turned him into a monster for unknown reasons. Aarbron’s human memories resurface when he sees his father being executed by the Lord. Aarbron swears vengeance against Maletoth and goes on a long journey to settle the score against the evil Lord.
The game back then really good level design, plus since it was a side-scrolling game the developers pushed the limits to the maximum as much as they could. The clouds, environmental objects were detailed which raised the game about its competitors.
The sins of the father?
It is worth mentioning the past and current developers, as the license has been shifted around a lot before the 2013 Gamescom announcement. The original game was developed under Reflections Interactive, with Psygnosis releasing it. Reflections Interactive may sound familiar to Driver fans, but they also helped co-develop such games as Just Dance, Watch Dogs, or Far Cry 3, they are also working on The Division and Ghost Recon Wildlands. Today the team is now known as Ubisoft Reflections.
The publisher Psygnosis formed in 1984 and would later partially join Sony. Later they would work on Wipeout and G-Police redubbed as SCE Studios Liverpool from 2001. In 2012, the studio was disbanded, and many of them would work at two main studios: XDev( Motorstorm, Heavy Rain, Tearaway), and Firesprite (The Playroom, Run Sackboy! Run). Out of all this chaos and new studios would Sony get Shadow of the Beast, which is being now developed by Heavy Entertainment Labs.
Now that we know our history let’s see what the future holds us in about one and a half months. As this is a remake nobody should expect too many surprises from the story. As neither the developer or publisher confirmed it, Aarbron’s human memories will appear, that particular execution will get the story rolling, plus Lord Maletoth will appear probably. We can only base this on our protagonist’s wrath, and how he brutally slays anyone standing in his way.
During the story, we will fight with much deadlier enemies compared to the original game. Of course there were monsters, ghosts there also, but no more funny floaters, or slow gooey monsters. Here we will fight against extremely detailed humans and monsters. We also get the Rage function that we will have to fill up with our enemies’ blood, This will allow us to kill all enemies on the screen with one QTE movement. The scoring system is also new, as we will probably earn points for combat, and will be able to upload the total score of each level at the end. Whether this will have any relevance or not, we do not know yet. Finally, a change to the health bar and health regain system: There are only ten health bars, and we gain health after killing enemies, not for breaking certain items.
A good start
Although the video game market is full of more mature games, Shadow of the Beast seems like a fun game. The visuals and the level design plus the detailed enemies are great compared to the original series. Furthermore, the brutality and mature story hopefully will not bring shame to its original game series. As the original was a trilogy, it might not be a big shock if the remake will be successful would end up with two other games.
Might be good:
+ Good level design
+ Mature themes
Have some doubts:
– Will it be good as the classics?
– No music?
– Puzzle sections?
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Heavy Spectrum Entertainment Labs
Genre: Action, Platformer
Release date: 2 March 2016