Shadow Complex is an Xbox Live Arcade title published by Epic Games. This game is a side-scrolling shooter that makes great use of the popular Unreal Engine to differentiate itself from all of the other content available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. Is it worth your Microsoft Points though?
This Metroid-esque action adventure game has won prizes and stayed as one of the best and highest rated Xbox Live Arcade titles for quite some time. This game manages to pay homange to many of the video gaming greats such as Metroid, pitfall and some of the other games that helped pave the way for video games of today. The game has a fairly large amount of content to offer the gamers, most likely a reason why it has been selling so well.
Shadow Complex has a fairly interesting story, although it is nothing too intricate or jaw-dropping, it does enough to keep you interested. You start off the game in a forest with your girlfriend. It appears as if she wandered off and you begin to search for her. You stumble upon a "secret" base where some suited men yoke your girlfriend up and take her in for questioning. You, being the manly man that you are, go in after her. Little do you know, you will become entangled in a scheme bigger than just your relationship. Without going into too much detail, I can say that there will be some plot twists that may get some reaction out of you, however little it may be. Needless to say, the story should not be the primary reason that you are purchasing this game.
You can only move left and right, the game is two-dimensional in that sense. Even so, you can aim a full 360 degrees, which is what makes this game sort of interesting. You will have instances where you find yourself shooting in front of you and then having to shoot into the background to get enemies that are just entering the map. This adds to the cinematic sense that is provoked by the fire fights, and does enough to impress the gamer.
You can find power ups and armor pieces through heavy exploration of the large map. You are not required to acquire every piece of the armor in order to beat the game, which gives the gamer an option to complete the game 100% or not. This sense of exploration and back tracking should give Metroid fans goosebumps, because this adds a bit of replay-ability into the mix.
At a price of 1200 Microsoft Points, Shadow Complex is nothing short of a bargain. The game offers the player an immense amount of content to enjoy all for less than $20. This game will last at least 5 hours, and probably exceed that if you decide to beat this game 100%. If you have played the game and have any personal input you would like to include in this review, be sure to leave a comment.