Review: Shadwen (Steam)

From the makers of the Trine series comes Shadwen, A stealth-action game where the only rule is to remain unseen.

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Pros:

  • Really good graphics.
  • Opening tutorial.
  • Full Stereoscopic 3D with sliders.
  • Controller support.
  • Three difficulties: Easy, Medium and Hard. The setting determines if you can see alerted guards through walls and/or the vision of guards.
  • Five save slots.
  • Autosaves regularly.
  • Full voice cast that do a really good job of bringing the story to life.
  • Time mechanic. Time only moves when you do which allows pin point precision movement and take downs. You can also rewind and fast forward time.
  • You can kill and hide enemies. Kills can be done by back stabbing or aerial take downs.
  • Gameplay evolves around you having to clear a path for your little girl side kick to pass through unhindered. You have no control over the girl except for suggesting where she can go. Its very much a huge puzzle game as you navigate past enemies and obstructions. You can attack the objectives in many ways like from above, in the darkness or straight up murdering guards.
  • Excellent physics model which is identical to the Trine games.
  • Steam Achievements.
  • No game over. When you get caught, Guards alerted via the bell or you die from a fall, You get to simply rewind time and try again.
  • Steam cloud save.
  • Steam workshop support.
  • Tools and weapons. Collect blueprints and create new weapons and tools to aid you. Things like sticky bombs or distraction tools.
  • Loot chests, These are scattered all around and always have items used for crafting within them.
  • Chapter select.
  • Replay ability mostly for achievements sake. Complete levels with no kills or 100% kills for example.
  • Level editor.
  • Video options: Resolution, Refresh rate, AA, V-Sync, Graphic detail level, Bits and 3D Mode.
  • Easy to use mod menu for adding/turning on/off mods.
  • Very atmospheric with an almost Game Of Thrones feel to it all.
  • Multiple endings.
  • You can skip cutscenes if you wish.
  • Fast loading times.

Cons:

  • The whole time manipulation mechanic takes a bit of getting used to. Normal tasks like jumping and swinging can be really really awkward and cumbersome.
  • Cannot change controller button layouts.
  • Annoying little bugs like stuck animations, Guards having varying vision length, Bodies being detected despite clearly been hidden.
  • Story is not as strong as Trine.
  • Your AI companion Lilly is very temperamental, She will sometimes get stuck, Not move despite it all being clear. Worst part is when she clearly runs past a guard but nothing happens.
  • Tools and weapons are not that important. I mean I was able to finish the whole game without them. I only dabbled in them on my second play through for fun.
  • When a guard is alerted he will bolt for the bell which instantly means you have to rewind time to fix it.
  • The swinging and climbing mechanic with your grappling hook is so awkward and messy. You cannot just hook onto wood then pull yourself up, You have to jump off then press up on the d pad by which time a guard usually sees you.

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Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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