|a game by||Acclaim|
|Platforms:||PC, Nintendo 64|
|Editor Rating:||6.8/10, based on 7 reviews|
|User Rating:||8.0/10 - 3 votes|
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|See also:||Third-Person Shooter|
Plunging you into the darkest depths of Acclaim Comic's anti-hero of the same name, Shadowman grips your heart with an icy terror that doesn't thaw until the end of the game. Shadowman takes you on the phantasmic journey of Mike LeRoi, a Louisiana English Lit grad who turns deadly nocturnal assassin--and who also has the ability to access his dark side a clever, cunning, and charismatic creature of the night known as Shadowman. Utilizing everything from gris-gris voodoo magic to FBI serial killer profiles, you'll spend a majority of gameplay time hunting down clues with the zeal of a forensic psychiatrist, rather than just gunning your way through lev-els.This is a title which aims for deep character development and plot generation.
Shadowman will use some intriguing new technology.The VISTA (Virtually Integrated Scenic TerrAin) engine pushes fog far into the background by using the whole environment as sort of a "second" character, thereby creating some of the sharpest, eeriest landscapes on the N64. Shadowman is out there--pray to your gods, whomever they are, that he doesn't find you.
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In this video game adaptation of the comic-book series, you play as Mike LeRoi, a hit man who must transform from a human assassin to a voodoo warrior in an attempt to save the world from the impending apocalypse. 3D action/adventure frightfest, Shadowman will also include puzzle-solving elements and unique playing environments, including Liveside and Deadside. Another highlight will be Shadowman's ambidextrous abilities, like climbing a ladder using your right hand while shooting behind you with your left. Shadow-man looks like the kind of nightmare gamers dream about playing.
In the tradition of Turok, Shadow Man's the latest character from Acclaim Comics to get his own game. Following the exploits of Mike Le Roi, hit man turned voodoo warrior, Shadow Man drops you into a battle against the undead that crosses the line between this world and Hell, or the Liveside and the Deadside. Mike doesn't go into that good night alone, though, as he faces down murderous hordes with both regular and voodoo weapons, including the Shadowgun, the .50 Desert Eagle, the Violator, the Flambeau, and more.
Shadow Man will feature a puzzle-solving element with its gameplay, a story line that features more than 40 cut-scenes, and "hours" of dialogue that will give you a break from the carnage. The huge 3D environments will capture your attention, too, because Acclaim's using its new "Vista Engine," which it reports will allow you to see far into the horizon. If all continues to go well with its development, Shadow Man may shape up into a hot prospect that action/adventure gamers will be salivating for.
If creepy games are your forte. Shadow Man should satisfy your wanton lust for the willies. Based on the Acclaim comic of the same name. SM follows die trials of Mike LeRoi. a literature grad turned deadly assassin. who possesses the power to alternate between the worlds of the living and the dead at will. Mike's job is to find and destroy the Asylum, a harbor for serial killers and psychotic fiends located in Deadside. the home of the undead.
Shadow Man offers gamers a variety of weapons. and in the 70 percent complete version that we played, shooting was the most appealing aspect of the game. SMs dark graphics are stylish, showcasing a host of creepy critters all just waiting to get their craniums removed. The colors need some work, though: It was hard to see enemies against the many backgrounds. SMs game speed was a little slower than Quake ll's, but has not yet been optimized. Fortunately, most of the mechanics were in place--the game engine is solid. Shadow Man will cast its pall on store shelves in August.
If you're into the whole alternate-dimension, psychotic-thriller sort of premise in a video game. Shadow Man is right up your alley. You play as a Samuel L. lackson-esque character named Michael LeRoi, who doubles as the Shadow Man--a netherworld being who ends up with the task of saving all of humanity from the clutches of an ultimate evil. Sounds fun, and it is. Like most action/adventures, you have to gather various items and power-ups as you work your way through levels, solving puzzles, fighting bosses and what not. The difference is, the items you collect are dark souls, skulls and evil voodoo artifacts, among other things. The bosses are psychotic freaks. The levels, instead of being bright and colorful, are bloody, grim and often feature walls made of stretched skin (the graphics and textures are simply incredible by the way). And instead of characters who make funny noises, those in Snadow Man actually speak English and say "son of a bitch" a lot. Shadow Man is definitely not for kids. Thankfully, the standard 3D action adventure problems--annoying camera, tricky control, etc.--are minor in Shadow Man. Although, level progression is a bit confusing. Overall, Shadow Man is a well-made title that's serious but not so serious it's cheesy. It'll give you your money's worth.
It took a while for me to get into, but after sticking with it for a while, I really got into Shadow Man. It's definitely something you have to sit down with for long sessions so you can properly appreciate the excellent story, and the wonderful design. My only complaints are that you can apply the same tactics to just about every bad guy in the game...and once you've got two certain weapons (I won't spoil it for you) you can kill just about everything.
Shadow Man reminds me of what a darker, more disturbing version of Tomb Raider would be like. It's not a game you're going to finish in a few hours. The levels are big and branch out into different sections so you're not always sure where to go next. Gameplay-wise, it's not groundbreaking and sometimes suffers from that very "N64-textured" look, but it has its moments. For a 3D platform game, the control and camera are pretty solid.
I have a sick fascination with the movie Angel Heart, and Shadow Man instantly brought me back to that milieu. The game starts off a little slow, but you've got to let the story gather some momentum. As I progressed along in Shadow Man, I found myself becoming more sadistic and overcome with a strange urge to listen to Throbbing Gristle. You've also got to check out how much speech there is on this cart...at times, I almost forgot it was on the N64.
You may have heard of Shadow Man--you may have even seen early shots from the game and read about its morbid story line right here in EGM. Chances are you'll be hearing and seeing Acclaim is positioning it as, in their words, a game on the same level as the mega-hit Turok. But marketing dollars aside, from what we've seen of Shadow Man so far, it looks as if this 3D action/adventure is truly something special.
The voodoo-flavored story is rich and twisted, putting Mike LeRoi (a.k.a. Shadow Man) in the unlikely position of saving the world from Legion, a being who has come from beyond the universe to cause mayhem. By employing the "talents" of five serial killers. Legion plans to,,.well, cause mayhem in various evil ways. So along comes Mike LeRoi as a kind of undead assassin who is chosen to kill these serial killers and Legion, while traveling between the real world and Deadside gathering information, items and power, and killing evil minions.
Like any good story, Shadow Man has a simple moral behind its complex gameplay: You get to kill the serial killers. And if you believe in the adage "an eye for an eye," this is due justice, since these guys are real sick bastards who kill and mame for fun. Of course, you meet up with different people and beings in your travels--some friendly, some not. One in particular is quite strange: A snake named Jaunty who's the gatekeeper to Deadside (Jaunty has a weird skull for a head and wears a top hat). As if this weren't weird enough, in this early version of the game, he has sort of an indiscernible Irish or Scottish accent.
In Shadow Man you'll go back and forth between its levels several times in order to truly complete the game. Think of it in the same way you have to finish Zelda or Banjo Kazooie, although this is the only thing Shadow Man has in common with these games. Like boy and teen Link in Zelda. you can get to places as Shadow Man you can't get to as Mike LeRoi. and vice versa. In addition, there are certain items you must collect to access unreachable areas to find secrets, which ultimately equals more power with which to fight stronger enemies and bosses. "There's a multitude of experience in each level, whether it's an action, adventure or puzzle element," explains Guy Miller, creative director for Iguana U.K.
The main items you'll collect in Shadow Man are called Govi. These act sort of like the stars do in Mario 64. except there is nothing special at the end of the game if you collect all of them. Instead, after collecting all of the Govi. your power level will be at its max, and you'll be able to take on Legion all the more easily after entering the Asylum.
Graphically, Shadow Man will support low, medium, and hi res (although this rev supported only a rather dark low-res mode). In addition, the game uses VISTA technology, a graphics engine developed by Iguana U.K. that basically allows you to see into the distance without having to use any unsightly fogging techniques. Thanks to the N6Vs graphical capabilities, Shadow Man has a load of cutscenes integrated into gameplay as well. Miller commented on how the CG video in the earlier days of gaming was frustrating, and how he'd rather play those bits instead of the actual game. "I've always wanted to put a meaty story into a game, and the technology now is making that possible," Miller went on. We're not sure if he realized the pun or not, but Shadow Man is certainly meaty...in more ways than one.
- MANUFACTURER - Iguana
- THEME - ACTION
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
My name is Mike LeRoi. I'm a thirty-two year old college dropout who resorted to driving a taxicab in the windy city of Chicago. One day in 1991 one of my passengers was killed gang-style, leaving $20,000 cold cash in the back of my taxi. I took the money and flew back home to my family in New Orleans. I thought everything was going to be okay until one day the mob started making death threats against my family and me if I didn't return the money. In desperation I sought out a "Bokor," a voodoo priest, for protection and that's when my life went to hell in a handbasket real quick. My mob problems are ancient history; now I'm a hired assassin for a powerful voodoo priestess named Nettie.
Welcome to Shadow Man, a third-person game set in the seedy underworld of New Orleans where you travel in two worlds, "liveside and deadside."
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
When first playing Shadow Man I immediately got the feeling that I was playing Turok: Dinosaur Hunter or Tomb Raider. I call these style of games the run, jump, shoot and solve puzzle types of games. The ideas for Shadow Man are the same as the abovementioned games, but set in a different environment with different characters. You're out to rid the world of evil-doers so the rest of us can all live happily ever after, and in this game the evil-doers are some crazy serial killers and some nasty-looking beasts with one or two heads. I got really mad at the beginning of the game because I had to continually increase the brightness level because I could not see where I was going. Readers should also note that this game has an adult theme which is taken straight from the comic book of the same name. All in all, I felt like I had played this game before because of its similarities to the aforementioned games, but if this style of game gets your groove on then you'll be one happy voodoo assassin.
Overall I would have to say the graphics are average for this type of game. The designers claim that they used some kind of new game engine for Shadow Man, but if they did, I don't notice it. When I got to the animated cut scenes in the game I found the people to be way over-animated; their movements are very exaggerated and they look like they haven't eaten in weeks. During gameplay you will find the graphics to be very crisp until you get up close, and then you find some of the objects a bit blurry. I preferred the graphics in the liveside of the game, which takes place in the Louisiana bayou. When you get to deadside, every passageway and cave looks the same which can be a pain in the butt since there is no mapping ability in the game, so it is incredibly easy to get lost.
For the most part I hardly noticed the audio; the sound neither adds to the game nor takes away from it. I did find that Mike LeRoi's weapons had a very annoying sound when I was playing in the deadside of the game. While traveling in the bayou the sounds of the birds, dogs and other such animals were pretty good, but nothing to set my mind on fire and make me go "oooooh, awesome dude."
Pentium 200Mhz, 32 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, Win 95/98, Voodoo 1 or equivalent video card, DirectX compatible sound card
Overall, I was not impressed with Shadow Man-. I feel like the designers at Acclaim took the idea for _Tomb Raider and twisted it enough to call it their own. People who enjoy this kind of gaming platform will really get into Shadow Man, because the running, jumping, climbing and solving puzzles are all wrapped up in one nice package. I do have to emphasize that it really bugged me that there was no mapping ability in this game. With all the walls having the same texture and color scheme, you will find yourself getting lost early on, and Acclaim didn't seem too worried about this when I brought up the subject. Enough said, my gentle readers; on that note I give Shadow Man a score of 63/100.