Shadows of the Damned hero Garcia Hotspur quickly reminds the enemy he is, in fact, in Hell.
Enemies throughout the demo mostly consisted of powerful, zombie-like creatures. Attacking these beasts in the dark world did nothing; however, ridding the world of darkness and attacking them made elimination easier. Even in the light world, basic enemies are often coated in darkness--think of it like a shield--so the first order of business is to attack them with a blast of light to remove the protection before they can be destroyed for good. Shadows of the Damned has a mix of over-the-shoulder gun action and light melee combat. Enemies will often stagger after being fired upon, allowing the game's hero the opportunity to run in for a (seemingly random) one-button melee kill animation. There's a constant back-and-forth during cutscenes between Garcia Hotspur and his British companion. Johnson, it seems, is the game's comic relief, and conversations usually result in a sexually charged punchline. Actually, I should amend that with, "groan-worthy, sexually charged punchlines." The demo culminates to a showdown with one of the game's most gruesome figures: a giant, blood and guts-soaked demon with a harmonica eternally stuck in his mouth, which a rep managing the demo told me is a story element. The name of this ultimate evil found within the depths of Hell? George. Of course. focalbox Shadows of the Damned seemed way too weird as I watched others play it and probably sounds too weird for some as they read this preview. But my short time with it was entertaining from start to finish and I wanted to play it all again when the demo ended. Though the entire thing sounds strange, one of the wackiest things to me was that--like the over-the-top Bulletstorm--the game was being delivered from EA via its Partners program. Shadows of the Damned has multiple hooks: the puzzle feel of its light vs. dark mechanic and its eccentric cast of characters, for example. But the biggest hook for me was that the entire thing is an obvious uncompromising vision. It doesn't try to make players feel comfortable by delivering the expected or, in some cases, the understandable. It's still early but Grasshopper Manufacture's newest has my attention and I can't wait to see what else they have in store for Garcia Hotspur and Co. Shadows of the Damned ships on June 7 for the Xbox 360 and PS3.