Shadwen is a game about possibilities. As Shadwen, you are a master assassin on a quest for revenge until a young girl named Lily witnesses your crimes. Now you must bring her along so she doesn’t compromise your mission. The first thing you’ll notice is the unique time freeze mechanic. Time only moves as you do but this is no SUPERHOT. Think of this more as a pause to plan your next strategic maneuver. My strategy was mostly of the stabby stab variety. If guards are alerted it’s game over so you need to hide the bodies or... figure out a way to distract or kill all of them. Frontal assaults won’t work though, they are armored and often have crossbows.

You don’t HAVE to but you’ll probably kill... a lot. You kill by leaping, you kill by backstabbing. You do all of this while the innocent eyes of a young girl stare at you in shock. After awhile I started to take a sadistic pleasure in trying to scar this girl’s psyche. I would go out of my way to kill in inventive ways in an attempt to impress or horrify her. This game taught me that I’d be a terrible role model.

The time mechanic also applies to failure and death. If your plan didn’t work out just rewind and try again. Sometimes it’s worth it to really nail down that perfect kill, we have a young girl to traumatize after all. Nothing but the best will suffice. The goal here is to get Lilly into YEARS of therapy.

Like a cat playing with a mouse eventually you end up toying with the guards and having fun watching them suffer. What’s the point of leaping through the air and plunging a dagger into a hapless guard if you can’t stop time to appreciate it and smell the roses? Take pride in your accomplishments. Pat yourself on the back just like you patted that dagger into the poor guard’s unarmored neck.

The goal is to escort Lilly through a level because your one weakness is levers (never mind that you have a grapple line and could pretty easily open the door or just climb over them...)

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As I was saying... How you get her there is up to you. Murder them all or create distractions and only murder one or two.

The important thing is to murder at least one, we have a young girl’s mind to screw with after all. So yeah, Shadwen is a game about possibilities... as long as those possibilities include being the worst role model you can be to a young girl named Lily.

Shadwen is out for PC and PS4.