Lord Of Shadows

Happy Weekend TAY!

It is the start of summer vacation around here this weekend with my son graduating from Grade 7 last week and Canada’s Birthday on Monday. We might venture out to see fireworks somewhere on Monday but will try to stay inside for most of the weekend. On top of all the holiday traffic, the Rolling Stones are playing their only Canadian tour date a half an hour from my house, in what amounts to a field. My city is the closest “big” city to this field and our roadways will swell this weekend as the 70,000 Stones fans descend upon us.

Advertisement

After giving up on Shadow of War last weekend, I was in need of a new game to play. So, I decided on a very old game that I’ve already completed three times across 20 years. I can probably count on one hand (maybe two) the number of games I’ve played four times. Once is usually enough for me and twice for games I enjoy a lot, but four times is generally reserved for those games that shaped my gaming landscape. Iguana UK’s Shadow Man is one of those games.

Shadow Man is fantastic. It features some of the best level design in all of gaming but it never seems to make the cut when a discussion of best game design comes up. Shadow Man’s world layout gives the likes of God Of War (2018), Metroid Prime, and Prey (2017) a run for their money with its labyrinthine levels that find me lost like no other game.

Advertisement

Aside from the incredible level design, unfortunately, some other parts of Shadow Man haven’t aged as well.

Original textures. Check out that awesome wall texture.

Advertisement

The same location with the hi-res texture mod applied. I wasn’t thinking about comparison shots at the time and this is from a different angle. While keeping to the original style, you can see that the texture mod makes your eyes bleed a lot less.

Out of the box, the textures in Shadow Man are UGLY but thankfully Arkup has created hi-res textures for the PC version. The combat in Shadow Man was always the weakest part, but it is serviceable if not a little tedious. The controls are pretty tight for the game overall, but old animations with few frames make it feel more clunky than it actually is. However, once you get accustomed to the old visuals and controls designed for a single analog stick, you find one of the most intriguing games ever created.

Advertisement

I played Shadow Man on the N64, Dreamcast, and now twice on PC and I’m thrilled that the game still continues to challenge and entertain me after all these years.

Advertisement

Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canucks, enjoy your extra day off this week. I’m looking forward to more Shadow Man this weekend and more of The Last Of Us with my wife. I’m also excited to ramp up my game of Breath of the Wild with my kid now that he is free from school for two months.

Advertisement

So, what are you playing this weekend?