Shadows of the Damned GDC 2011 Hands-On Preview -- Going to Hell with a HandgunBy Nikole Zivalich - Posted Mar 08, 2011
Garcia Hotspur is a demon hunter, and as such you can bet he hasn't made too many friends in hell. He has pissed off the wrong demon and consequently his girlfriend Paula has been kidnapped. Garcia must travel to the City of the Damned to save the his love. If that task sounds ominous, don't worry, Garcia will have help, Johnson. Johnson is a former demon who now moonlights as a shape-shifting weapon. As if this overview wasn’t a big enough giveaway, Shadows of the Damned is the latest venture for Suda51 and Grasshopper Manufacture.
The fairly similar plot of boy must rescue girl is balanced with over-the-top horror, gore, and sexual jokes. Of those three things, I don't know what there was more of in our hands-on demo. There's a lot of blood, plenty of dismemberment, and a sense of humor that is most definitely for a more mature audience, I use the word mature lightly. And this brings us to your weapon, The Boner.
Johnson can transform into at least two weapons. I say at least because they’re the ones I used when I played, but I sincerely doubt that was the full build of the game. The guns I did use were the Boner and the Teether. As you’d expect, these weapons shoot bones and teeth respectively. They also have the option to shoot light, which makes sense since Shadows of the Damned plays with the idea of light versus dark. Many of the game's puzzles revolve around manipulating the darkness of hell with light. The puzzle I did in the demo was challenging, knowing where to shoot wasn't. To bring more light into a level, simply look for a golden mounted goat head screaming in presumable pain.
The demo started out with Garcia, clad in leather, already in hell. I wasn't really concerned with my lack of backstory though; I had some demon ass to kick. The standard undead enemy was covered in darkness, signified by a dark blue light. In order to kill them, you must melee them to temporarily free them of their darkness shield. Once their shield is gone, I suggest using The Boner, a shotgun, leaving them in pieces. The majority of the enemies I faced were these basic monsters.
I did eventually come across a bigger enemy that resembled a giant blood sucking headcrab. He was summoned by a dancing woman who looked like Paula. Apparently, the larger demons of hell need human blood to sustain them; a large red sack of blood appears on their backs. It didn't take much time to guess the glowing red sack was where I should strike. It wasn't challenging to kill it, but it was enjoyable.
After getting through the final door, that part of the demo ended and another part began. Garcia spots Paula, running deeper into the city. You follow her, but she gets away. That is until you look down and see her lifeless head detached from her body. Garcia, horrified, steps back. Her eyes open and her headless body attempts to reattach its head. No longer decapitated, she seductively walks over to Garcia. Johnson wearily warns him that it's a trap. Suddenly, Paula starts to convulse, she steps back as her body is ripped apart from the inside, revealing a demonic monster. Johnson says, "Demons are just like men: always trying to get in to pretty girls."
I think that sums up what Shadows of the Damned will be like when it ships on June 7 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.