Shadow of the Beast (PS4) First impressions - demo review

With an average age of video games players increasingly high about 35 years in the US according to a recent study, it is normal that many developers look like a good idea to bring back games we enjoy in our childhood or adolescence, appealing to nostalgia, since everything good that happens at these ages, leaves a lasting memory. It is not easy to recover a classic suit modern tastes without losing its essence by the way, few have succeeded, although many still trying, as only a popular name may be able to arouse the interest and curiosity of thousands of players.

This is what happened in August 2013 during the Gamescom, where Sony announced the return of Shadow of the Beast for PlayStation 4, with a small trailer that showed even the game, but that was enough to generate enough excitement. The original game of 1989, published by Psygnosis and developed by a then unknown Reflections, remained burned into the memory many players, thanks to an art section with personality and an elaborate soundtrack, among other virtues, as their fantastic cover designed by Roger Dean. Originally released on the Commodore Amiga computer, it quickly became a success, came other computers and consoles, and even had two sequels, released in 1990 and 1992.

Like many young men of the time, this action game platforms and devilishly difficult, as many titles then, marked Matt Birch, founder of Heavy Entertainment Spectrum Labs, who had for years with the idea of bringing back this saga a dream to finally be able to realize. Shadow of the Beast will arrive exclusively for PlayStation 4 as it is being produced by Sony, and finally we could see and try, after almost two years without knowing anything about it. It was a few days ago at an event in London on PlayStation Network Digital Gaming Showcase, where Sony showed us some of the most important digital games that come in the coming months PlayStation 4.

The new Shadow of the Beast is neither a sequel nor a remake, but a reimagining of the original, which includes ingredients that as 2D platform action and, although mixed differently, now with a lot more action, with a combat system quite elaborate. To give you a brief idea of what it offers, it's sort of God of War in 2D, with an artistic design with personality, that brings back graphics today some of the amazing and imaginative landscapes of the original.

We were able to play the demo version of the game about 15 minutes, which helped us to check all the features that contain in this adventure, but not to know what dose will be finally mixed, as in this demo had the feeling that gives greater weight to the fighting exploration or platforms. The combat system surprised us positively, much more elaborate than we are accustomed to this type of side-scrolling games, and can hit and stun enemies, grasping, block attacks, roll on the floor and make counterattacks if you press a button at the right time, with a fairly demanding timing. Very colorful indeed, and we use the weapon itself or the shield of the enemy to take it off and kill him savagely.

According to defeat enemies with his blood fill a meter, and when we have full bar we can unleash a special attack called "rage", with which we start a quick time event in which if we are pressing the attack button and a direction at the time right, let's killing enemies in a very spectacular way. A QTE in pre-alpha version was solved just by pressing the triangle button and a direction, but we imagine more complex and varied in the final version will be.

We say that the game is very focused on action not only because it has a combat system very elaborate, but also because there are quite long scenes, with many enemies, locking us in places of scenarios and can not continue until we defeat them all. These action sequences even found them too long, and see how the battles are balanced with the other elements in the final product.

Because there are also moments of platforms, we must dodge traps, and all kinds of surfaces that can scale thanks to the "feline" skills of the protagonist, like running with his claws by vertical walls. The control in times of platforms is somewhat vague at the moment, and something that should improve. We also live a very dramatic scene, having to flee in haste from a huge enemy, one of those moments very God of War, which reminded us of the work of Santa Monica Studio.

Although no we explained, there will be a kind of asynchronous multiplayer, the style of the Dark Souls series, can invoke allies to fight beside us or show us hidden paths, and we can receive items from other players, as we discovered in the demo. There will be a survival mode where we can implement our skills in combat, fighting increasingly difficult and cunning enemies.

Technically we are facing a very competent game, with good lighting, texture quality, and to be a pre-alpha version, looked and moved quite well. But what seems more remarkable is his art section, full of personality, although not try to imitate or replicate as is the style of the original, itself somehow tries to keep its essence, to get us into a world as strange as attractive that not remember any other. The soundtrack, although the circumstances of the event were not allowed to appreciate as we wished, also suggests ways, something important considering the great compositions David Whittaker made for the 1989 game.

Becomes a beast

Shadow of the Beast come to PlayStation 4 in digital format via PlayStation Network, and is an action game developed 2D platform, which apparently has more than hack and slash that classical adventure. We will have to return to the world of Karamoon to end Maletoth, and both lovers of original, as the 2D action games, you should be aware of their progress, as it may be a good proposal within the genre.