Damn, I'm tired. I finished the review finally at 4:30 AM and woke up at 6:00 AM to publish it, when the embargo was lifted. Sean thinks I'm psychotic.
Eurogamer had theirs up already. Oh well, they would've gotten more views than ours either way... /sigh
Anyway, if you've got Xbox LIVE or love platformers (or just games in general), check out the review. Shadow Complex, if you haven't read via my last post, is this awesome side-scroller from Epic Games and Chair Entertainment. Hope the review convinces you guys it's just THAT awesome and deserves your time.
Shadow Complex is developed by Chair Entertainment and Epic Games and brings us a unique fusion of classic side-scrolling platformer with a modern action twist. I noticed a few perks early on: game difficulty can be changed at any point in play, cutscenes are skippable and have subtitles, and there are enough "save rooms" scattered throughout.
Something else the game establishes from the start is the non-linear progression. Between point A to point B, you will often find other explorable areas for alternate routes or items. As you might've guessed, this does entail (and sometimes requires) a bit of backtracking, especially if you're a completionist. Some doors can't be opened until after a certain point when you've acquired a specific weapon, so there's plenty of hidden explorable rooms and tunnels all across the compound. Not all of them are obvious either, so the map does come in handy, unless you've got perfect photographic memory. Enemies respawn when you reload or backtrack to a previous area, but it's not really so bad; as you gain more skills and weapons, you'll also have new, entertaining ways of dispatching them.
Jason's gun upgrades automatically, and you'll find special add-ons as things progress. He starts with a measly flashlight in the beginning -- it comes in handy throughout the game -- but winds up completely pimped out with grenades, missiles, grappling hook, and the incredible foam gun by the end.
I feel like a jerk for saying this, but killing people in Shadow Complex is way too enjoyable. I dropped a guard from his post with a single shot once, knocking him over a ledge; he screamed the whole way down, ending with a comical THUD when he (presumably) hit the bottom. You'll find a wide range of enemies, and plenty of ways to kill them. Gun 'em down, go with the classic headshot, or melee -- whatever floats your sadistic boat.
Now it's back to the daily news grind for me. I've got a very late copy of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra to review. Rrgh...