DescriptionShadow of the Beast is a re-imagining of the 1989 game of the same name. It has the same premise as the original title and also draws inspiration from the art and design. The player controls the creature Aarbron in the alien landscape Karemoon. He was a human, kidnapped as a child, and transformed into a monstrous warrior beast as a servant. This is only revealed to him when an encounter killing humans triggers a flashback. He then seeks revenge against his master Zelek. The game uses side-scrolling gameplay as in the original game, but now as a 2.5D title with full 3D models and environments restricted to a single, horizontal plane of movement. During many scenes the camera often zooms out with different layers in the background and foreground.
Levels are often split up in encounters where multiple enemies need to be defeated similar to brawlers. Claw-based melee attacks can be strung together into combos with a score multiplier and four different target scores, each with their own medal based on the performance. A single button is used to attack, along with a timing and distance element to land it in different ways based on specific animation frames. It is possible to block, dodge and parry. Enemies can also be stunned, grabbed and thrown and brutal finishers can be performed up close. Killed enemies leave behind blood that is collected to fill a meter in the bottom left corner with different bars. With a sufficient amount a Rage Chain and other attacks can be activated. These combat sections usually have enemies pouring in from the left and the right. Sometimes there are more than 20 at once meaning fighting also has a space management or rhythm element to keep attacking and fending off on both sides. Later enemies are impervious to attacks and have specific vulnerabilities.
A special Wrath of Aarbron attack, using a limited, rare wrath currency can attack enemies on both sides at once as a final measure. That resource is earned by doing a different special attack that consumes bars of the the blood meter. There is also a health meter and some attacks can be performed at the cost of health. Players often need to decide when and where to deploy a maxed out blood meter. Unlike the original game exploration is more linear and straightforward with self-contained sections. Some jumping, climbing, wall running and sliding is required to clear obstacles, but the focus is on fighting with some environment based puzzle elements based on locating and breaking seals, flipping switches or exploring different paths. Each level ends with a boss fight where often different gameplay or new perspectives are introduced.
The level score is converted into mana that can be spent in the Wisdom of Shadows. It provides access to combat upgrades affecting health and attacks with multiple upgrade levels. The scores of friends are displayed in leaderboards along with an in-game live feed for their accomplishments. It has a button-mashing mini-game with a race against time to dismember and decapitate a friend's beast. The game includes an emulated version of the original 1989 Amiga title as an unlockable extra with an unlimited lives mode to make it easier to play, as well as unlockable videos for additional lore, a bestiary, the soundtrack and a retrospective on the development of the entire trilogy. Levels have secret encounters and collectible orbs and talismans. The latter can be equipped for special abilities. It is also possible to buy forbidden tomes that translate parts of the alien language used in the game. Extended endings are available for the different difficulty levels.
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|4Players.de||May 19, 2016||54 out of 100||54|
|Saudi Gamer||May 17, 2016||40|
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