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Shadow Complex follows the main character Jason Fleming and his girlfriend Claire in their fight against an organization called the Restoration. After the two went out into the mountains to explore a cave, Claire gets kidnapped by some mysterious men and Jason infiltrates their complex built into the caves to rescue her and ultimately stop the Restoration in what they are doing.

The game plays similar to the Metroid series. While the graphics are 3D, the entire game is a 2D platformer with an emphasis on exploration. The player can acquire various weapons throughout the game, each of them can be used to reveal new paths within the cave. For example, green rocks, hatches or doors need to be blown up with grenades, while orange ones require the use of guns, purple ones have circuitry that needs to be disabled with foam and red ones need to be fired at with missiles. There are hidden rooms within the world, which can sometimes only be reached once the player has the appropriate weapon. This means the game involves a lot of back tracking, for example to gain new bonus items, like increased health or grenade capacity.

In later parts of the game Jason gets access to new movement abilities through parts of a special suit. They allow him to double and triple jump, get a jet pack boost or use a hook to cling to walls and ceilings. He is also able to run at hyper speed, breaking special walls and find gear that allows him to breathe underwater for an unlimited amount of time. The main quest is split up into separate missions and these are shown as a blue path on the map. A flashlight reveals hidden paths that can be explored by highlighting them in the corresponding weapon code colour. Killing enemies and progressing further in the game levels up Jason, giving him increased stats.


There are no Xbox 360 user screenshots for this game.

There are 27 other screenshots from other versions of this game or official promotional screenshots.

Promo Images

Shadow Complex Screenshot
Shadow Complex Screenshot
Shadow Complex Screenshot
Shadow Complex Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "Empire: Alpha Complex" -- Working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

America's answer to Metroidvania Pagen HD (156) 2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars2.71 Stars
Great game for fans Super Metroid, Castlevania, or Shooters Matthew Melbourne (27) 4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars4.57 Stars

Critic Reviews

Gaming since 198x Nov 04, 2010 5 out of 5 100
Vandal Online Aug 18, 2009 9.5 out of 10 95
XboxAddict Aug 16, 2009 9 out of 10 90
Blend Games Aug 17, 2009 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Play.tm Sep 01, 2009 90 out of 100 90
GameTrailers Aug 18, 2009 8.8 out of 10 88
That Gaming Site Aug 19, 2009 8.5 out of 10 85
CanardPC Dec 01, 2009 8 out of 10 80
Game Revolution Sep 02, 2009 B 75
Edge Aug 20, 2009 7 out of 10 70


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1001 Video Games

Shadow Complex appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


The game's story runs parallel to the events in SF writer Orson Scott Card's novel Empire. It serves as a companion to the sequel to the novel, Hidden Empire.

This spawned the question on a number of forums and opinion websites whether the game should be boycotted, because Card is known as a fierce political campaigner against gay rights. Some wondered if certain gamers would find it morally right to pay for game where a part of the profits is likely to go to someone defending such a stance they may not agree with. A detailed analysis of the situation can be found through Opinion: The Complex Question in the related links section.


The first month of the game's development was spent having all nine core team members at developer Chair Entertainment play the classics it takes inspiration from -- Metroid and Castlevania, specifically -- extensively, in order to build the best possible understanding of the kind of game they were trying to make before they began development.


The game was downloaded 200,000 times during its debut seven days on sale, making it the XBLA's most downloaded single player title at that time.

Trial Version

The trial version of the game originally contained a bug that allowed players to continue after defeating the end boss of the demo, providing access to the full game without paying. It was however impossible to save the game while continuing or to get any achievements. Postings about the exploit and videos detailing how to perform it were quickly pulled through an intervention of Epic Games.


  • 1UP
    • 2009 - Best Downloadable Game
  • 4Players
    • 2009 – Best Xbox Live Arcade Game of the Year
    • 2009 – #2 Best Action-Adventure of the Year
  • Cheat Code Central
    • 2009 - Best Downloadable Game
  • G4
    • 2009 - Best Downloadable Game
  • Game Informer
    • 2009 - Best Downloadable Game
  • GamePro
    • 2009 - Best Downloadable Game
  • GameSpy
    • 2009 - Downloadable Game of the Year
  • IGN
    • 2009 - Overall Best Downloadable Console Game
    • 2009 - Overall Best Downloadable Console Game (Readers' Choice)
    • 2009 - Best Xbox Live Arcade Game
    • 2009 - Best Xbox Live Arcade Game (Readers' Choice)
  • Spike TV
    • 2009 - Best Downloadable Game
Information also contributed by 雷堂嬢太朗 -raido.jotaro-and Big John WV

Related Web Sites

robotriot (9068) added Shadow Complex (Xbox 360) on Aug 20, 2009
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