Mini-review: Shadow Complex Remastered (PC)

Game Name: Shadow Complex Remastered
Platform(s):  PC, PS4, Xbox One

Publisher(s): Epic Games
Developer(s): Epic Games & Chair Entertainment
Release Date: November 2015
Price: Free for PC until December 31, 2015. TBA for PS4/Xbox One.

The surprise that came out of nowhere, Epic Games and Chair Entertainment brought the beloved Xbox 360 classic title, Shadow Complex to the PC as Shadow Complex Remastered…. but was it any good? We take a stab at a mini-review and just look at what makes this remastered title, well… remastered. 

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And just to remove any suspense here, they nailed it. But this review is about what has been changed and not on the entire game, since the game-play hasn’t changed since the original version. All the Metroidvania style, sweet gun-play and wall climbing antics are still present in the game, they just look even better .

Instead we’re looking at what makes Shadow Complex Remastered stand out in a sea of Metroidvania titles and if this was just a straight port or much more. And I’m happy to report that this game is definitely more than a simple port of the Xbox 360 classic. Thankfully this game features several monitor resolutions and include all the current ratios, meaning not only does it support 4:3, but also 16:9 and 16:10, however there was one exception and that is there’s no 21:9 ratio, however the game does stretch the video put to match the real-estate of anyone using a 21:9 monitor, which I in fact have been ever since I got a 21:9 monitor. 

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It doesn’t stop there as they’ve also opted to add several different levels of anti-aliasing , DX 11 support which can be toggled on and off, several different levels of color saturation, texture quality and Vsync. Title also supports up to 4K resolution support, however since i only have a 1440p monitor, I wasn’t able to test that out. The game is very fluid in motion and despite the majority of the game taking place in dark and gray settings and not seeing much variety in color, unless you’re getting shot at or you wonder into an outside section. 

For the most part I played Shadow Complex Remastered at 2560 x 1440 (1440p) with all maxed options on a PC that considered of an older generation Intel i5-3570k and a GTX 970 video game and I was easily able to play at a rock solid 60FPS, so they definitely did some optimization magic under the hood as well. And while you may be saying that the GTX 970 should be able to handle this, I agree but at 1440p, the card is lacking at times and the fact that its able to do as well as it does on with this is a testament to the work done with this game.

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The graphics were also overhauled, as all the character models were give some much needed attention and up-rezzed, some much needed post-processing was added, as was greater detail to the environmental backgrounds that you wander throughout the game. And while they didn’t mess with the overall game-play, they did add some extra animations when it comes to the melee attacks and they look great to be honest. In fact if I have a chance to shoot someone vs using a melee attack, it’s melee time as it’s so satisfying. And while the sound in the game wasn’t mentioned to have had any extra work done, the sounds are equally impressive. From the gunfire, explosions, melee effects  and grunts from enemies as they hit the ground or worse. 

The game can also be played by either a keyboard and mouse setup, as well as Xbox 360, Xbox One and Dual Shock 4 controller. And yes, I already know what you’re going to ask and yes, you can remap the button layout. So if you don’t like the default controller scheme, you’re free to make changes as you feel fit. 

For a free title, Shadow Complex Remastered as a lot of positives going for it, however there is a negative and not directly related to the game. The fact that Epic Games has decided to launch their own launcher is disappointing, especially since we have some many out there as it is with Steam, GOG, Origin, UPlay, Battle.net and I”m sure there’s a few others I’m missing. This also removes several features that PC gamers are used to getting for free such as cloud saves or global achievements. It’s definitely not a deal breaker but at the same time I wish there were fewer launching services for PC titles and love the fact that at least on the PlayStation or Xbox that there’s just one central location for online gaming vs several fragmented ones on the PC front. And while I should be used to that at time, it doesn’t change the fact regarding my displeasure about it.

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The same great gameplay, but even better looking

That said, Shadow Complex Remastered is a welcome surprise and a title that many PC gamers as well as Metroidvania lovers will welcome with open arms. The fact that Epic Games just didn’t port us a 6 year old title speaks volumes and i’m still trying to understand how they were able to keep this title under wraps for so long, especially in this day and age of leaks occurring left and right. Throwing in the fact that the game is free from now and up until the end of 2015, you’d be silly to miss out on a polished such as Shadow Complex Remastered and I highly recommend that you pick this up before that deadline, that is unless you want to pay for the title, which isn’t a bad thing or you just don’t like good games.

Hopefully the reception on the PC and eventually on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will provide Epic Games and crew just enough to warrant them revisiting the franchise and perhaps even given us a sequel to the title. Seriously Epic Games, just do it… don’t wait.

Pros:

  • It’s currently free (for a limited time)
  • Enhanced graphics, lighting effects and character models
  • Supports 4K resolution and includes several pc-centric options
  • A solid Metroidvania entry and easily of the better ones

Cons:

  • Locked behind Epic Games launcher
  • Due to the 2.5D nature, aiming into the background is still cumbersome at times

 

  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Gameplay - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Audio - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Value - 9/10
Overall
9/10
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About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.