Shadow Guardian Review
- Beautiful international locations.
- Relatively decent cover-system controls.
- Extremely interesting boss battles and action sequences.
- Minor incentives for exploration.
- Poor story writing and dialogue; some scenes missing altogether.
- Too many 'hold your hand' moments; game practically solves puzzles for you.
Shadow Guardian is a pale reflection of its inspiration, but there are still enough unique and genuinely interesting action moments to keep things afloat despite the poor characterizations and story development.
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There's an adage that goes along the lines of 'show, don't tell' and while it's applied more often to films, it's still quite relevant to video games. Gameloft clearly had this in mind when developing Shadow Guardian, but with so many points of exposition or at least explanation left up in the air, players are left with no choice but to roll with the punches.
Initially players are placed in the roll of Jason Call, our so-deemed hero for the story, in a series of flashbacks to explain why he's currently chained up on a hybrid alien-steampunk device and being interrogated by General Generico "Sit there while I explain my plan" McEvil (note: not his actual name). When you're not subjected to these time jumps you'll be placed in to various beautiful locations around the world and forced to shoot bad-guys who have the common sense to bring ladders with them while you climb over and destroy priceless archeological artifacts to 'see what that button does' (note 2: Call is probably a graduate of the Lara Croft school of archeology... with honors).
Most fights are based around the cover-system which is fairly easy to pick up and use, though it's easy to get your fingers messed up as you switch from one hand to look around to the other in order to fire your weapon while aiming. It doesn't take long to get accustomed to the setup, but when some boss fights make cover irrelevant you'll be wishing there was a better way to switch between moving and shooting. Climbing is all but automated, with giant jutting blocks poking out of walls that require little more than a tap here and a waggle there to complete and after only a couple chapters you'll come to dread the necessity to climb yet another platform.
What's most frustrating about Shadow Guardian is just how close it comes to being genuinely interesting and exciting, with firefights and boss fights picking up the pace perfectly and the beautifully designed environments tempting you to explore them. However the story jumps at times with little to no explanation of what's going on; character motivations; and far too often you'll question Call's sanity as he buzzes away to himself for no reason at all. Shadow Guardian takes an existing formula and drains it of almost all the charm and cohesion that turned it in to such a great title. While there's plenty left in the tank to make this a worthwhile purchase, there's no rush to dive in to this one straight away.
DescriptionA new hero is born. His name is Jason Call, and this game tells his story.
The mysterious Prima Materia, a powerful and precious relic that has been at the center of occult legends for millennia, has become a real threat. Hidden in a remote temple, it is sought after by a group of dangerous mercenaries that want to acquire its power to enslave the rest of the mankind.
There is one hope, and it’s you.
** Confirm that your device is compatible. Shadow Guardian is only compatible with 3rd and 4th generations of iPod touch (16/32/64GB) devices along with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad. Before downloading, please check the back of your device to make sure that it meets the system requirements**
A TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
Be ready to experience the most gorgeous and fascinating action-adventure game on the App Store thanks to next-gen shading effects and the highest level of graphical detail and animations ever achieved in a Gameloft game.
AN EPIC JOURNEY AROUND THE WORLD
Embark on an epic quest with an intriguing scenario. From ancient Egyptian ruins and underwater temples to the frozen Antarctic plains, explore the world and escape the enemy armies that are hot on your heels. Reach the Prima Materia first and save the world.
THERE IS NO TIME FOR REST
• A wide range of weapons available to fight plenty of enemies, from merciless mercenaries to undead creatures and gigantic bosses
• Experience thrilling melee combat sequences inspired by famous fighting styles to neutralize your opponents
• Jump, run, roll and use cover to progress through each detailed level
• Explore fascinating environments and solve puzzles to reach hidden locations
Developed and published by Gameloft
What's New in Version 1.0.1Korean language added
Minor bug fixes
New suits for Jason Call