Shadowgrounds Survivor Review
Posted by BarrettSan, Feb 11, 2008 21:32
The evolution of gaming has been a fascinating journey. As the propensity for creating massive, convincing worlds within video games became more and more common, something intangible began to slip away. What some would term a "pure gameplay experience" became more and more difficult to find. Developers began to focus on creating the next big thing, showcasing incredible cinematic sequences and more realistic, detailed graphics. Those who yearn for that "pure gameplay experience" will undoubtedly derive the most enjoyment from Survivor.
The gameplay is as simple as could be - if you are familiar with Diablo or Gauntlet-style gameplay, the point and shoot interface will feel instantly familiar. WASD moves your character, and the mouse pointer serves as the target for your various implements of destruction. The camera remains directly above your avatar at all times. Weapons will always fire in a straight line between the character and the targeting sight.
While this may sound like every top-down shooter ever conceived, the devil is in the details. All of the various weapons you accumulate throughout the game look, act, and sound immensely satisfying. The game sends wave after wave of insectoid invaders, so you’ll never be at a loss for targets. While weaving a path of wonton destruction, the environment responds accordingly; glass shatters and falls to the ground, barrels bounce around, and debris flies in all directions from a grenade blast.
The graphics and audio never take center stage - the focus here is clearly on the gameplay - but they too are polished to a fine degree. There are some excellent sound effects, particularly the weapon sound effects, and the game’s excellent and atmospheric techno-inspired soundtrack always kicks in at just the right time. The physics engine is rather well implemented, and visual distortion from fire and gas provide yet more detail.
Sure, there’s a plot here somewhere if you look hard enough. It’s pretty much there to fill a gap, however. Don’t expect anything more than a smattering of character interaction. Chances are, however, that other aspects will fall by the wayside once you dig in to the run-and-gun action. This is the heart of the game, and some would argue that the ’funfactor’ is by far the most important aspect of a game’s worth. The folks at Frozenbyte have taken an old formula and spruced it up to modern standards successfully. This in itself is a fine achievement.
Rating: 5.0, votes: 1