Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 03/02/02 | Genre: Action
To understand this game, brought to you by Acclaim, you must understand the storyline first -- which I must admit, is a little on the complicated side, but I will give it a try anyway.
As a desperate New York cop drags his shattered body from a blazing tenement building, his partner and friend perishes inside at the hands of a huge, demonic creature. His death is not in vain, however, for it gives his colleague a chance to escape with the very thing the creature seeks; an enormous and ancient book, sealed shut by a series of powerful clasps.
Some ten years later a near-empty passenger train thunders through the haze of an early evening dusk as it makes it way to New Orleans. On board, alone, sits Micheal LeRoi. As night falls and the moon rises, white-blue sparks of "Shadow Power" surge from his chest and envelope him as the train's interior lights plunge into darkness. Michael LeRoi, as he does every night, transforms to become the Shadow Man.
Just minutes later, deep within the Louisiana Bayou, Mamma Nettie emerges from the church in which she's based and looks to the sky... She does not like what she sees. At the same moment, Michael LeRoi looks toward the heavens through a dust covered train window. He sees a gigantic, blazing star dominating the sky above. Wasting no time upon his arrival in New Orleans, Michael makes his way through the deserted streets on his way to the Wild at Heart bar run by Jaunty, the closest thing Shadow Man has to a "friend." A Shadow Man feels no fear, but as he rounds the corner by the Wild at Heart, the man who by day calls himself Michael LeRoi experiences a sensation that would strike terror in the heart of any mortal man. An unusual silence hangs in the air, the type of silence that soundlessly screams "danger!" He pushes the front door cautiously open and steps into the bar, which lies ruined; the walls and floor covered in arcane symbols.
Quickly, silently, seemingly from nowhere, three shadowy figures appear and surround Shadow Man. Their stealth and poise do not betray their origins, and in the split-second he has to think, Shadow Man can't discern who they are and why they would be there. Then, the one with his back to the door laughs wildly, mockingly "You see the star? It is a sign that we make our move and reveal our true strength. Soon with great violence, Babylon will be thrown down and we shall have power over the fourth part of the Earth. We're delivering a message from Papa Morte to all that would stand against him... we have already possessed the serpent and made it our own. Now we take you!"
He fixes a padlock on the door, takes the key and swallows it. Slowly clenching his fists, Shadow Man, Walker Between Worlds, Lord of Deadside turns to face his opponents. And so the adventure begins...
(Just in case that is a little too long for you and you don't feel like reading the whole thing I will give you my edition of the Cliff's Notes.) This is a story about a man who at the stroke of daylight/midnight turns into a new form. Imagine, if you will, a bad ass Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde. In one form he is a normal man; in the other form he is a skeleton. Now mix that info with the idea of Voodoo magic and go from there
This game is an action/adventure game. You must use your hack-'em-up style to kill the bad guys but you must also use your brain to solve some of the problems that you will run into during the game. You can be equipped with two weapons at a time and, believe me, you'll need them. And not only do you have weapons that will change with each of your two forms but the enemies will change as well.
For example, when going through the cemetery during the day (when you are plain old Mike Leroi) your enemies will be some mean-looking dogs, go back at night (when you're the Shadow Man) and you are fighting zombies. The game starts with easy missions and simple tasks that need to be accomplished but, hang on to your hat, because the game gets bigger and the missions harder and harder. And what do all good action games have? A boss at the end of a level, of course, and Shadow Man 2econd Coming has that covered for you, too.
The graphics at times are very eerie but the best is when the suspenseful scenes come up later and trust me they will startle you!
The voice work in this game is terrific! The actors sound just like what you would assume the characters would sound like if you were having a conversation with them. This dialogue added to the great soundtrack of spooky and dramatic music throughout the game really increases the entire experience!
One thing that does kind of bother me throughout the game is that it seems as the character (Mike Leroi or Shadow Man) seems to be stuck in the middle of the screen. It reminds me of the old Pole Position game where you car is right in the middle of the screen and never moves. Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't a huge problem, but sometimes throughout the game is does make it hard to make a jump over a big cliff or a hole with big, sharp pointy rods sticking out of the floor. The good thing about it though, is that you can move the camera angle around to see what your next move should be so that can save your bacon a few times.
This is a truly addicting game. Sure, the storyline is a little crazy and complicated, but the game is just one thing֦un! And as for the minor flaw in the game there are so many more positives that you should definitely check this one out. But only if you are 17 or older because the game is rated M by the ESRB for very strong language and some pretty gruesome graphics. But if you are 17 or older and you don't mind a little blood, guts, and hardcore action then this is for you.