A game which feeds off its comic franchise is now headed to the PS2 in its second video game installment. Mike LeRoi, who is currently residing in New Orleans, seeks vengeance for his family’s death--his entire family was brutally murdered. To help him carry out his revenge, Nettie, a voodoo priestess, gives you the mask of shadows. With this mask garnered, Mike can enter Deadside and is given god-like immortality. The way the mask works is quite simple, Mike turns into Shadow Man at night and also whenever he dies in the real world. While in Deadworld, he is given voodoo-like powers from his mask as well as the invulnerability from dying. Furthermore, he can go back to the real world any time he wishes.
The main oppressors are the Grigori, whose main goal is to release their former leader, Asmodeus, upon the real world. At your aid is none other than Thomas Deacon--a former NYPD cop and now a demon hunter. To make matters worse, the Irish dwarf, Jaunty, has been taken hostage and is being held captive by Papa Morte--the Grigori’s current leader.
Weapons ar a big key in Shadow Man and are very diverse. As you move from the real world to the Deadside, your weapons will change to fit the world. Thankfully, Acclaim has given Mike a whole bevy of weapons to fire off. A wrecking bar, pistol, shotgun, machete, large machine-gun, grenade launcher, the assassin pistol, and the Magnum Desert Eagle are all at his disposal. The aforementioned weapons will all transform once entering the dark pits of Deadside. At first glance, the weapons above seem like a whole wrecking crew; however, your best echelon will be the use of the various voodoo powers which are used in Deadside. Some examples are colles, which are voodoo bombs that you can attach to an enemy to later see him run to his allies in panic (Boom!); l’orage, which creates a storm above killing all the enemies within a certain range--with lighting bolts; and l’inferno, which surrounds your body in flames killing all the enemies nearby on contact. That’s still not all, though. There’s another source of attack known as the nephilim weapons. These weapons let Mike use a crossbow, which shoots fireballs; an immensely crafted sword, which is engulfed in flames; and a shield, which surrounds your body, called the Armor of Blood.
Shadow Man is compiled of seven huge worlds which will be unlocked as progression is achieved. Unfortunately, the levels are more linear than its predecessor; however, this allows Acclaim to spend more time on them, detail speaking. The different levels are all very different taking place in themes such as: a haunted mansion, mountains in Iraq, a snowy forest, and an island sitting of the coast of Ireland.
Pertaining to visuals, Shadow Man is very impressive in the least. The different character models are heavily detailed and well drawn. And the graphics engine is supposedly going to cut loading times down to almost nothing. Additionally, the particle effects depicting the environmental effects as well as night-to-day were executed smoothly. The movie-scenes are played out greatly throughout the game totaling in at over an hour-- helping to further the impacting story.
Shadow Man: 2econd Coming is looking to be a great follow up to Acclaim’s hit game. The game has a tentative release of 2-15-2001 and will be exclusive for the PS2. Stay tuned to PSX Extreme for the full review in the near future.
2/6/2002 Joseph Comunale