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Shadows of the Damned: A new breed of horror game?

Brand new, diabolic excitement from gaming's Princes of Darkness...

If ever you needed concrete evidence to prove the adage 'It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it', check out Shadows of the Damned.

There's no denying that the very cheesy name suggests a kind of creative redundancy, and that's even before you've got to meet demon hunter (and brilliantly named) Garcia Hotspur.

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All leather trousers, square jaw and scarred face - and learned of his mission to enter Hell itself to save his girlfriend Paula from a bunch of revenge-hungry demons who will stop at nothing to...et cetera.

From that hoaky summary, you'd seem mad not to turn away. But then you see the game in action for yourself, and learn that it's coming from Executive Director Suda51 (Director of No More Heroes) and Creative Producer Shinji Mikami (Creator, obviously, of Resident Evil), and you remember that other adage; the one about judging books...

LORDS OF SHADOWS
The best way to be introduced to Damned was being right there at the reveal, the night before the Tokyo Game Show kicked off, with Mikami-san and Suda-san as masters of ceremony.

The gaming equivalent of Stephen King and Clive Barker teaming up on a whole new horror IP was clearly enough to whip up the crowd, even if they did insist on calling the game a "psychological action thriller" rather than "a third-person shooter where you shoot a load of demons".

But the footage we saw - stuffed with incredibly bombastic action, like a cross between an 80s heavy metal music video and a cheesy ghost train travelling at 200mph - stopped any quibbling.

"The game has a real punk rock edge to it and you can see Suda's flair and style everywhere in this game," began Mikami, kicking off the love-in, before handing over to his equally smitten partner.

"I believe Mikami-san is the number one game creator in the industry and you can see his thrilling, action-packed battles throughout Damned.

This is a very dark game and the greatest game I've ever worked on. From the beginning to the end it offers an over the top action thriller experience."

TO HELL
This will be that 'the way that you do it' element we mentioned before. Shadows of the Damned will be high on action and low on dialogue, with seemingly little suspense and with even less to go on in terms of character or plot - but why bother with all that when you have very large guns and droves of skeletal bad guys to mow down? Maybe we'd be labelling this 'trash' if it came from anyone else.

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But with the best in the business in charge, and even claiming Damned to be their greatest work, you'd have to be an idiot not to be excited about it's arrival.

Order Xbox World 360 here and have it delivered straight to your door.

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