Shadow Edge: Hands-on Preview

Pastel Games’ forthcoming Shadow Edge is a stylish, horror themed dual-stick shooter in the mould of iDracula or Alive 4-Ever, but this time around rather than bloodsuckers or zombies attempting to tear you to shreds, it’s mummies, flesh-eating scarab beetles and mutant scorpians. Thank Christ for small mercies, eh?

The game will be shuffling into the Appstore at the end of April, until then why not join iFanzine as we descend into the eery catacombs of a forgotten pyramid in the hopes of unravelling some of Shadow Edge‘s mysteries, such as, how does this beast play? Can it hold a torch to the more established two-stick shoot ’em ups? And are mummies going to be the new zombies? Just watch out for the sand won’t you, it gets everywhere.

 Lara had really let herself go

A snazzy comic-book style intro sets the scene. The plot is enjoyably daft B-movie hokum: WW2 is raging and you, playing as Indiana Jones-alike John Willis, have been tasked by the US Defense Department with finding a fabled artifact that’ll help stop the ze Germans in their tracks.

Your search for this MacGuffin (the gift of immortality, not that it matters) will take you on a globe-trotting jaunt through a diverse selection of deadly dangerous, arse end of nowhere’s. First stop – The Land of the Pharaohs; deep underground, natch. Level one kicks off in a dingy tomb, with you wielding a pistol in one hand and a flaming torch in the other. Your torch only lights up a small area around you, meaning a good portion of the screen is always concealed in darkness. From which all manner of hideous creatures begin to emerge…

Excuse me sir, got a light?

The aim of the game is to survive against waves of these, increasingly larger (and tougher), creatures; some hurling fireballs, others spewing wads of bright green ectoplasm in your direction. Controls conform to the traditional dual-stick set-up – the left stick is for movement, while the right handles aiming and shooting. In addition there are two onscreen buttons used to cycle through the weapons at your disposal, and to light up the larger torches scattered around levels.

Graphics are great, with a high level of detail to the grimy environments and hideous monsters alike. The dynamic lighting effects are impressive and set a suitably spooky atmosphere. Sounds, meanwhile, are also superb (even more so through headphones), gun-shots and groans mingling with the banging in-game tunes. Heavy metal, funnily enough.

Also coming to iPad…Mummy I want one!

As you can probably tell, I’m having a blast with Shadow Edge so far. My only worry is that while Pastel Games have obviously made a concerted effort to differiate their game stylistically from the hordes of similar shooters, anyone who has already blasted their way through the likes of Minigore or Alive 4-Ever could find Shadow Edge‘s core gameplay a bit by the book.

That said, we’ve yet to delve deeper into the game at this point, so will reserve judgement for now. Stay tuned for a full review very soon! And check out the game in action below-