Reader Review: Shadow Complex

Reader Review: Shadow Complex

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Corey does, as he becomes the Nathan Drake you’re having when you’re not having Nathan Drake.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by Corey White. If you’ve played Shadow Complex, or just want to ask Corey more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Shadow Complex (360)

Shadow Complex is an Xbox Live Arcade exclusive, side-scrolling, action platformer made using the Unreal Engine. So whilst the movements of your character are restricted to two dimensions, all the enemies, items and environments are rendered in 3D, and stunningly so.


Visual Stylings: The enemy and tech designs are great, and there are some breathtaking set-pieces. The graphics are top-notch… not just for an Arcade title, but top-notch period.

Attention to Detail: You might expect that the developers would skimp on some of the finer details, seeing as you can only explore the game in two dimensions, but every polygon and pixel has been treated equally.

The Feel: Shadow Complex is a thoroughly-modern, yet genuinely old-school platformer. It’s highly original and innovative but somehow still strikes all the right nostalgic heart-strings. Your hand will be cramping from constantly holding down the Sprint button whilst mashing on Jump, but you’ll love every second of it.

Proving Grounds: These Portal-esque challenges could have been their own XBLA game, but here they’re thrown in as extras.


Frustration: The genuinely old-school feel of the game is great, but be prepared for suitably old-school levels of frustration.

Clumsy Story: The story-telling is extremely heavy-handed and you’ll lose count of the number of action movie and spy thriller genre tropes they’ve thrown in. Thankfully there isn’t too much story to worry about, but even so it’s really best if you don’t think it too much.

At 1200MSP Shadow Complex is one of the more expensive Arcade games, but it’s also probably the best and most highly-polished game in the whole Marketplace. Give the trial a shot, and if you like that, it only gets better from there.

Reviewed by: Corey White

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words – yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


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