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Forums > Submission Feedback > honestgamer's Shadow Complex (XLA) review

This thread is in response to a review for Shadow Complex on the Xbox 360. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: JANUS2
Posted: September 07, 2009 (05:25 AM)
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I enjoyed Shadow Complex, but on normal difficulty the amount of hand-holding is ridiculous. Based on the views you've expressed in the past and your comments in this review I understand why this isn't a problem for you, but the amount of help you're given on the default difficulty is just insulting. Not only is there a big blue line that tells you exactly which route to take, but every single secret is marked on the map with a question mark. Then when you reach the correct room you're told exactly where the secret is and what weapon you need to use to reveal it.

I know that insane mode is there for people like me who like their exploration based adventures to actually require a bit of exploration, but I find it depressing that Chair didn't have the guts to make casual gamers actually work for 100% completion. The achievements aren't really a consolation either because there's a fairly obvious and intentional sequence break that cuts out two thirds of adventure.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: zippdementia
Posted: September 07, 2009 (12:51 PM)
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I only saw this game played by a friend and yet I, too, thought it deserved a 10. Amazing job that I can only pray one day makes its way onto the PSN.


Note to gamers: when someone shoots you in the face, they aren't "gay." They are "psychopathic."


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Author: Lewis
Posted: September 07, 2009 (01:43 PM)
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Thoughts on it funding a vicious bigot?


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: September 07, 2009 (02:19 PM)
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And here's Lewis with the buzzkill!

It's not like the game was based around whatever unpopular views you PC kids are striking out against these days, nor will a noteable percentage of the funds find their way into his pocket to fund terrorism of puppy kicking, or whatever. It's a (seemingly) good game and, if it sells well, it will allow the developer to make more good games in the future.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: JANUS2
Posted: September 07, 2009 (02:19 PM)
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Don't care.

Seriously, the controversy surrounding Shadow Complex is beyond stupid. First of all, the game has almost nothing to do with him. The story is irrelevant and the few scenes of dialogue were written by a different writer. You can't boycott it based on content because there's nothing offensive, so we get this "don't fund a bigot" stance. Well great, let's not fund a bigot and let's also hurt the developers in the process. What if the sound effects man was anti-gay? Would we all be refusing to buy the game then?

Yeah, Orson Scott Card has conservative beliefs that I don't personally agree with, but the game does not attempt to defend, promote or glorify these beliefs in any way because it had nothing to do with him. To me it seems like people have tried to turn this game into something that it isn't in order to attack Card.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: September 07, 2009 (02:16 PM)
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I think everyone has divisive aspects to their character, especially where religious beliefs are involved. Fame tends to bring those aspects into public view. It's fine if people choose to boycott Shadow Complex to prevent a single cent from going to Card. It's fine if people choose to buy Shadow Complex specifically to support Card.

I personally see no difference between the two actions.

Whether or not people purchase the game won't have any meaningful impact on Card; it's just a way for people to display their personal political views at the expense of an entire team's vision. He was a small piece of the design, and the divisive views that have been called into question don't play a role in the game itself.

I have no problem with people raising the alarms; providing information so that developers and consumers make informed decisions is a good thing. I do take issue with the notion that I'm morally obligated to boycott it.

I haven't bought the game yet, but being told that I shouldn't buy Shadow Complex makes it pretty tempting ;)

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: September 07, 2009 (01:55 PM)
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Definition of 'bigot' as defined by Miriam Webster:

a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

My short answer to your question, Lewis, is that I don't consider Orson Scott Card a bigot and therefore have no problem purchasing games and books that benefited from his involvement. I can of course understand why someone who feels differently might choose a different response and perhaps encourage others to do the same.

The word 'bigot' is a convenient label that gets thrown around in a lot of places where it doesn't actually apply, to the point where the vehemence that often inspires its use is sadly ironic. In asking your question, you're touching on an issue that I don't feel can adequately be addressed without turning into a monstrous debate over politics, semantics and ethics that have only the thinnest connection to Shadow Complex or my review of that game. Emotions consistently run high during such discussions, there's often name calling and just about no one likely to participate is actually trying to understand the opposing viewpoint (all things that go against the forum guidelines and their general spirit). I see that as a topic that should be studiously avoided a site that at its core is really just about video games. Surely, that's a broad enough topic as it is?


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: JANUS2
Posted: September 07, 2009 (02:42 PM)
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"I haven't bought the game yet, but being told that I shouldn't, does make it pretty tempting"

Just make sure you play it on insane.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: September 07, 2009 (02:50 PM)
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Yeah JANUS2, I saw some gameplay footage and totally get what you're talking about with the hand-holding.

Aside from removing all of the onscreen cues, is insane mode that much harder otherwise? Because I'm not really looking for a game that goes out of its way to brutally murder me, I would just like a game with some moderate challenge that doesn't coddle me.

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: September 07, 2009 (02:52 PM)
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It should be noted that I have outspoken views on orphans, who I belive are an unwanted burden on my tax payments, and should be offered up as alturnative fuel. Because I have these unpopular views, should this site as a whole, being a beast made of uncountable individuals, suffer and not be viewed at all?

The answer is: only if you are a twit.


For us. For them. For you.


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Author: JANUS2
Posted: September 07, 2009 (02:53 PM)
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Insane mode can be very tough early on because you don't have much health and you lose it very quickly, but by the end of the game you'll have turned into an unstoppable super soldier (which is a lot of fun). There's actually a difficulty level between normal and insane. I haven't played it so I don't know how much hand-holding it does, but I do know that you can turn off the blue line if you want to.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: wolfqueen001
Posted: September 07, 2009 (03:19 PM)
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Yeah, guys. EmP's a terrible person. He also thinks prostitutes aren't people and that hippies should be interned and executed.


What espiga does in his free time
[Eating EmP's brain] probably isn't a good idea. I mean... He's British, which means his brain's wired for PAL and your eyes are NTSC. - Will


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Author: Lewis
Posted: September 07, 2009 (03:18 PM)
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Man! My comment was tongue-in-cheek - I expected a sly wink if any response at all. The internet doesn't allow you to say things with a smile, does it?

It is a really interesting one, though, and I'm glad it's spurred on the discussion. I'm intrigued by Jason not thinking that's an apt description of the man, though.

My tuppence: I wouldn't boycot the game. I intend to buy it very soon, as I hear it's excellent. What would put me off buying it more than Card's peripheral involvement was an incredibly unprofessional comment on Christian's (completely objective and reporterly) article on the situation over at Gamasutra, in which the game's writer was pretty fucking out of order in what he said to Christian about his work - really accusative and rude, basically, and then angrily attacking those who were choosing to boycot the game. On a purely personal level - because the comment was right there in front of me, because it was on a website I write for, because I understand Christian was just doing his job, and doing it well, as the article was brilliant, fair and unbiased - I found that more offensive than my more distant reaction to Card's political views.

That said, I do think Card is a completely hateful person, eager to spread his own narrow-minded ideologies across the globe with little or no consideration for anyone else's views. This is a man who advocates a ban on same sex marriage, is a member of an organisation who frequently scaremonger the more ignorant population into believing homosexuality is some sort of curse that's going to corrupt everyone's morals and ethics, is a denier of global warming, and - though this is just our personal views contradicting, rather than him being a dick - an avid supporter of the Republican Party and its War on Terror.

So no, this is not the sort of man I'd want to support. Then again, I've heard plenty of people say Shadow Complex is their favourite game of the year, so I'm eager for a piece of the action. And Chair is a small development house whom I'd love to support - and while I'd say it was perhaps a little naive to license Card's universe without thinking of the implications, which seems to be the case, I wouldn't want them to lose money for that.

What has irked me in certain places - not here, obv - is the reactionary silencing a number of people are trying to impose. Kneejerk "it's just a game - buy it and enjoy it, or shut up" or "politics and videogames aren't related, so it's not relevant" comments that completely beggar belief. Like Resident Evil 5's portrayal of native central African people, or District 9's depiction of the Nigerian gangs, it might not be the work trying to advocate an abhorrent political view, but it is relevant, because people are choosing to boycot the game, people are upset, and people are asking questions.

EDIT: Actually, Jason did go for the "not relevant" thing a bit, though I understand his reasoning in not wanting the discussion to spiral out of control. But it is relevant. If we understand that a big part of videogaming is the culture that surrounds it - and I'm sure we do, since we're all here talking on a community driven site - then I don't think these peripheral issues can be overlooked.

I'll abide by any rules, though, natch.


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Author: zigfried (Mod)
Posted: September 07, 2009 (03:43 PM)
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Damn Lewis, you type fast.

I read that article when it was first posted, but the writer's response wasn't there at the time. Didn't they praise the writer or producer or something? I really didn't expect anyone connected with the game to respond badly (although I do think the article falls into the trap of "creating news", especially since a game that was far more personal for Card -- Advent Rising -- never received this backlash)

//Zig


Unlimited Zig Works!


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Author: JANUS2
Posted: September 07, 2009 (04:01 PM)
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The thing is, it IS just a game. The story doesn't express any political message at all and is completely irrelevant anyway. Unlike Resident Evil 5 there's nothing controversial in the game to connect it to the real world controversy. And Card can't really be said to be part of the culture that surrounds the game because he had nothing to do with it (unlike Advent Rising which he wrote). Who are we boycotting here? Chair have taken Card's universe and done their own thing with it. The culture that surrounds this game is their love for Super Metroid and old spy films. Punishing an entire development team for Card's unrelated beliefs therefore seems extreme and narrow minded.


"fuck yeah oblivion" - Jihad


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Author: Suskie
Posted: September 08, 2009 (08:59 AM)
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Man! My comment was tongue-in-cheek - I expected a sly wink if any response at all.

Ha. Yeah. Right.


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