Shadow of Death 2 is a side-scroller where you battle demons and fight bosses in a series of levels. In my play-through, I have had a positive experience, despite the difficulty that may put some people off. The visuals are stunning, the enemies dangerous, and bosses magnificent. Let’s see how the game plays.
Difficulty – too demanding?
It may be unfair for me to say that the difficulty is not that bad, considering my love for punishing games. It does ramp up quite quickly, with new enemies appearing without warning that you can only figure out through a process of trial and error. You will die, but that’s not where difficulty should lie. I think it’s easy to overcome the obstacles once they’ve killed you a couple times. It’s all about learning and adapting – you need to realize that the problem isn’t the game, it’s you. I’m happy to report that this is purely a skill game, so you could, technically, beat the game with your bare fists as long as you have the technique down.
Buying and upgrading equipment will be your best friend, despite what I just said. It will make the game so much easier. I thoroughly enjoyed the three types of weapon, but grew real close to the greatswords. They seemed to be the only strong enough to make a satisfying dent in the enemy’s health, and their slow swing speed can be mitigated by your maintained high mobility and agility.
In short, the difficulty will always depend on factors you can control, the only difficulty here is accepting that you constantly need to improve your strategies and skill.
A stunning experience
This was not what I expected from this game. I love the almost silhouette style character aesthetics with gloomy backgrounds. The red highlights with each attack adds to the power and emphasis of each hit, and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the demons crumble after a heavy blow. The 3D modelling is really cool as well, the characters look so epic running around and performing special attacks.
The sound design, whilst not revolutionary, does help the game feel better when pummeling enemies, or being tossed around yourself.
More than a mobile game
Mobile games these days incorporate limiters to slow your progress. Shadow of Death 2 does no such thing. You can play unlimited, tackling levels after levels. This does exclude the arena, but this multiplayer function isn’t needed to progress the game. I could see myself getting hooked and playing this game for a while non-stop, and loving every second of the action.
A potential frustration
This isn’t a huge deal, but worth pointing out. It is easier for me to say ‘just improve your armour and weaponry’, but it can be difficult to actually do this. Grinding in this game is certainly required, and you have to be frugal with your resources. You have a slight chance to find equipment after a level, or you can purchase a random item for 400 aura, which is difficult to casually acquire. So getting new equipment is difficult, and upgrading your current gear will require you do some grinding. If you are fine with this, then your frustration will be limited.