Shadowgrounds Survivor Review
Shadowgrounds Survivor is not a very original game, so don't stop me if you've heard this one before. A human installation on an alien world has been overrun by vicious aliens and almost no one has survived the onslaught. One of those survivors is a lone soldier who must fend off constant attacks by the aliens as he looks for other survivors and a way to get them all out of the station alive. It's pretty much the exact same thing you've seen umpteen times before and Shadowgrounds Survivor liberally borrows from just about everything in this vein that's come before it, including the developer's own Shadowgrounds. And the gameplay itself isn't all that original either. In fact, it's a throwback to action games of the past, when most shooters weren't played from a first person viewpoint. You play from a third person overhead view with a three quarters perspective that was popular with games about ten years ago or so.
OK, so it's not all that original and it's a budget title to boot, does that mean that we can write off Shadowgrounds Survivor and just call it a day? Well, if you did pass on it based on this you'd be missing out on a game that is surprisingly fun to play. It's not going to compete with Crysis or BioShock, but it can be enjoyable in a mindless blasting of aliens kind of way.
There are a few surprises in store for players of Survivor that you wouldn't expect from the game. First of all the graphics aren't as old school as they at first seem to be. The game features some sophisticated lighting effects with dynamic shadows. There's also a physics engine at work in the game and objects react realistically to bumps and pushes from you or your weapons and things blow up real purdy like. Then there's the game's RPG-like leveling system that lets you purchase special ability upgrades and the weapons upgrade system that lets you convert mechanical items found in the game into things like larger ammo capacity for your weapon.
The gameplay itself is very much arcade-style shooter action. Alien creatures of insectoid and reptilian persuasion are plentiful and enjoy attacking you in packs. You'll sometimes enter a large room and spend the next frantic thirty seconds mowing your way through a mob of alien bodies. At others a small pack will suddenly come charging down a hallway towards you. The one constant is that you won't have much time to collect your thoughts; it's one alien attack after another.
Survivor is basically a sophisticated arcade shooter and I have to wonder if it wouldn't have been better served by a dual-stick move and shoot control scheme ala Robotron. Like an arcade game, it can be addicting at times but there will probably be a limit to how much you can take in one sitting. Overall though there's a good amount of gameplay to be squeezed out of this title, and you can get that gameplay for half the price you'd pay for most games.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 79%. Shadowgrounds Survivor is one of those rare budget titles that actually is worth the money.