Developer Nightdive Studios has been doing us all a great favor over the recent years by porting some classic games to current day platforms. Games like Turok 1 and 2, Doom 64, and Forsaken Remastered just to name a few. Their latest title to get brought back is Shadow Man Remastered with the original version having released all the way back in 1999 on the original PlayStation and Nintendo 64. The team has once again done a great job as the game is still faithful to the original version but has some improvements here and there as well.
For those unfamiliar with Shadow Man, it is based on a comic book character and the Shadow Man more of a title that is passed down to different people. In this game you play as Mike Leroi who has had a mask implanted into his chest turning him into the current Shadow Man. With this power he is able to traverse between the world of the living and the dead which is known as Deadside. Mike has to stop an apocalypse from happening and must use his powers to do so. There is a problem with that though as his powers only work in the land of the dead and not the living. To remedy this, he has to spend time in Deadside to obtain a knife that can then cause an event to happen in the world of the living that will allow him to use his powers there as well. The story is kind of crazy but as a fan of comic books this was right up my alley.
Nightdive put quite a bit of work into this remaster even though the game still looks very much like it did back in 1999 for the most part. Elements of the HUD have been upgraded to HD and all the levels and the objects in them have also been upgraded to HD. There are new enemies, levels, weapons, music, and so much more here along with many improvements. You can go in and toggle things like Motion Blur, depth of field, ambient occlusion, field of view, shadow maps and more. The shadow maps in particular bring a lot more atmosphere to the game in my opinion.
As for how the game plays in 2022 I would say it plays OK considering its age. Levels are open and leave a lot of room for exploration with many areas being inaccessible until you obtain something and come back to them. That means you’ll be doing a lot of backtracking at times which can be a chore and the lack of an in-game map means you’ll be required to try and memorize where you need to go. There is a sort of way to fast travel to help ease the pain but the game really needed a map. The game is a third-person shooter and so you’ll also be shooting and using magic abilities on plenty of demons and taking on bosses as you play. It can still feel a little clunky but improvements made by Nightdive have improved it. You now have auto aim, a weapon wheel, bullet physics, better controls, and improved enemy AI. Did I mention that it runs at 4K and a smooth 60FPS as well? All of this isn’t to say the game feels great as it doesn’t with camera problems and aiming issues still reeling their head but I got used to it over time.
Shadow Man Remastered is another great port from the fine folks over at Nightdive Studios. Visual improvements have made the game more atmospheric while a plethora of gameplay improvements and content additions have made for a more enjoyable time. Its 1999 roots still show but old-school fans of the game and newcomers should find enjoyment in this.
*Shadow Man Remastered is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. PlayStation 4 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
Shadow Man Remastered$19.99
- Respects the original game while making many improvements
- Includes cut content and many graphical, audio, and control improvements
- Story kept me wanting to see what would happen
- Lots of backtracking and no map can make this a chore
- Controls can still be awkward at times
- Still looks dated