Haven Reviews: Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

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The true purpose of any masked murderer, is to flip out and kill people. Mostly by hiding in the shadows and deploying fiendish traps and distractions. While impaling unassuming guards with icicles, as they ponder about who’s footprints are these? It’s truly wicked world of samurai, corpse devouring bushes and a whole lot of gunpowder.

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Shadow Tactics is seen from a birds eye view, where I control a team of heroes with special abilities. Each brings a different tool and challenge to the board and they are all equally important to utilize. Since controlling two characters at once is a tricky business, one can be assigned an order. I can execute while controlling another person. Such as setting one up to throw a noisy rock at a guard and as he look away the other guy will rip him a new one. Since dead enemies can be discovered, ti is totally possible to depose of them in a myriad of ways. Such as into bushes and off cliffs. When the alarm trigger a swarm of alerted folks comes running from various doors to investigate. The plot is fairly decent, with some colorful heroes. They are fun and quirky, but over all they’re a bit stereotypical. If you look away from the way the youngest member talk. She has some really fun and disturbing lines. Especially when dropping lethal things on unassuming victims.

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When using a game pad, the A button does it all, well almost and is very finicky when multiple things are too close. Such as torches, bodies, doors and grappling points. The same struggle can happen if two corners are too close as I try to descend from the roof. Plus some enemies are virtually impossible to quick tag with the vision cone.

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Repeating dialogue. Some NPC keep repeating lines during the run of a level. This gets very old very quick. Especially the first time around, since I take a long time to complete the levels. I would really appreciate a way to turn off or down the volume of in-game NPC’s. Luckily everyone can be killed. It’s a true sign of patience to let them live. Especially that drunk man in town.

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This game is hard and that’s just on normal. On The highest difficulty the game is just mean. Luckily there are medals and steam achievements to unlock for the completionist. It will only take several playthrough of each level to do so. One thing is for certain, doing it all is a challenge all on it’s own.

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Enemies are as expected. They will fall for the same trap over and over again. Place a spring loaded floortrap, blow the whistle and watch the guard get Impaled. Naturally this usually causes panic, where the ignorant fools will comb the bushes. Only to find nothing, and return to their guard duties. With some reinforcements and replacements. There is a price to trigger the alarm after all.

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The music is quite melodic and is very fitting. A bit forgettable, filled with traditional Japanese instruments and a lot of modern sounds. It’s not bad at all. It’s there and it works. The voice-overs are quite good and can actually be set to fully Japanese, which is quite fitting for the era Shadow Tactics takes place. One thing I found very terrible though, it’s the sound of snoring guards. It’s too loud compared to anything else I’ve encountered.

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Due to the difficulty and style of gameplay, Shadow Tactics is not a game everyone can enjoy. However I still highly recommend it for anyone whom like a good stealth game. I can’t stop myself from wanting to play more. Also there are blood and decapitations within the game. There is also a demo of the game.

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Disclaimer:  We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this.

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