More Reviews
REVIEWS Astro A38 Wireless Headset Review
With the launch of the A38s, Astro has clearly shown that they can rock our eardrums off even if we aren’t sitting in our living rooms.

Destiny Review
With Bungie's leap to next-generation platforms and interstellar space closer to home, I wonder if E.T. is out there somewhere.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Skylanders Trap Team Preview
While younger gamers have flocked to the brand, more mature consumers remain reluctant to jump on board. Skylanders move forward with trappable enemies, though I doubt it’ll turn stubborn heads.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release date: 09/30/14

Alien: Isolation
Release date: 10/07/14

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Release date: 10/14/14

The Evil Within
Release date: 10/14/14

LATEST FEATURES Assassin's Creed Unity Interview: Ubisoft Talks Multplayer, Next-Gen Development, More
Ubisoft's first "truly" next-gen entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise takes the fight to France. Here's what you can expect.

PlayStation Download September 2014 - Updating Each Week
Sony's platforms always get plenty of new digital software and we'll bring you the list each week with the rest.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Dragon Fin Soup, Dungeon of the Endless,

Read More Member Blogs
A Letter to the Big “N"
By shandog137
Posted on 09/12/14
I have and will continue to have a place in my heart for Nintendo. In fact, my first console was a Super Nintendo. The video game market has changed drastically since the early '90s and it seems like what once was platinum is more so along the lines of silver now. Nintendo has always been...

Shadow of Destiny Review

Shawn_Sanders By:
GENRE Adventure 
T Contains Animated Violence

What do these ratings mean?

My other time machine is a Lexus IS300.

Video games don't need anymore androgynous game characters. Square, Konami - listen up. We're not gonna take it anymore. Who wants to be a frail, effeminate atrophied girl/boy with long flowing hair delicately tied back, and a few strands strategically placed to look slightly disheveled? I don't want to name any names but Cloud (FFVII), Sion (The Bouncer) and now Eike Kusch (Shadow of Destiny) are all overly delicate. Come on, even the Broccoli Boys somehow manage to be more masculine. How many more girly-men must we play as before someone finally says enough?

And that's the rant part. Now the review.

Shadow of Destiny is a third-person classic adventure that send players tumbling back and forth through time in an attempt to avert your own deaths. Note the plural. The game has some pretty interesting characters, such as your ancestors from several different time periods, alchemists, fortunetellers, demons and even eccentric screenplay writers. Cool, eh?

SoD brings to the fray good graphics, incredible FMVs, spot on animation and a seemingly ho-hum story containing enough plot twists, mystery and intrigue to compel you to finish the game and discover at least one of five endings. But the game is not without its weaknesses - namely, an astonishing lack of interactivity (you're essentially just watching the game) and the wussy lead character.

The game opens with you, Eike Kusch, walking out of a caf" only to receive a shank in your backside, ending your life. Upon awakening you find yourself in a strange netherworld. A voice informs you that you are dead and offers you a time travel device called the Digipad (most generic name ever?), which will aid you in preventing your own demise. After a brief repartee, you accept the offer, suspicious of what your new helper has to gain in the matter, and are whisked away to a point 30 minutes before your passing.

That's the story. It may sound familiar and kind of dull, but believe me at least one of the five endings comes together better than most Hollywood blockbusters. I'm thoroughly impressed.

Each chapter in the game represents a different death that you must avert (your death outside the caf" is chapter one). Who are these killers and what is their agenda? This is for you to piece together on your temporal jaunts.

The first thing you'll notice about SoD is the high graphic quality. The textures are clean and detailed and there is no obvious anti-aliaing issues. The eye candy is as sweet as anything you'll find in the Dreamcast's Resident Evil: Code Veronica. If you like the graphics, which I know you will, then you will love the nicely executed and well-animated FMV sequences. It's good that these are pleasant to watch, since that's what you're doing for the better part of the game.

The entire game takes place in the same town, and the gameplay is very typical for an adventure title. Eike traverses the town back and forth talking with residents, gathering information and acquiring items. Again, a large portion of the gameplay entails long FMV's. Grab a soda and get comfortable.

There are tiny energy units conveniently scattered throughout the town that power your Digipad time travelling device. This is really cool. Each time period has these EU's scattered in different places. Try to remember where you last spotted them, so when you return to that timeline you can go straight to them with little hassle. You'll quickly find out (maybe the hard way) that an abundant supply of these little units is preferable. This will permit you to do some of the side quests or just explore different (but relevant) timelines at your leisure.

The time travelling is just what you would expect. You meet ancestors and tinker with the timeline, eventually seeing the effects manifested in later time periods. I traveled back a hundred years and instructed a groundskeeper to plant a flowerbed (for reasons you must discover on your own) in the exact spot where a tree is standing in the current time. Upon travelling back to my own time I noticed the huge old tree was gone, and there stood a flowerbed in it's place. That was fun, and Eike engages in much more temporal meddling of the like.

This time tweaking is directly related to the game's numerous branching points. The events you effect in the past can later dictate which ending you will uncover. Branching is something that is definitely needed in a game where there is little interactivity, as it offers the player a little something to do when there isn't much else.

And that's the biggest problem with Shadow of Destiny: the lack of action. While adventure games are often more cerebral than other genres, this one goes out of its way to ensure that you do very little. It gets frustrating at times.

But I must give credit where it's due, and this game just keeps on giving. Not only do you get five different endings, you can also open up a few movie trailers and even another game mode known as EX Mode (wow, what an original name). Even this EX bit allows for two different endings. SoD is just packed with more gameplay than you can shake a memory card at.

In general, the Playstation 2 has many laughably mediocre titles. Few are turning heads or raising eyebrows, and that's sad. Sony should be happy that gamers can't sue them for false advertising. Faster load times - Ha! Revolutionary gameplay - I beg your pardon? So when a solid, intriguing game such as Shadow of Destiny comes along, we light incense and thank the gaming gods for blessing us with a decent title to act as more rain for our village of gaming.

It may not be a gift from the gods, but Shadow of Destiny is a solid game. Initially the story feels retarded, but give it some time and you'll see the light. The multiple endings and extra goodies really ups the replay value, a rarity in a game of this sort. Still, the lack of action deals a heavy blow to this otherwise polished adventure.

B Revolution report card
  • Compelling & intriguing story
  • Looks great
  • Cool time travelling component
  • Strangely replayable
  • Near fatal lack of interactivity
  • Too much watching, not enough playing

More from the Game Revolution Network

comments powered by Disqus


More information about Shadow of Destiny

More On GameRevolution