Top Critic Average
I had fun with the game for my Shadwen review. The graphics are great and other than a few instances when I had a hard time doing a couple of sections with either stealth or kills, I can definitely recommend this release. The time stop/rewind mechanic changes the way you’ll approach this stealth/action game. It is interesting to see Frozenbyte work on a new IP, and I can’t wait to see what the studio does next.
Shadwen is the kind of game that has the recipe to succeed. The use of time manipulation in a stealth game may make this a title that's intended for those just coming into the genre, but the approach is interesting enough to warrant a look. Bland level design and presentation along with a poor AI system for the guards makes the experience too rudimentary, and the lack of enemy variety can make things feel repetitive rather quickly. Ultimately, Shadwen has potential — but not in this incarnation.
Shadwen indeed sets the bar fairly high for stealth based games with its unique approach on real-time/turn-based gameplay. It lacks content and deserves more well thought out alternative gameplay moments, but overall we are talking about a fine game here which wears its heart on its sleeve. If you're looking for a stealth based adventure to keep you hooked for a few evenings entertainment then go grab Shadwen, you’ll (probably) not be disappointed.
Shadwen's first few levels will surely give some amount of fun to those who like this type of games, and the fact that the main character has to keep a little girl out of sight will, initially, feel like quite the exciting concept. Unfortunately, gameplay-wise this is quite a flawed product, with its main problem being the fact that it requires doing the exact same thing for more than 10, almost identical, levels.
Overall, I think Shadwen could be a good game, but for whatever reason I was unable to play it as the developer intended. Other reviewers don’t seem to have encountered the same issue as I had, so perhaps it’s just a one-off. Consider perusing other reviews before making a purchase decision, reader, as I am going to have to give Shadwen a low score. Ultimately, I found it to be unplayable.
Shadwen has a novel idea behind it, but doesn't quite live up to its promise. Dodgy AI and mechanics make this game a bit of a chore to play, especially once you figure out the optimal path that can be applied to each level.
Shadwen tries too hard to be more interesting by adding in more gimmicks, but because of how they didn’t really work well together to make a cohesive stealth experience, and are mired with how badly they were implemented, the game itself just ends up feeling like an incoherent mess. The game has potential, but it fails to live up to any of the features it tries to advertise. So many other games do it’s individual gimmicks better so you’re better off playing them since Shadwen does not do a very good job of combining said gimmicks together.
With other great indie titles out there, gamers are not missing out on anything with this one.
This is definitely a game. What do I mean by that? Well, this isn’t a “cinematic experience” a lot of games are going for these days. This feels like a game when you play it, not like you’re playing through a movie with gameplay mechanics tossed in. There’s a lot to like here, from the gameplay to the ideas presented, they just all aren’t executed extremely well at the end of the day.
The game’s a bit of a mess, with baffling AI at times (especially from your partner, who loves getting herself in trouble), and the freeze time mechanic having the habit of failing in the heat of something significant going on.