E3 2015. Impressions from the “Shadow of the Beast”

The revival of the all-time classic game of Amiga for PS4 is – at the very least – worth noticing. There is now doubt that the nostalgia card has been played (and it will be played again in the near future) by many companies in the gaming industry. One can notice a clear interest on the recirculation of titles with which the audience that belongs now to the age of 30-40 met the world of gaming for the first time. Sony has already played two of those cards during the press conference with the spiritual successor of “Ico” and “Shadow of the Colossus” (we’re referring to “The Last Guardian”) and the “Shenmue 3” – but a lot before those two, on August of 2013, the company revealed during Gamescom  (the equivalent German conference) the modern remake of a much older and more important title: the “Shadow of the Beast”, a truly emblematic video game that wrote with golden letters the name of Psygnosis in the “gold era” of 160bit computers.

Remaining fans of the historic Amiga, we didn’t lose the chance to check the most recent edition of the title which will now be available for PS4. The “Shadow of the Beast” of course is obviously now a modernized version of the first 1994 edition that holds many of the features of that production and highlights them as one would expect from a title that will be available this year on the PlayStation Store on PS4. As Psygnosis had been bought be Sony – and had been evolved to the famous Studio Liverpool that signed the equally famous Wipeout series – the copyrights of the “Shadow of the Beast” belongs to the second, so the title as well belongs obviously entirely to its new “home system”.

The first minutes of the title leave now doubt about the respect that was earned by the legacy that its ancestor left behind – something which is clearly positive for the consumers that the title targets. Of course beyond that, there have been some changes and improvements since nostalgia is probably not enough for a title to remain as good as it was all those years ago. Aarbron has got more weapons and clues from the environment that he can use as such. He also has special moves to use in order to finish off impressively a combination of hits. On the title’s final edition, Birch wants to include environments of different styles than the ones that have already been demonstrated with equally designed opponents, but no further details were given.

One thing is for sure. By the end of the year, “Shadow of the Beast” will not be one easy remake that will give to the company some of the past forgotten glory. It will be the result of a ten-member team of people who loved Amiga’s historic title and decided to dedicate 2 and half years of their lives to bring it back to life. And that, for all of us who loved the first edition is a very good reason on its own, to make us honour the remake as well.