The Devourer’s got soul(s)
Smashing through plenty of enemies, collecting loot, levelling up, and upgrading skills, Shadows: Awakening ticks all the checkboxes you’d expect from a Diablo-like hack-and-slash RPG. It might be a little janky at times – animations can be quite stiff, and the environments look nice but don’t offer anything mindblowing in terms of fantasy settings – but it does stimulate the parts of the brain that just like hitting enemies and then picking things up.
Thankfully Shadows: Awakening has some fab twists. Summoned from the Shadow Realm, you take the role of The Devourer, a demon who consumes souls that can then act for him in the mortal realm (worldswitching plays into some puzzles). You choose one of three souls at the beginning (one from each hero class – warrior, hunter, and mage), and which you pick alters the way you interact with the story. The heroes have their own personalities and goals, and rather than being completely subservient to The Devourer, they share a body and have some control.
Over time, you’ll add more heroes to your body’s roster through completing quests – you’ll have up to three active ones who you switch between instantly with o and u. Different heroes get on differently with one another, and can have their own approaches to quests. 1 The interactions are fun, and the world and story is pretty well-written, if somewhat standard fantasy fare. It’s fully voice acted with a great cast, 2 although some battle shouts grow repetitive. It might not be the most unique game ever made, but it has charm where it counts.
FOOTNOTES1 Some heroes will be more welcome in certain areas, perhaps gaining access more easily. 2 Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor himself, voices the magician who frees The Devourer.
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