So, I was going to write an actual review for Shadows, and post it as a review and everything, but I decided not to because I changed my mind. Here are my thoughts!
Shadows of the Damned (SotD, for short) isn't the best looking game, and features the classic, "Hey, you can tell this is an Unreal Engine game because you can see the textures load in," but that doesn't mean it's a bad looking game. Quite the contrary, because the game's fun art style (a mash-up between heavy metal album covers, olde timey European architecture, and whatever else Suda 51 decided was cool) and great lighting more than make up for any technical faults with the game, like occasional framerate hitches when the game is saving, and some clipping issues here and there. But again, the lighting is fantastic, especially when Johnson (the game's sidekick) turns into a torch when not in gun mode. He changes color depending on the equipped weapon, and the effect on main character Garcia "F***ing" Hotspur and the environment is good enough to make John Carmack jealous. For the most part the framerate is steady, and the characters and environment has just enough detail to make everything look believable.
Normally, I don't really write too much about a game's audio, but I feel like SotD is a special case, with a soundtrack from Akira Yamaoka, and some amazing sound effects. The door opening noise in SotD is possibly my favorite sound effect in a game ever. So good that I spent a good half hour or more looking on the internet for a sound clip or short video of it. Sadly I couldn't, but if you watch some footage of the game (like the great Quick Look) you will hear it when a door is opened, and realize how awesome it is. Also, the other sounds and music in the game is pretty rad.
Shadows of the Damned's plot is that same tale that has been eternally retold in videogames since the olden days of Donkey Kong. Some villainous figure has kidnapped Garcia's girlfriend Paula (not to be confused with Pauline), and now he has to go rescue her. And in typical Suda 51 fashion, the stuff that follows is pretty crazy and weird, and in all the right ways that Suda 51 fans will love (well, at this point all of use Suda 51 fans have probably played this game). Yes, some of it is immature and dumb, like how Johnson turns into "The Boner," but a lot of it is dumb and awesome. Like how Johnson is a talking/floating skull who can turn into guns and a motorcycle. It's crazy.
I bet you thought I wasn't even going to discuss gameplay. Well, you were wrong! But, there's not really a ton to say. The game is a third person shooting in the vein of stuff like Resident Evil 4 or Dead Space. The controls work fine, and the game is fun. Not really much else to say really.
Yeah, so going on that quest to find the door sound kinda took all the steam out of what I was writing. Here's the gist: I thought this game was great. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who likes Suda 51 games, Shinji Mikami games, or sound effects stolen from Silent Hill games (but not really because it was Akira Yamaoka who put that awesome door sound in).
If I were to write a review, it would have 4 out of 5 stars, stating that the gameplay is fun, the surrounding stuff is fantastic, but the game is too short and offers too little in the way of bonus content (and no new game plus). It's a great game that didn't sell anywhere near enough copies. Go buy this game if you haven't. That door noise will make it all worth it.