My Shadows Of The Damned Hands-On Was Loaded With Guns And Genital Jokes

By Spencer . March 8, 2011 . 10:02am


Grasshopper Manufacture’s next game is a love story of sorts. Shadows of the Damned follows demon hunter Garcia Hotspur as he dives into hell to rescue his girlfriend Paula. Electronic Arts is touting Shadows of the Damned as a gritty horror game, but Goichi Suda (Suda51) added a touch of toilet humor. For instance, Garcia’s machine gun shoots bones and is called the "Boner." Actually, Shadows of the Damned is overflowing with those kinds of jokes. The demo, which took place in stage 2-1, had Garcia inspect pubic vines and optionally read the Johnsonpedia for more information about his enemies.


Way before all of the cock jokes, Shadows of the Damned threw Garcia right into combat. The level opened in an area enveloped by darkness. Monsters lunged towards Garcia, but under the cover of darkness these undead creatures were invulnerable. In the distance I saw a goat head and shot it to turn on the lights. A cloud of darkness still covered the enemies and deflected bullets. Before you can kill anything you need to hit it directly with light. All three of Garcia’s guns (a pistol, shotgun, and machinegun) can fire a photon blast with the right bumper. This doesn’t take up any ammunition, so you can blindly fire light blasts if you like. Now defenseless, these monsters can be executed with a headshot. Land one and Shadows of the Damned’s camera follows a bullet the bullet so players can see the carnage.


I got used to the rhythm quickly – left trigger (LT) to draw you weapon, move the right stick to aim (a Resident Evil 4 style laser lets you know where you’re firing), hit the right bumper (RB) to shoot light, and pull the right trigger (RT) to open fire. The left bumper makes Garcia take a swig of absinthe because alcohol is the only way to restore health in hell. After drinking it, Garcia’s vision and the screen blurs for a few seconds.




Grasshopper Manufacture hid plenty of items for players to find. Smash fences just outside the critical path and players can find extra items. Posters are also scattered through levels, like the one for "Strawberry Sh*tcake" I discovered. You can read one of these by pressing the X button, which has Garcia and Johnson, his shapeshifting demon gun gab about hell. A representative from Electronic Arts explained these posters tell players more about the world Grasshopper Manufacture created for Shadows of the Damned.


I blasted through more demons and reached one of the game’s puzzles. While the darkness tends to be Garcia’s enemy, you also need it at times. That pubic hair covered door mentioned earlier only opens when darkness covers it. I shot a goat head to turn out the lights and the darkness spread through the room like a miasma. Demons emerged when it touched corpses, but I couldn’t defeat them. The only defense Garcia has is his melee attack, which him push the demons away with Johnson transformed as a torch. After climbing a few ladders, I found the darkness core, which looked something like a Venus fly trap. Garcia shoved a brain inside it to stop the flow.


Demon Swift_kick


Then I ran into a woman named Justine started singing. Johnson, scared as usual, chattered his teeth. She called a giant monster with a gem on its back to attack Garcia. I wasn’t sure if it was a mid-boss, but this monster put up more of a fight. It dashed at Garcia forcing me to use his dodge roll. However, like your run of the mill demon the same attack strategy works. Hit the large demon with light to stun it and expose its weak point, the gem on its back. Right before this battle, I started using the shotgun. At close range, it can kill most demons with one shot. Two shotgun blasts to the gem later and the giant demon was defeated.


The level ended and I got a brief glimpse of the main map, which was in 2D and appeared to use sprites. Garcia walked to the next area and a cutscene began. Garcia spotted Paula’s head on the ground. In a melancholy tone, Garcia started to pine the death of his love… until the head screamed. Paula’s body, lying nearby, grabbed the head and reattached it. A knife eviscerated Paula and George, a bloody soldier, popped out of her skin. Control switched back to me and George started chasing Garcia, but the demo ended here with Garcia standing in an open area preparing to fight.




We won’t have to wait long to see what’s next. Electronic Arts has Shadows of the Damned scheduled for release on June 7th.

  • nyoron

    So, did you get a good RE4 vibe while playing this?

    • I think the controls were somewhat like RE4, but the atmosphere is totally different.

      • nyoron

        Cool, thanks. I can tell the atmosphere looks pretty crazy, but I’m definitely interested in something that plays like RE4.

  • SolidusSnake

    Eh… I love horror and dick jokes but the controls sound pretty iffy. Can you move while shooting? Also, how well did the laser work as your crosshairs in this game? I hated that feature in RE5 due to the distance in which you had to engage enemies. Having to use a sniper rifle on a guy who was 10 yards away because my highly trained professional mercenary was too dumb to look down the sights of his weapon got on my nerves in that game. One more question. Does Garcia get infinite booze? :3

    • Glad you asked that. Having to press LT to cock a handgun sounds everytime you want to shoot sounds rather tiresome

    • Let’s see…
      – You can move while shooting.
      – Most of the areas were small so enemies were quite close. Goat heads tended to be in the distance and I didn’t have a problem shooting those.
      – No, you have to find absinthe in levels.

      • SolidusSnake


      • Guest

        moving while shooting is good. Yakuza of the End doesn’t have that unfortunately

  • mikanko

    Thank god you can walk while aiming, hopefully RE6 can learn from this.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    “Garcia shoved a brain inside it to stop the flow.” But where did the brain come from? O_O

    Is there melee for when enemies get way too close to you?

    • Oh the brain was an item I picked up earlier, think of it like a key perhaps?

      Yes, you can use the torch for melee when demons get to close. It makes Garcia push them back.

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        So it’s like kinda a puzzle, I see… a “Brain-dead” puzzle!! :)

  • PrinceHeir

    “Posters are also scattered through levels, like the one for “Strawberry Sh*tcake””

    oh god i love these kind of references :)

    i wonder if we’ll see a Killer 7 reference? like “here lies the 7 killers” carve on a tombstone.

    that would be sweet :P

    i guess this is a more hellish version of Re4 with demons and all :)

  • This sounds amazing. First of all, I love well played innuendo. If this is done right, I’ll be making dick jokes at every cutscene. Second of all, I love destructible environments. I spend a lot of time inflicting mass property damage. The controls sound standard, but I’ll have to play it to know for sure.

    Also, I wonder if drinking too much will have any long term affects. Slurring of words in cutscenes? Not being able to walk straight after awhile? Hurling chunks at some point?

    • z_merquise

      Have you tried the game Bulletstorm? It got lots of dick jokes that would really make you laugh. But even with or without it, the game was very fun.

      Well, back to the Damned, the game instantly turned to a “must-buy” for me after reading the gameplay previews and watching the current trailer.

  • MisterDandylion

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Spencer! :D

    Thanl god you can move while shooting, It may feel like RE4 but this fact makes a great difference.

    I’m curious about the backstory of Johnson and his relationship with Garcia.

  • Judging by one of the screenshots, I see that in Hell, the most effective way of dealing with demons is a swift kick to the nut sack.

  • z_merquise

    Spencer, you lucky son-of-a-devil-hunter. Is the demo fun? How about the music? I read the hands-on for the game in other sites and it sounds like all of them enjoyed it.

    Kudos to Spencer for providing small details that I didn’t find (so far) in other sites like the Strawberry Sh!tcake, name of the mysterious woman and the game map that’s designed in 2D sprites.

    I’m just curious of the gun named “Boner”. Some said that it was the shotgun, others said it’s the pistol but this one said it’s the machine gun. Which is THE Boner?

  • GOTY 2011? Maybe. I’m excited for sure.

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