Shadows of the Damned sold just 24,000 copies in its first month in 2011, dooming the game to, at best, cult classic status. Part of Electronic Arts' abandoned EA Partners program, where the company collaborated with outside developers, EA dropped it like a hot potato—or, say, a hot skull—doing little to ensure anyone knew it existed. But if you missed it the first time around, there's a great chance to jump on the bandwagon; it's now backwards compatible on Xbox One.
Shadows of the Damned was originally announced as a horror collaboration between Shinji Mikami, Akira Yamaoka, and Suda 51—a combination that'd get any horror fan psyched up. And though Shadows of the Damned doesn't really feature any moments that'll have you looking for a reason to turn the lights on, it is legitimately funny and features one of the best third-person shooter campaigns around. The world, the characters, the combat—it's just fun.
Fair warning: it has its fair share of dick jokes, which wear out their welcome quickly. (But a few of them are pretty good.)
From what I understand, its lengthy development was due to a souring relationship between Grasshopper Manufacture and EA, as each side wanted something different out of the game.
When I spoke with Suda 51 about it, though, he pushed back on that idea.
"EA has given us feedback and support on many aspects of the project," Suda told me back in 2011. "There is a lot of mutual respect between EA and Grasshopper. Foremost in EA's thinking was introducing Grasshopper to a global audience without losing the trademark style and attitude that has helped make us who we are today. We've been great partners."
What might have been is irrelevant, the game that was released in 2011 is worth your time. I've always hoped and prayed Shadows of the Damned might get a PC release at some point—what happened to that rumored port of Vanquish??—but for now, I'll have to accept a chance to return through backwards compatibility.