Shadwen Review

Introduction

Shadwen is the new piece of IP from Trine developers Frozenbyte, diving head first into the foray of 3D stealth adventure after the poorly received Trine 3. Despite being shiny new in terms of character and story, there are clear throwbacks to their old titles, particularly in the visuals department. The dark purple hue is there, and the character models definitely feel reminiscent of the thief. Much of the gameplay feels directly descended from the developer's experience with Trine, messing with ropes, being heavily built on physics, and a tonne of platforming. The game takes this semi-open world approach, being linear in progression, but pretty much giving the player a complete free reign on how to get around patrols. It is worth noting however, this game is built around escorting a young girl throughout. Seems like an odd direction, considering escort quests are some of the most widely hated formats in RPGs.

Storyline

The game starts off at the end, with Shadwen executing the one eyed king (who incidentally has two eyes), with Lily, a young girl in tow. You're then transported back in time to discover how the unlikely pair encountered one another, and throughout the game you learn a tremendous amount about the king and Shadwen's relationship with him. Strangely you learn absolutely nothing about Lily, who she is in relation to everyone, where she comes from; it all remains a mystery through the finale. The story is told between the loading screens of each section, in these little pieces of dialogue between Shadwen and Lily, which change depending on how many people Lily sees you slaughter and drag about. By the time I finished the game, I wasn't particularly any wiser on the story and why things turned out the way they did. In the end you get a choice of buttons, and I had developed so little for the characters, I simply didn't care.

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