So I played it through and have broken down the major pros and cons I had while playing Shadowgrounds Survivor:
- Great menus, especially the character upgrades screen
- Improved map (just me, or was there more detail/colour?)
- Surprisingly smooth implementation of physics (didn't change gameplay much but a very welcome addition)
- More action compared to Shadowgrounds, especially compared to the early levels
- RPG elements also handled well overall (a few cons)
- Good voice actors
- Storyline felt weak (could have been saved by allowing all characters equal amounts of levels and ending sequences as opposed to simply choosing 1 character at the end)
- The walking "mech" took away the fun of multiple weapons/upgrade parts from normal character run and gun
- Lack of bosses was a huge letdown compared to the original
- The soldier's main upgrade perk (oneshot kill) took longer to animate and watch than simply gunning it down normally, not to mention not as fun as normal killing
- Characters leveling system had a noticeable "cap" which took away incentive to keep killing in specific levels
- A number of game related bugs (* I actually consider it a positive that Frozenbyte made a strong fanbase with consistent feedback and patches six months after the release of the original Shadowgrounds. Therefore, I don't expect much less for this release and my respect for the company can only go up)
Overall feelings: Although I focused mainly on the cons, let it be known I only did that because Frozenbyte is a company that actually takes the time to read what their fans have to say. Furthermore, Shadowgrounds Survivor can be compared with Doom II. Both games didn't stir the pot or really change the mold in any major way, but what they did offer was more fun gameplay based off of their originals. My only concern for the future of the Shadowgrounds series is that there will be more games like the original in the Shadowgrounds series. Actually, I'm most concerned that Shadowgrounds Survivor will sell well enough for longevity in the series.
Suggestion alert!!! As a recent graduate in Game Art & Design, (I'm a Game Designer myself) I would love to see another game with the following:
- Varied bosses like in the original (especially the final boss which had strategy in taking down its shields first and the fact it was fun and unusual to fight against)
- A single playable character with a branching upgrade system akin to Diablo II or any number of other RPGS. For instance, every three level upgrades a player can choose to specialize in sniping, or heavy weapons or what have you. This would allow the use of all the fun weapons at once, while giving players an opportunity to choose the napalm burst special attack or the time slowdown as their ultimate attack or specialty.
All discussion about Shadowgrounds Survivor, spin-off/sequel to Shadowgrounds that was released in late 2007.
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