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Why Shadow Complex Is Still A Must Play Game In 2020

In 2009, Epic Games, developer of the now insanely popular Fortnite, released a game called Shadow Complex. The game was released to massive critical acclaim, earning a score of 88 on Metacritic, and was largely received as a great action-platformer with tight mechanics and then-impressive graphics. The game was popular enough that it released in the form of Shadow Complex Remastered for PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2016. The remaster featured improved visuals and still-tight gameplay. Thus, in 2020, there's no excuse not to play Shadow Complex.

Gamers often throw around the term "Metroidvania" to refer from everything such as Castleviana: Symphony of the NIght to Ori and the Blind Forest. Essentially, the term can be defined as a genre involving intricate exploration with an interconnected map that is progressively opened up as the game goes on. There's more that goes into this, including various action and puzzle elements, but boiled down, Metroidvania games place a focus on large maps with areas that somehow intertwine, with each area being distinct in some way. Super Metroid, the SNES retro game that fans agree is still a must, implements these mechanics to a tee.

Shadow Complex: the ultimate Metroidvania game

With a decently-sized map and gameplay mechanics that are added throughout the game via suit upgrades, Shadow Complex leans heavily into the concepts outlined within the Metroidvania genre and executes them almost flawlessly. The game puts a future militaristic spin on the Metroidvania genre, where the player can wield a variety of firearms and even equip themselves with a jetpack later in the game.

In 2020, Shadow Complex holds up very well. Unlike other genres that have worn thin with time, the Metroidvania genre has arguably aged the most seamlessly, and fortunately, Shadow Complex's use of the genre's mechanics help it remain a blast to play. There are other, more modern Metroidvania titles to play, including Axiom Verge, the Ori series, Hollow Knight, and Guacamelee! However, released after a drought of Metroidvania games in 2009, Shadow Complex is just as much an exemplary Metroidvania title to play now as it was back then. 

For those with little or no Metroidvania experience, or even those who skipped the game during its original release, Shadow Complex is absolutely worth at least one playthrough in 2020.