Shadow the Hedgehog detailed
Sonic's gun-toting equal is exposed, and SEGA says he's been on the backburner for a while. Lurking in the... you get it.
SEGA has harboured shadowy intentions for some time. And we're not talking about another Headhunter sequel. According to Takashi Iizuka, lead developer on the Sonic Adventure/Heroes series and the chap directing SEGA Studio USA's Shadow the Hedgehog, the team has wanted to make a game about Sonic's mysterious clone-like opposite for some time. The result will be out on "all current generation console platforms" this winter.
Speaking as part of the game's online unveiling last week - Shadow having already been trailed at the opening of the Walk Of Game in San Francisco earlier this month - Iizuka said the team had "wanted to feature Shadow in his own game" since he first made his mark in Sonic Adventure 2. "We maintained Shadow as a mysterious character and now fans can control his destiny by engaging in a unique gameplay experience that offers a multitude of possibilities!" he added.
That last comment reflects the game's approach. Shadow labours under none of Sonic's implicit restrictions (e.g. that Sonic can't use a gun, or deal with complex issues like whether he always used to be blue or fell in a vat of ink or something), and will build up an arsenal of weapons and tackle a number of vehicles on his way through more than 50 missions. Along the way he'll be "tormented" by a dark past, struggling to figure out his origins - was he created by Dr. Eggman, for example? - all the while stuck in the middle of a battle between aliens, the G.U.N. army and Eggman. There'll be multiple endings to reflect decisions made at various points in the game, too.
It's certainly a different tack for SEGA, and perhaps gives the chaps back in Japan time to consider where Sonic himself goes from here. Having notched up two successive February No.1 debuts in the UK in the past two years, he's clearly got some life in him, after all. Perhaps Shadow's giving him a chance to work on his twirl behind the scenes - and giving SEGA something new to flog at the same time.
Whatever. We should hear more about Shadow when the veil is lifted on E3. In the meantime, you can find screenshots here.