Shadow Man: 2econd Coming  
Mike LeRoi is arriving. On Playstation 2.

HarryAcclaim released the first Shadow Man in 1999. The game was based on the dark comic series of the same name and it was available on nearly every platform: Pc, Dreamcast, N64 and Psx. While the Psx version was a nearly unplayable game because of the limited power of the old console, the other versions were highly enjoyable and extremely loyal in their gloomy atmosphere to the comic series.

Shadow Man: 2econd coming seems to take all the (good) premises of the first game to a new level, also thanks to the power of Sony PlayStation 2. A dark world, creatures moving in the shadows, violence, need for justice and a little teddy bear are the ingredients of this game coming on PS2. Say welcome to Mike LeRoi.

A dark world - the story of Shadow Man

"And there was a war in heaven:
Michael and his angels fought
Against the dragon;
And the dragon and his angels fought back."

Mike LeRoi lost everything in his life because of his own demise. Once an English student, he spent all the funds for his college in women, drinking and gambling. Mike lied to his family, telling them he had become a college professor in Chicago.

In Chicago, Mike started to work as a Taxi Driver. In 1991, men sent by a powerful criminal syndicate killed one of his passengers, a young punk boy. Mike didn't know he had accompanied that young boy to make a drug deal. To boy was carrying a bag. Inside it, Mike discovered 20,000$. Scared, but willing to use the money to gain the respect of all his family and first of all to help his little brother Luke, who was in need of an urgent operation, Mike decided to escape to his hometown, New Orleans.

But the ones who killed the young boy had tracked Mike back home. A night, while Mike and his parents were celebrating little Luke's homecoming from his brain surgery, killers attacked and murdered the whole family.

But Mike didn't die. He woke up after a coma of 5 years. One day, a voodoo priestess called Nettie buried The Mask Of Shadows, a voodoo magic object, deep into Mike's chest. Mike LeRoi is now under full control of Nettie. He has the power to become Shadow Man - a zombie-like immortal creature gifted with voodoo powers. When it's night or when Mike dies in the Liveside, he turns into Shadow Man and enters the Deadside, the place where all souls, with no exception, are forced to roam in eternity.

The only link to his past is a small teddy bear - Luke's beloved pet. Deprived of the possibility to end his own life, his soul filled with anguish and remorse for his actions, Mike is condemned to obey Nettie's for eternity.

In the first Shadow Man, Mike LeRoi had to fight the evil forces of the Deadside that were trying to invade the world of the living. Once again, in Shadow Man: 2econd coming, a new apocalyptic menace coming from the abyss of the Deadside impends over the Liveside. An eerie star has appeared in the sky. The evil forces are in search of an ancient book. Apocalypse is near. Mike LeRoi, the Shadow Man, is the only one who has the power to stop them.

Shadow Man is a creepy guy

Creatures moving in the shadows - Graphics
While the original graphics engine of the first game on PC was extremely refined, the developers have decided to create for Shadow Man: 2econd coming a completely new graphics engine expressly designed to take full advantage of the power of the unique hardware of the Playstation 2.

The dark atmosphere of the first game is enriched in this new episode by impressing real-time particle and light effects. The environments look rich and detailed; from the mysterious streets of New Orleans to ancient structures lost in a forest, the game seems to offer an interesting variety of places to explore. Shadow Man: 2econd coming features five different main game locations, all rich in sub-areas seamlessly connected to each other to grant continuity to the gameplay. The developers have also implemented in-game transitions between day and night, and real-time weather effects, including rain and snow that strongly influence the atmosphere of the game.

Shadow Man is a creepy guyThe characters are magnificently designed and are built with a huge number of polygons. Shadow Man looks more impressive than ever. His muscles, bones and menacing skull head show a degree of detail that's just amazing. Mike LeRoi, Shadow Man's Liveside alter ego, is a muscular 32 year old man. The creatures scattered throughout the world of Shadow Man are built with the same care. From huge demons like the Abbadrim (green demons armed with deadly claws) to Skeleton Warriors, the bestiary of Shadow Man: 2econd coming seems to have more than a surprise for the player.

Violence, need for justice - Gameplay
Shadow Man: 2econd coming will feature a combination of platform, combat, stealth and puzzle based gameplay. The game has a unique ending, but according to Acclaim's words, there are different routes to reach it.

The player is given good freedom of movement. Mike LeRoi/Shadow Man can walk, jump, attack, climb, swim, roll, use two weapons at once and much more. The combat system is based on the use of three kinds of very different weapons: "normal" weapons, voodoo weapons and voodoo spells.

The normal weapons alone would be enough to satisfy the bloody dreams of a serial killer: you can use a Wrecking Bar, a Machete, a Fire Ax, a Shotgun, a Gun, an MP-909 (a juicy compact machine pistol), a 0.9 GPMG, a Grenade Launcher, and a Sniper Rifle. These weapons exist in two versions: one for the Liveside and one for the Deadside.
The voodoo weapons can be used in the Deadside; the "incinerer" will turn your enemies into ash, the "faux" is a knife that unleashes an arc of voodoo power, the "colle" is a little spider that you can attach to enemies or environments and that detonates in a short period of time.
Voodoo spells have menacing names (Peste, Guerre, Famine, Mort, L'Orage, L'Inferno) and dreadful effects against enemies. Take the spell called "Peste", that can infect your opponents with a deadly disease, or "Famine", that can steal energy from your enemies and cause their death.

Speaking of Replay Value, the first Shadow Man was a long game. Acclaim assured 30+ hours of gameplay for this sequel: impressive, for a story-driven adventure.

Shadow Man: 2econd coming will ship at the end of February in U.S. If the game will not fail to meet the high expectations of fans of the comic books, you could soon have a new dark gem for your PlayStation 2.

Special Thanks to Tara Blanco at HighWater Group

- Harry (February 11th, 2002)