Shadow of Destiny's storyline is tangled and mysterious, much more than you could imagine: everything is based on the main character, Eike Kusch, who, after having been murdered, is given the possibility to return to life to recompose the mystery of his killing. This plot, that could call to your mind "A Christmas Carol" by Dickens, in reality shares only the sense of mystery that permeates Dickens' masterpiece.
First of all, the game begins from the end, from the death of Eike Kusch, which is brought again to life by an enigmatic character. The only possibility of the protagonist to regain his life is to investigate in order to unveil all that secrets behind his sudden death.
This means that he will be able to travel through time and space (inside the old North European-like town, more precisely Germanic-like) searching for all the useful evidences to find an answer to the question with which the game opens. Eike meets many mysterious characters that help him on adding important clues to the resolution of the enigma. In fact, in the town in which the whole story is set, the protagonist can talk to whomever he meets on his way. He will be even able, in the travels back in time, to meet his ancestors, who lived centuries ago in the same city.
As I've already said, Eike is the absolute protagonist; everything revolves around him and around the mystery of his cruel death.
He is a young blonde man; he is nearly 22 years old, handsome and European-like in his aspect and attitude. He seems to be very honest and polite, even if many sides of his personality are not clear...
She's a young girl that works in the coffee shop where Eike wakes up after his killing. She doesn't have a family anymore, so she's compelled to work to earn her living. Even if she seems to act as a coward, in reality she is a very strong person.
Eike meets this young lady during his travel in the past. She's the daughter of a medieval alchemist. Margarete is a very happy girl, always busy (and it often seems that maybe she prefers to be freed from her duties). Being a very simple and clear person, she always acts in consequence of her thoughts.
Alfred is one of the ancestors met by Eike. He lived in his same city one century ago.
She's Alfred's daughter. Sybilla is a quick young girl and a very strong person, especially for her age.
Eckart is the manager of the city museum, and he takes care of a collection of all the greatest masterworks of the city's artists. He seems a very cold person, completely disinterested in Eike's life, despite he has known him for a long time.
He's the strange and mysterious man that wakes up Eike from death. Nothing is known about his real identity.
She's as mysterious as Homunculus. He helps Eike with interesting revelations about his destiny...
Shadow of Destiny has many points of contact with classical graphic adventures. There is no true action in this game, and you must basically solve a series of puzzles to reach the end.
For these reasons, controls are extremely simple and use the formula seen in most graphic adventures in third person, even if the game is never as complex as LucasArts' wonderful Grim Fandango or Monkey Island games. Compared to classic adventure titles for console, the singleness of this game lies in the fact that there are no weapons to use during the adventure. Like any other graphic adventure and contrarily to what happens in games like Silent Hill, in Shadow Of Destiny you never have to fight against monstrous creatures. In order to find all the truth about your own death, you'll have to gather all the details, signs, evidences that you'll obtain thanks to the continuous dialogues with all the other characters. Remember: this is a puzzle-based adventure game, not a Silent Hill clone or a survival horror game.
If you love the genre, you can't be disappointed by this game from Konami, even though it's necessary to say that patience and perseverance are necessary to complete Shadow Of Destiny, a game that may seem more suited a PC audience than console gamers. But this is a difference that has already started to blur with this new generation of consoles.