Emerging from the Shadows

All-time classic Shadow of the Beast has received a next gen makeover
All-time classic Shadow of the Beast has received a next gen makeover

More than 27 years on from a release that formed one of the cornerstones of video games as we know it, Shadow of the Beast is back.

The mere mention of Shadow of the Beast is enough to send nostalgic shivers down the spines of any 80s and 90s gamers.

The side-scrolling platformer, which was produced by Reflections and published by Psygnosis in 1989, was originally released for the Commodore Amiga, and later ported to many other systems.

For those unaware of the game’s significance in console history, Shadow of the Beast was revolutionary because of its graphics, with many more colours on screen than ever before and up to 12 levels of parallax scrolling backdrops.

It elevated computer games onto a whole new level and is also memorable for its music, composed by David Whittaker, which used high-quality instrument samples for the first time in a video game.

Well PlayStation 4 gamers can relive all those childhood memories thanks to the release this week of a high-definition remake.

Shadow of the Beast HD - which also includes the Amiga original in a really cool add on - was released on Tuesday.

Developers Heavy Spectrum say the remake includes a ‘deep combat system’ and a ‘mysterious world to explore’.

As well as creating a high definition version of the much-loved classic, Heavy Spectrum has also added a wealth of secrets to uncover together with a ‘whole heap of Easter Eggs’ for fans.

My big question is can a remake of a game that was so ahead of its time ever live up to the original. To break new ground SOTB would have to come away from the original with something completely unique, or at least bring the gaming mechanics roaring into the next gen arena.

Remakes rarely satisfy that retro itch and it remains to be seen whether SOTB can compete with its illustrious beginnings.