1989’s Shadow of the Beast, along with its two sequels, was one of the most beautiful games ever designed; the game, developed by Reflections, is set in a harrowing fantasy world and famed for its revolutionary graphics, crippling difficulty, and tinged with Cronenbergian body horror. Now, Heavy Spectrum is bringing the game to PlayStation 4, headed by childhood Shadow of the Beast superfan Matt Birch.
“I remember, when I was about 16 years old, going round to a friend’s house who’d just got an Amiga, and he wanted to show me Shadow of the Beast,” Birch told Eurogamer. “It was one of my first experiences of 16-bit games, I played it and was completely amazed by the graphics, the music. I remember walking away and carrying on thinking about it. It really hit me at the time – it was probably the first game I thought about after I’d walked away, like you would with a book or a movie.”
Birch added, “It was a real moment of thinking games could do something incredible, and are going somewhere incredible. It’s something that’s stuck with me ever since, and that’s one of the things that makes Shadow of the Beast so special to me.”
Though the Shadow of the Beast remake was announced two years ago by Sony, but only now do we have our first glimpse of the alpha builds gameplay. Birch insists that while he and his team have been faithful to the source material, modern gaming has meant that some revisions were necessary.
“With the combat loop, we tried to do something a bit different,” Birch said. “I wanted to create that sense of getting through hundreds of baddies, which is what you got from those older games, but it has to be done in a new way. There’s no point just redoing a game from 25 years ago. It’s already been done and that ground’s been well trodden.”
Though the PlayStation 4 version of Shadow of the Beast is still some way from being finished, Birch reassured fans that Heavy Spectrum is working hard to make the game as great as it can be. “From our point of view,” Birch says, “literally since Gamescom – we’re not a big team – we’ve been slogging away and it’s a 24/7 responsibility for us. We’ve been given a chance to make something we dream about and believe in. And that’s what we’ve been doing.”
Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information.