“I don’t know, I don’t really worry about it,” said Cameron Christian. This was in response to potential concerns that people may take issue with perceivable cultural appropriation in Insomniac Games’ new Oculus Rift exclusive, Feral Rites. I asked this because the first thing that hit me upon seeing the character selection screen was, “wow, these characters look like white people dressed in tribal garb.” I will concede that screenshots I saw after the fact made the character look less white than I initially thought.
Aside from that, what I played seemed like a serviceable game with combat that is reminiscent of the Arkham series. Players can easily take on multiple enemies at the same time, bouncing between them. With a quick attack, strong attack, and the ability to throw enemies into either each other or deadly needle plants, similar to the ones in Insomniac’s recent Rift exclusive Edge of Nowhere. I jokingly asked if this game takes place in the same universe, and Cameron confirmed that it does not. That still won’t stop me from making it my headcanon, though.
Have you ever watched your childhood gun downed in front of you? Because that is what it was like playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. I grew up on the old-school cartoon and movies, had a ton of action figures as a kid, and even had the album put out by the turtles with a post of it over my bed. I also didn’t have many friends.
So you probably wouldn’t be surprised when I say I was looking forward to this game. I mean, who wasn’t? A Turtles game developed by Platinum Games with a groovy comic book art style, how could it go wrong? But wrong it is, oh so wrong.
Let me put it bluntly—this PS4 exclusive is one of the worst games I’ve played this year. Other than character designs, there isn’t a single thing about Shadow of the Beast that can be considered anything close to good. I found myself laughing out loud multiple times at decisions made by the development team, wondering how they thought they were good ideas.
The first time I laughed was at the very beginning of the game as the player character is being lead around on a leash like a kinky BDSM-pet roleplay. After slaughtering some monks who don’t fight back, you come to a baby in a crib. Seeing this triggers some memory and you break free from your chains as your captor grabs the baby and starts to run off but not before you wound the evildoer.