If one looks in retrospect, it gives the impression that patience is not a virtue much appreciated in video games. On the one hand, developers are increasingly
pressured by companies to take products faster, on the other, instant gratification experiences are more prevalent or they directly play with the player’s
frustration to get money out. In this context, a proposal like Shadow Tactics surprises, whose base is precisely that element, patience .
To put us in context and present it to those who do not know it, Shadow Tactics is a tactical game of stealth and infiltration that plunges
us into the skin of five characters (we do not control everyone in all missions but the cast varies between missions and within the same ones), each one with unique abilities that we must exploit to the maximum to overcome the challenges.
Five characters, dozens of possibilities
These characters are the Ninja Hayato , able to use a Shuriken to kill enemies from hiding places and throw stones to attract them; Mugen , a Samurai and the only component of the team able to face other warriors in its category, apart from being able
to use a bottle of Shake to distract the guards from their routes and use a devastating attack to kill up to 3 enemies of a single time if they are together; T akuma, an old shooter who never failsand is capable of dealing with enemies at a great distance while the
ammunition lasts; Yuki, a skillful and elusive girl capable of killing with traps or attracting enemies from a long distance with her flute; Y
Aiko and her ability to dress up and go unnoticed among enemies or make them sneeze compulsively to keep them from paying attention.
Missions consist of concrete challenges , divided into small flying goals, usually reaching certain points to perform different actions, such as
stealing something from a character, ending a series of specific enemies, activating an element, etc. For this we must carefully experiment with the
possibilities of our environment, familiarize ourselves with the enemies, their location, and routes, and pay great attention to their field of vision.
And that’s where patience comes into play. Even though a general gender placement puts this game in what would be called “strategy”, here more than
previous planning, attention is paid, patience to find the right time and place to attack , and trial and error until we find the keys to move forward.
To do this last, try and repeat constantly, the game invites us to save game every minuteand in fact a counter on the screen that is turning red
reminds us how much ago of the last time we press f5 to save. Another touch of button, f8, allows us to return immediately to the last saved.
To make it easier to remain undetected, we can use markers to see which enemies and when they have visual contact with a specific point
and thus plan our movements. We also have a shadow mode, which allows us to prepare actions for more than one character to execute simultaneously, which will be essential to progress when we must kill more than one enemy at a time, for example.
But it’s not just about us. If something makes this Shadow tactics special against previous titles such as the Commandos or Desperados saga is that here the environment is completely three-dimensional and we can interact with a large number of elements :
from our tracks on the snow that will betray our position to the enemies to run over to enemies waving the oxen of a wagon, passing by hiding us diving in the water, the hens will react to our presence … The environment will be our ally or our perdition.
A game with attention to detail
And it is that the mime put in this project of years of work of the small munich studio Mimimi Productions , that is palpable in all the details, is evident :
from the excellent interpretations in Japanese of the characters, to the detail put on the stages, designed with great detail and a real candy for the eyes.
Each mission will take a long time looking for the way to complete it, but once played we can always return to it thanks to the different modes of difficulty and a system of badges that will propose different challenges to overcome, apart from improving our times.