Ow, My Fourth Wall: Shadow Of The Game

Shadow Of The Game isn’t an MMO. It’s an RPG with an MMO in it. A single-player game in which your character takes part in an MMO which is played within the game, but it’s not actually an MMO because it’s all single-player, and and RPG, except it’s really more of a visual novel… This is the work of indies DeRailGames, and is, we’re told, about the boundaries between online identities and those of something called “real life”.

This meta game-in-a-game is about a member of a powerful guild, about to enter the final raid of MMO, , developed by Gizzard. Yeah, that’s what they went for. However, a former guild member turns up “sporting an illegal race, and bringing power-grinded companions.” And from there, things go wrong. The trailer does a good job of showing you those blurred lines:

The game’s officially out tomorrow via Desura, GamersGate, and is in the Greenlight bearpit. For some reason it’s only £3.15 on Desura, but £4.49 on GamersGate – although I tend to find these prices level out once we point them out. But you can also get a demo of the game right now – with the full game lasting around 16 hours, they say.


  1. wccrawford says:

    From the video: “Senior Proucer” … Ouch. Spellcheck, people!

    So I’m guessing the MMO isn’t a real MMO, it’s just a simulated one. Because if it was a real one, that would be *amazing*. And probably cost a lot more than 3 quid.

    Still, it seems interesting.

    • Nevard says:

      “but it’s not actually an MMO because it’s all single-player”
      You think?

      • rebeccaadams15 says:

        Since I started with my online business I earn $62 every 15 minutes. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out..Read More

  2. ZIGS says:

    For some reason it’s only £3.15 on Desura, but £4.49 on GamersGate

    You know, this actually raised a question in my mind that has nothing to do with the game but here goes: With all these digital services that have been popping up lately, and with some being more preferable than others, will we soon begin to get charged, not just for the game but also according to the service we choose it from?

  3. TwoDaemon says:

    I’m aware it’s a little petty, but that bit “Have you ever played an MMO inside a singleplayer game?” instinctively makes me answer “yes, I’ve played some games from the media-spanning JRPG .hack series“.

    It had similar themes, too, and took a rather interesting dive into that same subject of the separation between game and real-world identities, characters and players. A pity the actual game between the plot was so dully repetitive I find myself unable to play it, though.

    • excel_excel says:

      Ai, .Hack was such an interesting concept but my God, it was one of the dullest games I’ve ever played. It was even duller than trying to single player a MMORPG. Such boring gameplay. I wanted to love it.

    • JoeyJungle says:

      I also thought of .hack from the description! Never beat the first one, I got right close to the end but needed to grind for a bit to take on the boss, and then I never picked it up again. I always thought they would release all 4 games as a box set, I’m really surprised they haven’t done some HD collection on PSN.

    • renolc says:

      First thing I thought of as well. Supposedly, the sequel series .hack GU was much more actiony and overall more bearable. I never really tried them though, so it’s all hearsay.

      • Zakski says:

        or you could just watch the tv show , link to en.wikipedia.org

        • Baines says:

          Well, if you want to watch the TV show, then you can just watch any of the other shows with the same kind of theme, like Accel World, Sword Art Online, etc…

          • Kitsuninc says:

            Or you could watch .Hack, because it’s awesome? .Hack//Sign I thought was extremely good, one of my favorite animes. You might get bored, think WTF? or think it was awesome, depending on who you are.

            //Legend of the Twilight I read the manga of, it was a lot more fun, but the plot wasn’t as cool.

        • Nezuji says:

          My problem with the .hack franchise is that you’re expected to watch all of the anime, play all of the games, and read all of the comics, and all of the books (most of which I believe were never translated), before you can actually understand what’s been happening. I watched the first anime, and had more questions than answers by the end. And I tried the first game, but came to a similar conclusion as TwoDaemon.

    • Baines says:

      Same for me, thinking immediately of the .hack series.

    • I Got Pineapples says:

      I was all set to say something sarcastic about .Hack and I’ve been beaten to it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      Jup, thought that too. I never played the .hack games, but I watched the first anime.

    • Myarin says:

      Does anyone else ever get a little cranky when someone tries to peddle an idea as new even though there are currently-popular things that have been using the same idea for a long time? .hack just had a fighting game release, and there’s Sword Art Online too, which has the same sort of theme.

      It’s like, either they didn’t bother Googling their idea before claiming it, or they’re hoping people are just uninformed. Either way, it makes me worry that the game isn’t actually going to be fun to play, since my experience (YMMV!) is that games by well-read developers (not necessarily well-read in game design, just generally possessing life experience) are usually more robust in design.

  4. Innovacious says:

    Trailer isn’t selling me. A lot of the “humour” and hints at story shown in it is just not doing it for me. Its not gonna sell on the whole MMO within a game novelty on its own, which itself isn’t even a new concept.

    • Premium User Badge

      FhnuZoag says:

      Yeah, I was hoping for something quieter and more To-The-Moon-sy, but instead this seems to have entirely the wrong tone. ‘May the framerate be with them’ made my eyes roll sooo hard.

      I think the dealing with the MMO/Real life intersection would be a really good topic for a game. But this game is not it.

    • johnki says:

      If it makes you feel better, it seems to get a lot of the dynamics of MMO guilds right. Anywho, there IS a demo.

  5. Slinkyboy says:

    This is garbage. No news today hmm :)

  6. Bhazor says:

    So .hack? Mon amis

    • Felixader says:

      This was awful. The fact that the game is apparently captured via a camera that filming the screen of a old TV is only one of the minor problems.

  7. The Random One says:

    This game looks like it’ll be either brilliant or incredibly awful; which one depends on either, after writing the line “Senior Producer: May the framerate be with them…”, the writer snickered and said to himself ‘Ha, that’s a good one’ or if he dropped to his knees and gave thanks to the heavens for his unmatched genius.

    • jrodman says:

      Which of those is the good response?

      In context I found the line worked, but repeated it seems awful.

  8. Vegard Pompey says:

    Looks interesting, looks cheap. I wouldn’t try something like this unless it was free (and I buy games like crazy). This is very clearly made in RPG Maker XP, which is a big warning sign.

  9. Berzee says:

    In many ways this reminds me of The Nameless Mod

  10. icemann says:

    .hack did the whole “singleplayer game set within an mmo” far better. AND you get several awesome anime’s to go with it.

    .hack GU in particular is outstanding. Best JRPG series bar none.

  11. Aysir says:

    yeah, .hack was pretty hard to get through – but .hack GU was a fantastic series. It was a real shame they never bothered to bring it over to europe. And for anyone wondering, the anime and the games and the books never covered the same material, they were always showing different stuff in the same world.

  12. Big Murray says:

    At what point does the music in this trailer become copyright infringement on Inception?