Shadow Complex Arrives On PC, Remastered And Free

Metroidvania techno-thriller Shadow Complex [official site] debuted downloadable on Xbox 360 in 2009, and folks have been asking for a PC release ever since. It was pretty good fun, see, doing all that ‘run and jump and climb shoot and find items to get into new places to find items to get into new places’ stuff, all shiny and polished like. But a PC release never seemed forthcoming, until last night. Shadow Complex has arrived in ‘Remastered’ form and is free to download right now.

Shadow Complex sees a chap doing those Metroidvania things to save his girlfriend and the whole dang world in some zany plot. It’s a pretty fun video game! On reflection I’d say it’s kinda by-the-numbers and the setting’s dull (cool forest sections aside!), but while playing I was mostly thinking “This is fun video games!”

Shadow Complex was made by ChAIR [goofy stylisation preserved for comedy’s sake -ed.], who at the time were owned by Epic Games. This was during that period where Epic were making goo-goo eyes at the Xbox 360, though, when they wandered away from PC following Unreal Tournament 3 and a PC port of the first Gears of War. I always had the impression that neither sold as well as expected. Anyway, between this, Fortnite, the free new UT, and whatever Paragon is, they’re certainly back to hanging round our playground and letting us go on their skateboard.

Head on over to its site and you’ll be prompted to download the Epic Games Launcher client, which’ll let you download Shadow Complex Remastered. Yes, I know it’s yet another client and another account, but if Epic are giving Shadow Complex away free to promote something I’ll uninstall as soon as I’ve finished playing, sure, that’s okay. Given that the game’s only free “for a limited time”, I suspect it’ll hit the usual stores (well, Steam at least) once Epic start charging for it. Trailer time:


  1. Spuzzell says:

    Free? Unreal.

  2. gbrading says:

    Such great news; I’d long assumed Shadow Complex would never come to PC; a release after all these years is most welcome. Giving the game away for free, even if only for a limited time, is also exceedingly welcome.

  3. Alloflifedecays says:

    Oh boy, now I need to think my way around the Orson Scott Card thing again. I got to miss out on that whole moral dilemma last time via not owning a 360 but I guess we should all be doing that whole thing again.

    • Jimbo says:

      Or, you know, let’s not.

    • Kollega says:

      According to the indisputably trustworthy source that is Wikipedia, Orson Scott Card just wrote the tie-in novels, and doesn’t even own the IP. I imagine this might help.

    • golem09 says:

      This time around you don’t pay for the game though, so Card doesn’t see a dime from you.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Card wrote the books it was based on. So if you were paying for it, he would probably get some money from it. But then if you never buy anything that outs profit in the hands of a bigot, you won’t be buying much.

      • thenevernow says:

        The books are the licenced products, not the game. The game company owns the IP and licensed it to the author of the books.
        So it’s fair to say that sales of the game do not bring money in the pockets of this Card guy. Techincally though, game sales strengthen the IP and the brand, something the books could benefit from…

    • gedmansre says:

      I think I can help you here. Instead of his Mormon views informing his bias against homosexuality, pretend it’s those of a devout Muslim. Your Islamophobia safeguards should override your LGBTphobia systems and you should be good to go.

      • Fenix says:

        I love you.

      • mukuste says:


      • draglikepull says:

        It’s not just that he opposes LGBT rights, but that he uses the money from his works to fund anti-LGBT activism. So if you buy something that gives him money, you’re helping fund anti-LGBT activism.

        And yes, I would certainly refuse to spend money on something if the creator used their wealth to fund anti-LGBT activism if that person was a Muslim.

        • gedmansre says:

          What do you have against Muslims?

          • Premium User Badge

            zapatapon says:

            You haven’t quite got the hang of this trolling thing yet, have you?

        • PancakeWizard says:

          “anti-LGBT activism”

          Oh please, that’s like funding flat-earth activism. Leave the man to waste his money as he wishes and think nothing of it.

          • malkav11 says:

            Not really. Nobody gives a crap about flat-earthers, and they have no political power. Anti-gay activism remains a thriving and widespread force that’s had real political impact. Sure, the courts tend to shoot it down eventually, but that’s not guaranteed or swift.

          • Premium User Badge

            Phasma Felis says:

            I don’t recall flat-earth activism literally killing people.

      • Dave Tosser says:

        That’s a daring comment for RPS. Careful, the sharks will close in any minute.

      • jesuguru says:

        Uwin internetz 2day

      • PancakeWizard says:


  4. Jimbo says:

    Great game. Right up there with Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts in terms of best 360 exclusives (until now I guess).

  5. Kollega says:

    I already have the Epic Games account that I use to play Unreal Tournament 2015 (which, by the way, is brilliant and you should all be playing it), so having to use the Epic launcher for this is not a problem at all.

  6. Lars Westergren says:

    Preparing the way for a Shadow Complex 2 announcement perhaps?

  7. WalkableBuffalo says:

    Fuck yes!
    I loved this game, or at least the demo, I was too poor a child to pay for the full thing
    But I guess my patience has finally paid off

  8. eljueta says:

    Man I was literally almost buying this in XBlive like 3 days ago! Rejoice!

  9. haldolium says:

    “Yes, I know it’s yet another client and another account,”

    Well that account lets you access Unreal Tournament 4, the entire Unreal Engine 4, Fortnite at some point, ARK Survial Evolved dev tools and Paragon… so its not really a waste of time.

    • malkav11 says:

      Not the point. Either all those things will also be available through existing services like Steam and maybe even GoG, or Epic is setting up yet another ridiculous one-company competitor in a way that only serves them, not consumers. As the article says, for a free game that will hopefully be sold elsewhere, not that big a deal. But it’d sure make me think twice about purchasing anything from Epic.

      • haldolium says:

        Well it still is different due to the connection to the development community and a marketplace for assets and not for games. Given how Epic tries to fuse those two, this is a lot more worth of anyones time as pure greed based “services” like UPlay, Origin and Battlenet. So yes, it is kind of the point. Ditch those instead and stick with Steam and the EL. Win-win-win.

        • Sin Vega says:

          Or ditch all of them and just play your games without pissing about with any logins or downloads or updates at all.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        If Epic want to set up their own digital storefront, I’m ok with it as long as it follows the origin model and not the Uplay one. I don’t want to see it if I’m using Steam already.

        EA are the only ones that have had the balls to go it alone, and that’s not consumer unfriendly, that’s just competitive. Separate digital storefronts was how Gabe envisioned things happening, albeit he wanted them using the Steam API.

        It makes sense for the big publishers to have their own, as long as they work and don’t interfere with performance or other digital platforms.

        • malkav11 says:

          It’s not competitive, though. It’s a monopoly on EA’s own products and largely irrelevant for anything else. If EA wanted to actually compete, they would be enticing the consumer by offering superior prices or functionality, etc, on things that could be bought on Steam. Instead they’ve set it up so you simply can’t play those games without going to them. Which is coercion, not competition.

          (And of course it’s perfectly true that Valve is guilty of similar coercion by only letting you run their games through Steam, but their catalog is vastly smaller and their store and client were first and remain better, so it’s not as big a deal.)

          And I much prefer uPlay’s model because at least that way I can keep everything in Steam if I really care to and if I don’t, I can use the standalone client. EA doesn’t give me options, it’s just decided for me. Obviously it would be better if everyone sold everywhere and the clients were always purely optional, but…

          • PancakeWizard says:

            “It’s a monopoly on EA’s own products”


            If I open a shop, and sell things I make in it and nowhere else, this is a problem, is it?

          • malkav11 says:

            Yes. There are exceptions, certainly – like when the unique selling point is that you hand make whatever it is and there’s simply no way to replicate it at a scale where it makes sense to sell it widely, or if you’re the only one selling it because nobody else wants to. Hell, it’s probably fine if whatever it is you’re selling is broadly fungible with other products on the market and competitive on finer details, like with furniture or cars or whatever. But that’s not the case with EA’s games. They are manufactured on a large scale and sold with an eye to a mass market audience, so they’re perfectly capable of being distributed through more than the one channel, but they’re individual works that are not directly interchangeable with other titles in the medium. And it does not benefit the consumer to have EA in sole control, much less count as market competition, which actually would benefit the consumer.

          • drewski says:

            That’s like saying McDonalds or KFC are coercive because you can’t buy a Big Mac or a bucket of Original Recipe at Burger King.

            If you don’t want to pay EA for EA’s games, don’t play them.

          • malkav11 says:

            No, it isn’t, because I can buy a burger or fried chicken elsewhere. It might not be made in the exact same way that McDonald’s or KFC does it (odds are it’ll be better, frankly), but the experience will be directly comparable. I can’t buy Dragon Age or Mass Effect from someone else, and things like Pillars of Eternity or Skyrim or whatever that -are- available from multiple outlets aren’t directly comparable, merely broadly related. Games aren’t utilitarian goods, they’re creative works. They aren’t interchangeable.

          • malkav11 says:

            Also, it’s not like the copyright holders don’t get paid when selling their product through other retailers. They just have to cut them in on a bit of it. And that’s not actually hurting them, they just don’t want to do it. Which is not the consumer’s problem.

        • malkav11 says:

          Oh, and I’m all for everyone having their own digital storefronts as long as they sell everything through the other digital storefronts as well so that I can make an informed decision as a consumer based on the best option for my circumstances instead of having my options arbitrarily limited for the sole benefit of the publisher. You know, competition. Not monopolies.

          • drewski says:

            Unfortunately in any other market in the real world, competition does not, and never has, worked anything like that.

            If you want a competitor to an EA game that is available on Steam, you are welcome to create one. That’s how competition works, not someone forcing creators to sell their content in ways they do not wish to.

          • malkav11 says:

            I think you’ll find that companies don’t have that sort of unilateral control over their products when they’re produced physically. It’s only since the shift to digital media that they’ve been able to force this sort of anti-consumer bullshit. It’s not an inherent right, nor should it be.

          • malkav11 says:

            And “creating a competitor” to an EA game would get me sued for violating copyright, because I would have to directly clone it and guess what, that’s frowned on.

          • Rilmo says:

            But you don’t have to BUY them through origin. You just have to launch them through origin. You can buy a key anywhere. You can even buy EA games through Uplay (not sure if you just get a key or whatever. Never done it myself), just not steam. Because fuck steam’s sort of-monopoly I guess.

  10. Jekhar says:

    I mostly forgot most about the games story, but one thing will always stay with me. How that pathetic pacifist protagonist boy finally overcomes his juvenile sentiments and becomes a real manly gun wielding murdermachine. Of course only because his girlfriend gets kidnapped and that’s the only way to save her.

    So… american.

    • Thirith says:

      I’ve enjoyed what I played so far – but I’ve been skipping cutscenes, because they’re pretty bad. And I *almost never* skip cutscenes otherwise.

    • Dave Tosser says:

      I remember how much they played up it being vaguely related to Orson Scott Card, they being both marketing types hoping to cash in on the brand name, and whinging types taking issue with his views, when the game itself has a dogshit story that’s of no consequence whatsoever.

      Really great fun though. Was hoping it’d make it onto PC. Now for The Darkness and Condemned 2? Someday?

    • PancakeWizard says:

      Ye when Lara Croft does it, people consider it brave and empowering.

      • drewski says:

        Pretty sure the Tomb Raider reboot has received countless digital pages of criticism for precisely that.

  11. Noavailablenames says:

    I tried playing, but the writing is honestly so unbearable I couldn’t even make it past about an hour. That’s WITH me skipping the cutscenes too.

    • golem09 says:

      The game has a story?
      Seriously, who cares, this is all about the gameplay.

    • ritsl says:

      The story/writing is bad, but what do you expect for a 2D guy living in a 3D world?

      I could see the forest if it wasn’t for all these goddamn trees everywhere.

  12. nottorp says:

    Another account is okay. Another launcher running in the background… not okay. I’ll be looking this gift horse in the mouth and skipping it.

    • skyturnedred says:

      You know, you could shut it down when you’re done playing. Just an idea.

    • suibhne says:

      You’re upset because a program runs in the background while you’re playing the game, which you’ll otherwise be able to purchase from yet more sites that require a program to run in the background while you’re playing the game?

      I get feeling some irritation with launchers/platforms that default to launching on startup and running in the background all the time, but the Epic launcher does neither.

    • bit.bat says:

      Hey look at least you have conviction, I am assuming that getting something for free will sway many people that usually complain about additional clients.

  13. Yoofaloof says:

    Can never understand why people are so het up about accounts and launchers. Never bothered me and never will. Great game!

  14. oceanclub says:

    Just read the synopsis of the book it’s based on: link to

    Boy, as a child fan of Ender’s Game and especially Speaker for the Dead, when did aliens kidnap Orson Scott Card and replace him with a dude who sucks?


    • Harlander says:

      The Brain Eater affects many a successful sci-fi author. Perhaps it’s something to do with building up enough cachet that you can get away without an editor, and thus go freewheeling about whatever stuff you want.

  15. Faults says:

    Initial thoughts:

    1) This looks Unreal Engine 3 as fuck. Look at all that insane colour-grading!

    2) Is the plot-twist that your girlfriend was captured by operatives for the insidious homo-liberal agenda who are going to use military force to make everyone gay?


  16. jesuguru says:

    Wish this was permanently free (Origin-ish) instead of “free until it’s not!” (Steam-ish). I know, they didn’t have to, but my OCD won’t let me gel with the idea of getting sucked into a “free” game that I might not finish, then forced to pay to keep playing. Just call it a demo, or FTP-PTF.

    • drewski says:

      My impression was that if you acquired it during the free period, it would be permanently free, and that you would only have to pay for it if you didn’t sign up in the free window?

      • jesuguru says:

        You might be right, hope so. It’s just ambiguous right now, some people say free temporarily, others permanently. The language on Epic’s webpage isn’t helpful in clarifying: “Free for the holidays!” sounds like Steam’s “Free for the weekend!”

        • Xzi says:

          If you download it during December, you keep it. It’s free free.

      • malkav11 says:

        link to

        From the community manager,
        Yes, once downloaded you can play permanently.”

  17. Sarfrin says:

    Where does it say that? It’s not really clear on the website.

    • Sarfrin says:

      But what is clear is that the client takes an age to install (DirectX *again*. Why?!!) and then won’t sign in. Playing that tiger game off of Steam instead.

  18. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Weeeeeeeeee! Having watched my flatmate play a few chunks of it, this was the only game which ever made me vaguely, occasionally, passingly sad about not owning a 360, so thanks for the good news.

  19. Alien426 says:

    Don’t tell me I’m the only one who gets the message “Sorry, it appears that you have tried to submit the form twice. Please click only once.” every time I try to submit a form on any site by Epic (,!
    I’ve tried in Firefox and IE. I even get the error when I don’t click the submit button, but hit [enter] on a form field.

    More fucking terrible web design. And of course, jQuery is involved. I swear today’s “programmers” are all incompetent. Why would you even handle a double send on the client side?!

    I tried to install the Epic Launcher Installer (God beware you let us download the 90 MB file itself, no we need to download the 30 MB file first). But it was on my notebook running Win XP. Instead of checking the OS version, it told me to get a new version Windows Installer. When I had that installed it just said that the installation was unsuccessful. Yeah, the FAQ tells you that they only support Win 7 and up.

    Don’t tell me I shouldn’t expect to be able to play Shadow Complex on an old XP notebook. I only wanted to download it there.

  20. AlienMind says:

    It’s not free. It’s free to rent until January. Do your research, journalist.

    • malkav11 says:

      You might want to try doing a little research yourself. If you download the game before January, it’s yours permanently.

  21. WizNick says:

    Very nice game, finished it last night in one go, 7 hours. The story is cheesy and yeah the cutscenes….better skip them, but gameplay is very fun!

  22. welverin says:

    One of the handful of games I wanted on 360 (Alan Wake already made it), now I continue to hold out hope Treasure will follow Ikaruga up with Guardian Heroes and Radiant Silvergun.