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Meridian4 Announces Shadowgrounds
game: Shadowgrounds
posted by: Shawn Rider
publisher: Meridian4
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date posted: 11:19 AM Thu Jan 19th, 2006

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Click to read.Meridian4 has been having a good new year. They\'ve been picking up games left and right, and the titles just keep looking better and better. These are the kinds of games that I\'d love to see downloadable via Xbox Live, and that you can download and have a great time with on your laptop. That\'s not to say that they\'re low-fi, but they\'re not exactly cutting edge, either. Which can be fun. Their latest announcement is about Shadowgrounds, a sci-fi action title that offers a fresh take on old-school 3rd person shooters. It looks like Ikari Warriors meets Aliens.

Shadowgrounds offers retro gameplay and graphics pumped up with some modern enhancements. On the gameplay end of things, the shooter plays like so many great 3rd person shooters. The isometric point of view offers a good survey of the environments. The emphasis is on shooting: Big guns for big monsters. Plus upgrades, naturally.

But the stock gameplay has been enhanced by some modern elements. Online multiplayer is a given these days. Shadowgrounds offers 2-4 player cooperative play, which makes it sound kind of like a sci-fi Gauntlet.

The environments are also given a modern spin, featuring loads of destructive possibilities. Glass shatters and walls explode apart as they are hit with the aforementioned big guns. Strategic use of fallen trees or exploding barrels can make or break you.

Environmental lighting is another aspect which Shadowgrounds makes much of. The graphics are excellent, not in a \"next-gen FPS\" kind of way, but with a very appealing style. The lighting is important: Beasts lurk in the shadows, and so can you. Utilizing light/dark areas to strategic advantage is another aspect that should invigorate Shadowgrounds.

The story is still mostly a mystery. It has something to do with aliens and discovering the origins of aliens. The environments include a secret research facility and an alien infested colony on New Atlantis. A trip to the game\'s website reveals a detailed backstory involving space exploration in the 2030s and a colony that develops out of that in the 2100s. Not much info is featured about the in-game narrative, which probably means not much emphasis is put on it. Shadowgrounds appears to be an \"if it moves, shoot it\" kind of game.

Again, it\'s not necessarily a bad thing to revisit the classic modes of gameplay if they\'re well-executed, and by all accounts Shadowgrounds is pretty good. It\'s scored in the 4/5 range in Germany and Finland, where the game was created by Frozenbyte. Shadowgrounds is the first game for the Helsinki-based developer, but from the looks of things, it\'s far from the last.

Look for Shadowgrounds to release in the coming months. Meridian4 embraces online game sales, so keep an eye on http://www.Meridian4.com for more details on the release date.

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