Kaiju games have been around since the very early stages of video games. The genre of film goes back to the original Godzilla back in 1954. So when video games were able to, Godzilla was there from the start. While many games have tackled the monster perspective, Bandai Namco is delivering a game that looks at the human element.
City Shrouded in Shadow is making waves after Bandai Namco released a four minute trailer. It was announced last year but this was the first real look at the game. Instead of players taking the role of the giant monster on a quest for destruction, it has been reversed. Players are now just a man. The protagonist seems to be nothing more than a bystander in the chaos, not falling into the tropes of being responsible for destruction or salvation. Nothing more than an insignificant bug for everybody’s favourite nuclear blast metaphor.
The gameplay demo lasts for the first half of the trailer but it seems to show off most of the in-game systems. Survival is key when the giants come into town. Destruction is everywhere and the player must get out of the creature’s sight or at least not get caught in the crossfire.
The key point comes later in the trailer where the player has a choice of responses. These will likely change the way scenarios play out. The game is not only about the player character’s survival but of those around them. The trailer shows the player attempting to rescue a young lady also caught in the chaos as well as the other unlucky sods stuck running. Juggling a decision between what is best for them, the player or both.
City Shrouded in Shadow might bring up a sense of familiarity for some players. This is due to City Shrouded in Shadow actually being part of the Disaster Report franchise. Where Disaster Report focuses on natural disasters and surviving the fallout, City Shrouded in Shadow takes the fanciful approach of the disasters of Kaiju. Disaster Report has never been a big hit in the west the same way it is in Japan, but with Kaiju involved that might just change.
However, much like mainline franchise of Disaster Report, it doesn’t seem to have the traditional massive budget. It appears more along the line of a “B-Tier Game” or sometimes referred to as a “AA Game”. One with a smaller budget compared to the juggernauts of the industry. In a weird way this actually works with the aesthetic. A lower budget in game development can mirror the same constraints found in the film versions of these characters.
The true King is coming to take you out.
Yet City Shrouded in Shadow is also more than just a new take on the genre, but at a glance it seems to be a love letter to fans. The trailer shows off so many iconic creatures from across mediums. From the kaiju of film with Godzilla and King Ghidora to Ultramen beating the hell out of one another. Even an Eva01 makes an appearance which is completely insane. This is likely just a taste of the cast that players will be scrambling from.
City Shrouded in Shadow is releasing in Japan on October 19th for PlayStation 4. The game is a Japan exclusive for now but with all the buzz that might change soon. While the trailer looks extremely promising, it is the hope of every Kaiju lover out there that it delivers on what is a strong premise. Many still feel very burnt after the last Godzilla game for PlayStation 4. Hopefully City Shrouded in Shadow makes good for so many fans out there.