Nightdive Studios has revealed new screenshots of Shadow Man Remastered, and told us a little more about the project – including how it restored cut content from the original version of the game.
The remaster of the 1999 cult classic action-horror game will bring the original up to a 4K resolution, update many visual aspects, and add previously cut content back in. You can check out 7 new screenshots below (and 7 comparison shots with the original version).
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Speaking to IGN, Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick explains, “The most meaningful change from an artistic perspective is the lighting. Our developers have implemented fully dynamic lighting to create a new but familiar world to explore. The particles, projectiles, and flames all emanate an eerie other-worldly glow that cast haunting shadows. When you’re playing a horror game the lighting plays a huge role in creating the atmosphere and we wanted to ensure that we contributed to the feeling of dread you experience in both the Liveside and Deadside levels.”
The game also makes major updates to Shadow Man’s controls, making them far more responsive, and taking into account changes such as dual analog sticks and other modern additions.
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Perhaps most interesting is how the Remastered edition of the game includes content that never made it into the 1999 version. Original composer Tim Haywood (who is a part of the Remastered team) explains that the switch from a sole PC release to adding N64, PS1, and Dreamcast ports led to development issues that would have caused a delay had the content not been cut.
Kick explains how remaster brings back those planned extra elements, including entire new levels and bosses: “Parts of the missing content such as level geometry, enemies and bosses were still contained in the original game files which gave us something to work with. Other content such as cut levels were never built, so we had to build them from scratch and work off design documents from the original developers. It has been a challenge, but the end result will hopefully be the definitive version of Shadow Man that the original developers intended to deliver.”
You can check out a direct comparison between the Remastered version and the original in the image slider below:
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It’s clear that Shadow Man is something of a passion project for Nightdive, and I ask Kick why his studio chose to work on this game in particular.
“I think Shadow Man still holds up over 20 years after it’s initial release for a myriad of reasons,” he explains. “Shadow Man was one of the first M rated titles to appear on a Nintendo console which let consumers and fans of the platform know that the N64 was not just for kids. Shadow Man had other ports on PlayStation and Dreamcast as well, but the inclusion of the N64 meant the potential audience would be exponentially higher. For many of those N64 owners this was most likely their first experience with a horror game that had a much darker tone and foreboding atmosphere than what they were used to, and it strongly resonated with them.
“Shadow Man also incorporated a non-linear style of play which was something refreshing and offered the player choice and agency. Another reason Shadow Man has stayed relevant is because it was also one of the first games to have meaningful representation. Michael LeRoi, the main character is an African American protagonist in a story that takes place in the deep south. I believe fans still fondly remember their time playing the game and we’ve seen the excitement build as we continue to work on the remaster.”
The remaster will arrive on PC (via Steam and GOG), PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo consoles in 2021.
Source: IGN Video Games All