Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is a new game from Mimimi Games, which has already established itself as a master of stealth strategy with titles like Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun and Desperados III. The developers again changed the setting and this time moved the time of the action to an alternative history of the Golden Age of Piracy, where damned souls are fighting for freedom from the cruel Inquisition. In this review, we will briefly tell you about what the game is.
The plot of Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is based on an alternate story from the Golden Age of Piracy, in which a mysterious curse brought the dead back to life and gave them supernatural powers. The player must assemble their own team to explore an island chain called the Lost Caribbean and steal magical artifacts from the Inquisition trying to hunt down all the Damned.
The game begins with the main character being Afia, a cursed pirate with a mythical sword. She meets a mysterious skeleton who later introduces himself as Virgil. He helps the heroine find the ghost ship Red Marley. And he does it for free – simply because, as he said, he wanted to have fun. There are dead pirates on the ship, for the resurrection of which you need magical pearls obtained during missions. This will be the main way to replenish our team. Instead of looking for living crew members, we will be resurrecting the dead.
Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is pure stealth, but with an isometric camera, which is unusual for the genre as a whole (but familiar to the Mimimi Games studio). This means that you will have to play stealthily, and if you catch the eyes of enemies, then this almost certainly means Quick Load.
By the way, “quick save” and “fast load” are not just a standard feature from any other game, but part of the game mechanics explained by the lore. The fact is that Red Gauze helps our heroine to keep memories and return to the same moment at any time. It is for this reason that the past captain of the ship achieved success in his voyages.
Stealth in Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew turned out to be very well thought out. You always need to take into account the location, trajectory of movement and vision radius of opponents, use abilities wisely and don’t forget to use the environment. Each problem has several solutions. Almost always you have more than one way to get to the goal. Can’t eliminate the enemy without raising the alarm? Try to look around – there is probably an alternative way. Remarkably, the difficulty level affects not only the reaction speed of enemies, but also their location. For example, if on the average two people can look in different directions, then on the highest they will already see each other.
On each island, the player has to complete various tasks, such as stealing things, freeing prisoners, or searching for fragments with memories. The player must use stealth and tactics to infiltrate enemy territory and avoid detection. Enemies react to sounds, including from jumping and using skills, but the range of sounds is always displayed. It is also necessary to avoid their opponents gaze, which is displayed by a green cone.
One of the interesting features of stealth is the presence of the so-called shadow mode. By activating it, you pause the game, after which you issue instructions to several characters. By clicking on one button, all actions begin to be performed simultaneously. This can be either a simple simultaneous elimination of two nearby opponents, or more complex chains of actions.
The game has nice graphics, made in a cartoonish, but rather gloomy style. The character designs are especially good, each boasting a lot of interesting details that reflect their personality and abilities. The locations are also diverse and interesting: from tropical islands and beaches to abandoned cities.
Musical accompaniment is an important part of Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew as it sets the mood and atmosphere of a pirate adventure. In total, there are 60 tracks that can be heard in different scenes and locations, and their total duration is more than 160 minutes. The music for the game was written and produced by Filippo Bek Pekkots, known for past projects of Mimimi Games, and in their new creation he did it 100%.
I want to scold Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew only for the places of the boring presentation of the plot. Sometimes you want to skip the lengthy dialogues, where everything is explained in too much detail, and immediately proceed to the gameplay, which is much more interesting. Although calling the story bad also does not turn the language – it just contrasts strongly with the really high-quality gameplay.
Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is an exciting and atmospheric stealth strategy game that lets you plunge into the world of piracy and magic. The game has excellent graphics, music and storyline, as well as thoughtful and interesting stealth gameplay. The novelty boasts a large variety of characters, locations and tasks that will not let you get bored. Fans of the genre and setting – strongly recommended.