Shadow Company: The Mercenary War caught our attention since the first day. Its posters and ads were large and all over the Köln-Messe convention center, and they had one of the largest booths on the show floor. Knowing nothing about the game, we were curious to see what it was like.
Shadow Company is a multiplayer-only, free-to-play shooter developed by Nexon and Doobic game studios, featuring many gameplay elements lifted straight from the most popular shooters out there. Yes, it has customizable classes, weapon attachments, killstreaks, and you can kill with one hit if you use a knife. In case you haven’t guessed the main inspiration of this game, let me spell it out for you: Call of Duty.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Shadow Company is a free-to-play CoD clone, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the guys at Nexon managed to make a well crafted and enjoyable first- person shooter. Whilst it may not have the same production value – the game doesn’t look much prettier than Counter-Strike: Source – its gameplay fundamentals resemble its source material very well. And it has an over-the-top announcer, which makes every kill you do sound more awesome. If you’ve played any Call of Duty games recently, you know what to expect: the gameplay is fast-paced, there are no vehicles, and when you kill enough enemies in a row without dying, you get some sort of one-use item or support vehicles to assist you.
Unfortunately, the game is still in the early stages of development; therefore, class customization and killstreak customization (if any) weren’t available for us to try. With the exception of a broken spawn system in certain areas of the map, we can vouch that the game plays surprisingly well for a free-to-play FPS, even if it doesn’t have the same production value. We walked in without any expectations and walked out feeling satisfied. Whilst it’s far from a perfect game, it’s a decent shooter, and the fact that it’s free-to-play makes all the more appealing.
The game is looking to go into beta towards the end of the year, with an actual release sometime in early 2013, giving them plenty of time to fix the game’s problems and hopefully make it a worthy competitor to Warface and other free-to-play FPS’s.