Don your best mac as you step into the shoes – and out into the rain a lot of the time, of a Private Detective in Shadows of Doubt. Follow leads, crawl through air ducts to gain access to restricted areas, hack systems, and a hell of a lot more as you try to solve murders and other crimes.
Launching into early access on the 24th of April Shadows of Doubt is the sandbox detective sim that lets you solve cases however you want. Immerse yourself in a sprawling cityscape full of inhabitants living out their lives as you dig into the underbelly of the streets hunting for clues and leads whilst avoiding raising suspicion.
On The Case
One of my first cases I picked up from one of the various notice boards dotted around bars and restaurants needed me to find a potentially dangerous person and arrest them. With only their workplace and a first initial to work with, my information was limited. But I quickly tracked down the local convenience store they worked in. After sneaking into the back rooms where the employee database sat invitingly on the computer. I quickly found the identity of the person I was looking for.
Upon returning to the front of the store I bumped into the manager. Then all hell broke loose. For whatever reason, the store’s security didn’t like the manager. The alarm was raised and the auto-turrets that sit in the corners of most buildings suddenly opened fire on them. They ran from the store. I followed in hot pursuit. Confused and suddenly thinking they were the bad guy I was looking for I didn’t want to lose them. I then bribed their partner to let me into their apartment. I entered and found the manager cowering, hurt, and confused in the bedroom. After searching every inch of the apartment for something… I’m not sure what. It dawned on me that this was the wrong person.
I have no idea what happened, why it happened, or whether it was something I did. I think it was most likely a bug. Anyway, I then checked my case board – which is where you store all pertinent information in handy little pinned notes. Having ID’d my target I quickly popped around their place and cuffed them as they tried to close the door in my face. Case Closed.
Whilst this was obviously a case of something going a bit awry I still really enjoyed it. Gaining access to the employee files, tracking them to their home, and ultimately arresting them was good fun. The chaos and confusion of what was happening just added to the enjoyment. Additionally. I was still able to finish the case and get paid.
A Little Rough With Tonnes of Charm
This sums up my experience with Shadows of Doubt. Being in early access there are some bugs. That being said, solving cases, finding clues, and tracking down your targets is a good time. Furthermore, the sandbox of the city allows for some pretty creative problem-solving.
I have solved some murders and a few cases where I needed to find information and steal it. The murders for me, are where the game shone the most. Building a picture of the murder on my case board gives you a sense of micro-progressions. Each little nugget of information adds something extra to the case. Even if it’s not necessarily relevant information. Searching any location will almost always bring up something interesting. Whether that’s case related or just a silly little easter egg of a treat.
Another case I had did appear to bug out and I haven’t been able to finish it. Either that or the item I have to steal is so well hidden that I will never find it. However, I searched everywhere, followed all my leads, and still nothing.
Your Retirement Pot
Whilst solving cases is your main goal. Earning enough money to retire is your overall goal. Along the way, however, you will be tempted to spend that pot on things for your apartment or maybe even a whole new place to live. You can spend your hard-earned credits on upgrades that will provide bonuses like increasing the time security systems are disabled. Beware though I managed to get an addiction to sugary drinks from one upgrade.
Furthermore, you can buy new equipment to help you with other cases such as cameras, code-breakers, tracking devices, and more. Additionally, you can spend money on your apartment. I’ve adorned my basement dwelling with some rather fetching wallpaper of chickens. It looks mad and I love it.
So Much Potential
I’ve already said before that Shadows of Doubt has so much potential to be amazing. At the moment it is a little rough which I can see putting some people off. That being said, I think it’s a hoot of a time.
I love the style of the game with its retro-futuristic industrial city. The voxel graphics are an interesting look and add something a little different. The sandbox environment really does allow you to approach things however you want. It’s easy to see players coming up with creative ways to solve cases. Solving murders has never been so fun.