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Image credit: Heavy Spectrum / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Blood flows in PS4's 'Shadow of the Beast' on May 17th

Amid the blood there are exploration and platforming puzzles as well.
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Heavy Spectrum / Sony Interactive Entertainment

You'd be forgiven if you didn't play Shadow of the Beast when it first came out on the Amiga in 1989, but don't make the same mistake with the upcoming PlayStation 4 version. The absolutely brutal side-scroller looks like a throwback to beat 'em ups of yore like Streets of Rage, however the combat appears to have a fair bit of depth to it. Protagonist Aaraborn may start out in chains but he's far from helpless: there are a pair of positively massive claws attached to his hands he uses to rip enemy creatures apart. Combat is heavily timing-based and, well, vicious.

But there's more to the game than just gore and violence. It's also really pretty! Maybe Shadow's biggest asset, though, is the diversity of environments you'll leave soaked in blood. In the video below there's a gorgeous grassland that gives way to a sinister looking forest, for starters. The game has platforming and exploration elements, too, and it even dips into 2.5 dimensions, allowing you to solve puzzles on the Z-axis (depth).

I can't quite put my finger on why, but the game is giving me some serious Ori and The Blind Forest vibes. Just with fewer adorable, magical cat-like creatures and a lot more bloodshed. The game releases exclusively on PS4 this May 17th and if you pre-order it now you'll unlock a dynamic theme for Sony's latest console. For an idea of how it stacks up to the original, compare the two embedded clips against each other -- I know which one I prefer.

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