Shadow of Destiny
Game Info
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Animated Violence
The Good

• Great story
• Multiple endings
• Good voice acting

The Bad

• Way too story-heavy
• Lack of action may turn some off
• Collision detection issues


The year is 2001 and Eike Kusch has been murdered. A strange being known as Homunculus revives Eike and gives him limited ability to go back in time to prevent his murder. But, even though he manages to stop the first attempt, further attempts force him to figure out who the potential murder is. Because of this, Eike goes back to different eras and affects decisions made which will alter the present and hopefully stop his murderer.

At the core of Shadow of Destiny is a time-sensitive mystery, where players need to talk to people, find items and perform actions. At the beginning of the game, Eike will acquire a time-warping digipad, which allows you to jump from one time period to another. To do this, one must have an energy unit. If you run out of these energy units, there's always one hidden in each ear to help you move forward. While in alternative time periods, ranging from 16th century to 1980, players must be aware of the clock, which continues despite the player being in another era. The fortuneteller in the present will tell you how much time you have to live, so if you're in another era when the clock runs out on you, well... just don't do that. And, I don't think I need to tell you about not running into yourself in the past.

The game is broken up into chapters, where each chapter will hand you a death that you have to avoid. Going into the past allows you to change events, be it by talking to an NPC to taking an item, that will make your death avoidable. But, this alone is not all that you can do. As the game progresses, you can also do other actions which will help other characters in the story. These aren't essential to the main story, but still something worth trying out. At the end of each chapter, you'll be able to save.

The strength of Shadow of Destiny lies in its well-scultped narrative which drives the game. With multiple endings and even a score of side-events that the player can become involved in, there is a lot of story to uncover. Thankfully, the voice cast does not weaken the story. Voice acting in the story sequences is pretty good, even if a little dry at times. Players familiar with other Konami projects will find some familiar voices throughout the game.

Released in 2001, Shadow of Destiny does manage to look pretty good, even though the graphics may be a little dated. The settings in the game are well-detailed and feel like they're drawn from real locations. Character models look like they've been pulled from a version of the Metal Gear Solid 2 engine - they exhibit good animation and a nice bit of detail. The story sequences are a bit stiff but still manage to be directed well and show good animation. Where the game lacks is in visual and lighting effects that would really give the gameworld that added sense of life.

While Shadow of Destiny does provide an excellent story, some may feel that the game is too story-heavy. In fact, don't be surprised that you'll be spending more time in cutscenes than actually playing the game. Toss in the fact that you can complete the game in four hours and some may just write this off as a playable movie. Also, for those looking for any kind of action, you may not want to play this title as it is very much a mystery-themed game. When it comes to the actually game itself, the only real issue I had was with some really sloppy collision detection, especially when indoors.

If you're looking for an interesting story-driven mystery that beckons you to replay it for the multiple endings, check this title out. You can find it for cheap now, so I'd suggest anyone who wants a great story to tide them over for a weekend, check this title out.

- - Vane

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