Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet: Shadow Hunters was developed by FuelCell and Gagne Int’l and published by Microsoft. It was released October 12, 2011 for 400 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.

We loved Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet when it came out in August this year. Of the few criticisms we had, one the staff all agreed on was that it was over too quickly. The game had a really great self-contained campaign with a fun multiplayer mode but it could have had more. But now we have more in the form of DLC entitled Shadow Hunters.

The DLC continues right when the story left off as you leave the Shadow Planet and find out more planets have been infected with the Shadow monsters. Now it’s up to you and three co-op buddies to solve the mystery and destroy the rest of the creatures. Does it combine the best elements of campaign and multiplayer or does it feel forced?

Here’s what we liked:

Combination of single and multiplayer – Lantern Run was a pretty great multiplayer mode, but it kind of became the same the farther you got in it. In Shadow Hunters, you’re actually progressing through level structures while protecting a bomb that detonates at the end of the level. If it detonates before, you lose. All the tools from the original game have carried over with the Grab and Blaster and elements like boss battles. It feels like an extension of single player while offering your friends to help out in your path.

Great cutscenes – The animation is still top-notch from Gagne Int’l right from the moment the expansion starts. It still represents the motifs of the original game with its whimsicalness and dark animation. It really shows how important art direction is to a game to further immerse yourself in the experience.

Here’s what we didn’t like:

Over-reliance on co-op – This is probably the biggest gripe since you could play it single player, but it’s pretty difficult and you’ll need friends. Since you have to protect a bomb while battling enemies, it’s hard to focus when you’re by yourself. During the playthrough we found very few people to play with online, so you’ll need a group of friends who has the original game and the DLC. All these steps make the DLC harder to recommend since you’ll need to complete them all if you’re going to have a fun and rewarding time with the game.

Overall, it’s a great extension to the game but it’s hard to recommend if you play by yourself. The DLC weighs heavily on co-op so it’s best recommended you get a small group of friends to get it. 400 MSP is not a bad price for a co-op mode, provided you have friends to play with. If you got the buddies you’ll have a fun trip back to the Shadow Planet.

Score: Try It