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Shadows Of Doubt - What We Know So Far

"Shadows of Doubt" is an upcoming Neon-Noir detective simulator with a unique feature: Every character and locale in the dystopic, semi-cyberpunk 1980s setting is fully interactable and explorable through the power of carefully calibrated procedural generation. All citizens in the game have a name, personality, occupation, schedule, apartment, and workplace the player can find and enter — if they can get past the security measures, of course.

From "Concrete Jungle" developer ColePowered Games and published by Fireshine Games, "Shadows of Doubt" will have players employ a variety of skills to gather information and evade fines for illegal activities to solve cases. The fully simulated world offers a vivid level of immersion unhampered by the voxel-style visuals. From a retro but intuitive puzzle-solving interface and smooth stealth and survival mechanics to the "Blade Runner"-esque ambiance, this detective sim might just be the dream game that sci-fi and mystery fans have been waiting for.

Here's everything you should know about "Shadows of Doubt."

What is the release date for Shadows of Doubt?

Currently, "Shadows of Doubt" has no concrete release date except for a 2023 target. In a 2021 wrap-up post on his official developer blog, Cole Jefferies — the head of ColePowered Games — stated that the team isn't ready to commit to any dates as of yet. The title has been in development for four years since Jefferies first unveiled it on the blog in 2018, evolving by leaps and bounds since its inception. 

While progress has been steady, the unexpected complications of the pandemic have made ColePowered reluctant to promise any deadlines in the yet-unsteady global situation. However, it seems that prospective players might be able to get their hands on "Shadows of Doubt" sooner rather than later. The game was polished enough to offer a closed alpha test in June 2021, just a year before the unveiling of a 25-minute gameplay video that shows off an impressively immersive experience.

Does Shadows of Doubt have a trailer?

Other than the 30-second trailer featured on the official website and Steam page, it seems most of the promotional footage for "Shadows of Doubt" consists of gameplay showcases, as well as periodic uploads to the official Twitter page. Included in these Twitter posts are atmospheric shorts highlighting the various locales, bite-sized guides for game mechanics, and sneak-peeks at new features.

The biggest takeaway from this content is how immersive and alive the world feels despite being composed of voxels. A combination of well-timed music, lighting enhanced by full ray-tracing, and other effects elevate the ambiance of the environment in tandem with the procedurally generated city populated by figures going about their business. Every entity has their own things to do and places to be regardless of the player character's actions.

The most recent gameplay showcase runs through a side quest undertaken on a rainy night, showing NPCs leaving their workplaces and jogging to get out of the rain. Fans of cyberpunk entries with a more relatable, "everyday" story like "VA-11 HALL-A" will want to wishlist "Shadows of Doubt" the first chance they get.

What will the gameplay be like in Shadows of Doubt?

It looks like "Shadows of Doubt" will be a mix of a first-person stealth and investigation-based puzzle solving, along with minor survival sim elements. The gameplay video demonstrates the multitude of ways to get past locks and disable security measures, as well as how the information gathered is automatically recorded via an organizable evidence board UI that can be reviewed as often as needed.

There's a thirst mechanic managed by purchasing items from a vending machine or shop, as well as complex status effects and consequences from occurrences like getting wet from the rain. Players can even choose to steal from unsuspecting strangers at risk of discovery and harsher penalties, or play it all by the book as much as possible. All in all, the gameplay so far seems realistic and versatile enough to be immersive without becoming unwieldy or inaccessible.

The comments section of the video contained some extra info: According to Jefferies, players will be able to customize the name, gender, and skin tone of the player character. In addition, the grading system for each completed assignment will most likely be removed, while more visual accessibility options will be added in. The game has controller support, though a console release is an as-of-yet unconfirmed possibility. "Shadows of Doubt" is slated for release on PC and can currently be wishlisted on Steam.