Shadows: Awakening, an isometric RPG where you play a soul-sucking demon, is free on GOG

You’ll probably be playing Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree this weekend. Hell, you’re probably playing it right now, and not even reading this. But if you are reading this, and you are not playing Erdtree over the weekend, and you’re looking for something else to jump into instead, allow me to suggest Shadows: Awakening.

I make this recommendation for two reasons: One, it looks pretty cool, and two, it’s free on GOG.

Shadows: Awakening is an isometric singleplayer RPG with “real-time tactical combat,” set in the Heretic Kingdoms game world. It looks like a fairly conventional fantasy romp, but the story has an unusual twist: Instead of the typical saver-of-the-day, you play a demon summoned from the Shadow Realm to consume the souls of heroes, which you can then turn to your advantage. 

This is actually how the game’s party system works: “Multiple characters in one demon,” the GOG page says, “each retaining their own personalities with internal dialogues, rivalries and communication between the characters.”

And, because you’re a demon, you don’t necessarily have everyone’s best interests at heart. “Who is in charge—the demon, or the souls that it has devoured? It’s up to you to either thwart a major threat and save the world, or to plunge it into complete disaster.”

I like that setup. I think it sounds freeing, in a way: I usually play a good guy in my videogames because I don’t want to be a bad guy, but if I’m a demon from the jump, then maybe it’s good to be bad? And maybe it actually is good from the demonic perspective: Perhaps, to paraphrase a great cinematic moment, from my point of view, the humans are evil!

The Shadows: Awakening freebie comes amidst the ongoing GOG Summer Sale, which includes daily deals, publisher collections, and deep cuts on a wide range of good stuff. Robocop: Rogue City is half price, which is pretty sweet, and Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition is 75% off, which is also a very good pick. 

Personally, though, I like rooting through the virtual bargain bin in GOG sales, because you’re bound to find some genuinely bonkers deals. The Long Journey Home, which was terribly underrated, is down to $1—you literally cannot buy a bag of chips for that—and if you really want to try something weird, Edna and Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes is well under $2. There’s all kinds of DLC, soundtracks, and other bonus content down around that price point too. (Trust me, that’s where they hide the good stuff.)

The GOG Summer Sale runs until July 10, but Shadows: Awakening is only free until June 24—get it while you can.

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