The Shadowstorm Chronicles II: Shadow's Hand is a single-player role-playing video game developed and published by Tartarus Studios. It is the second game in the Shadowstorm Chronicles series, after 2008's hugely successful The Shadowstorm Chronicles: Exodium. It was released on August 15th 2010 globally, to rave reviews and sales. Several critics have called it the RPG of the Decade, and one of most compelling and engulfing RPGs ever.
Depending on whether the player imports their character from the previous game or begins anew, Shadow's Hand starts differently. If the player chose the Evil aligned path Fighting A God and destroyed one of the Shadow Father's aspects with the help of Sepharin, then they are still the incumbent ruler of the Sunderlands and the Shadow Realm. If the player instead chose to betray Sepharin (Betraying the Dark Lord) and fight in the Final Battle against the forces of Good, and triumphed, then they are the Champion of the Shadow Father. In the Good alignment climax if the player chose Oathkeeper and sacrificed themselves to defeat the Shadow Father, then they will be able to take on the role of your character's child, either by one of many possible romance party members from the first game. This child of your original character can be customized as a normal starting character would be, and is at age by the time Shadow's Hand begins. However if the player chose The War To End All Wars and allowed their allies to fight against the enemy and the leader of their respective race died in the battle, which they likely did, then the player becomes the new ruler of that faction.
Evil Alignment Path IEdit
The continuation from Fighting A God begins with the player overlooking reports in their throne room, with their attendant Galverith, a regal and loyal Dark Elf, with news that the Shadow Father has begun his return and seeks vengeance against the player for their betrayal. Galverith tries to comfort the player if they became erratic, but if they respond with a more arrogant manner than he will recommend speaking with the player's greatest ally, the Dark Lord Sepharin. Sepharin is still the ruler of the Dark Elves in the game, but if the player is a Dark Elf themselves they also hold "Dark Lord" as a Title and Sepharin is simply referred too as Steward. Sepharin warns the player that the Shadow Father's retribution will be swift and deadly, whereupon the player can either choose to march on the Shadow Father or find some way to seek redemption. If the player chooses to march to war then they will be tasked with a series of quests that involve mustering allies and acquiring party members, as well as destroying the Shadow Father's loyalist along the way. This eventually leads to the climax of the Evil Alignment Path I. The player will fight against the Shadow Father again, and can chose whether they die or another in their place. If the player choses another than any romantic relationship with a party member gives this a higher morale effect on the other party members, as the romance views this as their sacrifice to make. If the player choses to accept their fate than the Shadow Father will destroy them, ending the game.
However if the player chooses to seek redemption, they will forced to journey to the Tomb of Gyothik, where one of the Shadow Father's most loyal servants Gyothik lies buried. The player encounters dark creatures guarding the pass, but acquires a party member along the way. Upon entering the Tomb the party must battle the Ghost of Gyothik and once he is defeated he will join the players party or act as a counsel on the player's journey to redemption. Either way he still offers counsel, even when he is the party. As the player leaves the Tomb the Shadow Father appears and seems lenient on the player, whose desire for redemption he senses. He says the player has a chance to seek redemption.
- Seen in trailers have been the Floating City of Alzenira, and the Tomb of Gyothik, both unveiled to be visitable in the game
- The new ability of mounts, including horses, carriages, dragons, pegasi, gyrocopters, and wyverns
- Additional travelling methods by ship, dragon, carriage, and more
- Four new factions, as of yet unconfirmed. Rumors include Dark Dwarves, Goblins, Werewolves, and another human faction
- Massive open-world gameplay
In mid 2009 Tartarus Studios announced that they had begun production on a sequel to Exodium. J.M Holt, the Tartarus Studios lead, confirmed that with the units sold for Exodium that the studio would have enough money to make the next game bigger. Production was kept under the radar until on May 27th 2010 Tartarus Studios held a conference in Sydney announcing the game's August 2010 release date and demonstrating the exciting features of the game. The trailer for Tartarus' other big 2010 project, a sci-fi shooter Shrapnel was also unveiled. The studio have reportedly increased their staff by 35%, which will hopefully, as J.M Holt says, will make this game better. The game will be launched in Sydney on August 15th 2010 at 10:30 PM, with sales going on mere minutes after. The developers have slated three different packagings with the game; its standard edition, a gold edition with additional DLS, and a collector's edition with even more DLC, a map of Asranathi, An Adventurer's Guide to Asranathi, a comprehensive guide book, a making of Shadow's Hand DVD, and a bronze figurine of the Dark Father; all of which are contained in a large case signed by the entire team. J.M Holt has said: "get the collector's if you want to know a lot more about Asranathi that we don't include in the games".