Shadowgrounds is Top-DownShoot 'em Up developed by Frozenbyte software (creators of Trine) and originally released in November of 2005 in Finland and Germany, making it's way to the rest of Europe and North America in the ensuing months. It became available on Steam in May of 2006.It is the year 2096. The place is a terraformed Ganymede, site of the small but successfully colony of New Atlantis and a highly secure military facility. You are Wesley Tyler, former security officer who now works as a mechanic at the local repair station following a major accident at the plant he used to work at. He's hard at work one night fixing a truck, but after a mysterious power outage, Tyler takes his two technician friends to the nearby power facility. Two dead technicians later, Tyler's landed himself in a full-on Alien Invasion.The player proceeds to rescue survivors, acquire successively bigger and nastier guns and attempts to find out the truth behind the alien attack.The game could be played alone or cooperatively.A sequel, Shadowgrounds: Survivor, was released in 2007 and tells the story of several other people trying to survive the same invasion: IGTO Space Marine Luke Giffords, Pest-control worker Bruno Lastmann, and IGTO Special ForcesSniper Isabel Larose. As the name might suggest, it added a Survival Mode to the proceedings.This game provides examples of:
Gameplay and Story Integration: Isabel mentions that she counts her kills to help keep calm. When playing as her, there's a counter tracking her kills. She even says "Don't interrupt me, I'm counting!" when first radioed by McTiernan.
Lost Forever: If you miss one of the more powerful weapons (either by choice or accident), you don't get a future chance to grab it.
Mini Mecha: Tyler fights some, Isabel gets to drive one. All of them mount twin gatling guns, Isabel's gets a Grenade Launcher for good measure. If you choose Luke or Bruno for the final levels they also get a crack at it.
Musical Spoiler: Heavy metal is always a sign that a battle is about to start. This is fine, except for one part, where what would be a harrowing battle with invisible Scytheworms is given away by the pounding music that strikes up as soon as you walk in, before.
No Kill Like Overkill: The shotgun's assault fire. Two or three shells takes care of most basic enemies. Assault fire blasts all twelve rounds in the magazine off in quick succession.
Notice This: Pickups are always framed by highly visible green brackets.
Orcus on His Throne: The hostilities were a last resort, but attempts at non-hostile communication were perceived as such. When the protagonists aren't hampered by the attacks, they resort to an extremely detailed explanation.
The Paralyzer: The Pulse Rifle's Secondary Fire acts like a Static Stun Gun. It's largely useless as it's painfully short ranged and only affects weaker enemies. Luke's pistol uses this, while his pulse rifle gains a much more useful underbarrel Grenade Launcher. Isabel can throw stun grenades, which are much more useful.
Shout Out: Many to Aliens, most obviously the assault rifle being called a "Pulse Rifle" and looking a lot like one, too. There's also a big one to Independence Day in the form of A small alien ship being researched by humans for a lengthy period of time and then being used to infiltrate a mothership.
Short Range Shotgun: Averted, it has full range like other bullet weapons, but could still miss by being aimed short (via free camera mode)
Unwinnable by Mistake: A door won't open later if you spawn at the wrong checkpoint. Word Of God recommends using the console, but the worst result for purists is to restart the level.
Universal Poison: Isabel's pistol can be upgraded to inflict this, dealing damage over time.
Weapon of Choice: Survivor's characters have a much more limited arsenal then Tyler, but each set is suited to that character's appearance and battles. Luke is a marine, therefore he primarily uses the pulse rifle. Bruno's apparently just an exterminator (regardless of the size of the bugs in question) but wears fuel canisters around his belt and his nickname is "Napalm", so: Flamethrower. Isabel primarily uses the Railgun.