Is watching giant monsters and robots destroying cities your thing? Well, now’s your chance to live that experience… as a civilian in the new game City Shrouded in Shadow.

In City Shrouded in Shadow on a normal April night, you’re walking down the street to meet someone. Then, all of a sudden, the city is struck with an explosion. Lo and behold, Ultraman appears in front of you and starts a battle in the middle of the city. But you’re not Ultraman. You’re just an innocent bystander watching the fight and escaping the rubble. Now see your favorite giant monsters and robots from series series like Ultaman, Godzilla, Gamera, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Mobile Police Patlabor in a new light as they wreck your city as you try to escape.

Many games based on anime have you playing as the heroes of the series. Sometimes that means you’re going though a city and completely leveling it. City Shrouded in Shadow takes that concept and throws it out the window. When you start the game, you’re just a regular civilian living out your life. You’re allowed to roam around the city for a bit—the demo let you enter a convenience store—to let you get acclimated with the controls and flow of the game.

As you do this, you quickly learn the game is far closer to a “choose your own adventure” book, where you’re given options on how to proceed. For instance, in the convenience store you meet a clerk who’s waiting for her shift to end, but her coworker is late for their shift. You’re given a couple of options to help this clerk and, depending on which you pick, the story changes. It’s a nifty concept for a game like this because it allows for replayabilty and truly experiencing the game in its fullest.

Once you become familiar with the controls and general concept of City Shrouded in Shadow, all hell breaks loose. Not just a few steps from the convenience store, you’re thrown into your first “mission”: escape the city while Ultraman from Ultraman does battle. It’s a very jarring but impressive moment because you get to see Ultraman from a civilian’s perspective. At the same time, though, you’re seeing the damage the character does when he’s fighting in the city. In other words: explosions, rubble, and panic—oh my.

Yet, what’s fantastic about this set up is while the non-playable characters are running away from the Ultraman fight, your character is running towards it. Whether that’s brave or stupid is up to you to decide, but you get some fun moments out of charging into the fray like taking a selfie with the Ultraman fight as the background. It’s moments like these that make the game comical while keeping serious undertones.

While the demo only featured Ultraman, the promo video shows us characters from Godzilla, Gamera, and Neon Genesis Evangelion, among other anime and giant monster properties. It’s amazing how we’re going to see all the beloved characters in one game. But, when you’re done playing the demo, you’re left wondering, “Is Ultraman really a good guy?” That’s a fun thought and casts our favorite characters in a different light because we always have that understanding Ultraman, Godzilla, Gamera, etc. are destroying a city, but we rarely see the actual damage. And this is our chance to watch them duke it out from the ground.

City Shrouded in Shadow is a bang-up concept. I really can’t wait to see the full experience when the game is released.

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