Shadow Master is a video game developed by HammerHead, and published by Psygnosis for the PlayStation, and Microsoft Windows. It was released for the PlayStation video game console in January 1998 in Europe and February 24, 1998 in North America. The PC version was released on February 28, 1998 in North America, and February 1998 in Europe.
For over a millennium, two alien races had been waging an interstellar war, known as the Outer War. Now, during the fictional year of 1742, the people of the planet Sylvan began to grow uneasy as rumors had spread involving the disappearances of trade ships. Eventually the planet had lost contact with many of its outlying trade ships and star ports, which led to the complete communications blackout of the systems outer worlds. Refugees had come from the outer planets and told stories of mass destruction, death and plunder, with entire worlds being stripped of their resources, and countless innocence were either enslaved or slaughtered by mechanoid monsters. A 'death black-shadow' as was referred to by the elders of Sylvan, had engulfed the system. An invasion fleet has begun to occupy the planet, with one force standing in the way of its complete take over: you.
Shadow Master is a first-person shooter video game, set in a sci fi universe. The player takes control of a futuristic, and heavily armed ATV to traverse each level, combat aliens, and complete level objectives. Before each mission, the player is briefed by 'strategic command' on their mission objectives. The player is then brought into the level, which they can explore. The vehicle the player uses is controlled with either the D-Pad and shoulder buttons, or the two analog sticks in the PlayStation version. In the PC version, the mouse and keyboard or joystick can be used for movement. During gameplay, your vehicle has a certain amount of health and shields, which if drops below zero becomes a game over for the player. A radar is displayed to show the relative positions of enemies to the player as well. The vehicle is also armed with many fictional weapons, such as lasers, cannons, machine guns, missiles, grenade launchers and rail guns. Some have unlimited ammunition but are limited by an overheat meter which prevents constant use of the weapon, while others have a limited supply of ammunition but are much more effective and not limited by overheating.
The game contains seven different worlds to explore, separated by sixteen different levels, with each world having its own unique visual style. The levels are completed when all objectives in the current mission have been completed. Each level comes with its own compliment of enemies, with many of them resembling creatures from Earth such as Apes or Wasps, but are mechanoid instead of living organisms. There are also many alien creatures to contend with as well, with some henchmen being made in the image of the Shadow Master himself. The creatures drop items the player can use when they are destroyed, such as health crystals, ammunition, weapons, power-ups and upgrades. These dropped items stay active for a short period and disappear if not picked up.
The PC version of Shadow Master also includes multiplayer support, using both IPX and serial connection.