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Shadow Warrior (2013)

By JcDent19-09-2013
Bis18marck70 (editor)
Bobfish (editor)
Shadow Warrior (2013)

The Defence

Flying Wild Hog
Devolver Digital
Action, Shooter
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Core2 Quad 2.33 GHz
AMD Phenom X4 9950
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460
AMD Radeon HD 4890
4 GB
8 GB

Way back when DOOM was the shit and Duke Nukem ruled the world, I didn't play FPS games – probably because I was too young - so I don't really have that many sprite kills notched on my belt. I kind of got into it after the enemies gained the 3rd dimension. What I'm saying is that I haven't played the original Shadow Warrior before...but I have the chance to try out the preview version of the modern remake. Ladies and gentlemen - Shadow Warrior!

You step into the (actually animated if you look down) shoes of Lo Wang, a Chinese/Japanese assassin working for one mister Zilla. He's tasked with buying – or convincing the current owner to sell – the Nabunata Kage sword. Understandably and in tune with the established values of games like these (or bad kung-fu movies, which the first game supposedly mocked), the deal goes south pretty fast, bodies start hitting the floor and OH MY GOD WHERE DID THE DEMONS COME FROM?

Blood, severed limbs and Wang puns abound.

That’s what you get for messing with The Wang!

That’s what you get for messing with The Wang!

Much like Flying Wild Hog's first game, Hard Reset, this is as old school as it gets. It falls somewhere between Serious Sam and Duke Nukem 3D. There are hordes of enemies, but they don't fall down as easily as in, say, Painkiller. There are no keycards, but you still have to look for keys and, instead of switches, magical destructible sigils to progress further in levels. Where it veers away from the classics is the fact that you don't see health packs, ammo crates and armor just floating everywhere with no rhyme nor reason.

Well, this is partly because games as a medium moved on and having health regained only through pickups is a chore. And you can't cry about non-regen health adding “planning“ to the game since you can't really “plan“ for various spawning demons. However, this isn't the usual regenerating health system. Health regeneration takes the form of a demonic power which is made available to Lo Wang. However, it will not restore you to full health. For that, you better break out your katana and start using some Ki powers!

A tingling sense of a past life...

A tingling sense of a past life...

Yes, a lot of the game revolves around stabbing people. I mean the developers didn't put in all the hard work into those slicing animations for nothing! While you have other weapons at your disposal, and they look real fine, they are better off dealing with bigger enemies, boss fights or, say, those flying assholes. For run of the mill mooks, be they demon or human, the katana is your best bet. And while Powers can be used with any weapon in hand, there are some that just work best with a blade. Add that to the fact that fire weapons, while quite sexy and fun to use, are somewhat weak and enemies quite easily dodge your projectiles, you soon start to stab and slice everything around.

It's a good thing that the movement system is so in tune with it, because you have at least two kinds of dashes, which let you jump around the battlefield, avoiding enemies and cutting them down with blade and bullet alike. And all the powers are activated very simply – double tap in some direction, then either hold LMB or RMB. Simple.

‘Red screen! So real!’

‘Red screen! So real!’

As for the visuals, the Japanese (probably) demons are quite unusual for those of us not infected with weeaboo and they're visually interesting new enemies. Same goes for the generally Japanese surroundings (although most cars don't look like the ones we see in Japan). All in all, it's a visually interesting game, even if it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the AAA’s have. Then again, that didn't really hold Heavy Reset back and it's not an issue here either...unless you're a munchkin.

So there we go, Shadow Warrior is an old school action without too much hanging on to the “old“ part. Though hopefully, by the time it comes out, the SMG will receive a boost in firepower because that thing looks sweet!

Comments (5)
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Posts: 3290

So much Wang

Posts: 19

I preordered, loved Hard Reset and frankly think this looks outstanding.

Posts: 267

Will have to try it eventually.

Posts: 3290

Admit it Stunt,you just want to play with your Wang

Posts: 1548

I played the original and then the Redux and really loved them. Was very surprised how well they withstood the test of time so quite interested how the 2013 will look and play.