Review – Shadow Warrior : Bringing a Knife to a Gun Fight

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Shadow Warrior goes from old school to Next Gen in its new reboot. Is the game worth your cash or is it best left in the annals of time?

Read our review to find out.

Shadow Warrior in 1997

The original Shadow Warrior followed in the footsteps of games like Wolfenstein 3D and Doom as first person shooters were all the rage on PCs everywhere. Slicing, dicing and blasting your way through enemies was a whole lot of awesome fun that gobbled up hours of gaming time. Fast forward to now and our action assassin of the game, Lo Wang, is ready to go back to work, only this time his graphics engine is on steroids.

The Story follows Lo Wang, a hired assassin for a powerful Japanese industrial magnate, Orochi Zillam, who wants Wang to acquire a katana from an unwilling seller. Wang finds out that the katana is actually called the Nobitsura Kage and is a three piece set that, once assembled, becomes powerful enough to kill both dead and undead creatures and also works on destroying demons. Wang takes it upon himself to find all of these pieces and reassemble this awesome sword.

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Along his journey he comes across golems called Whisperers that, once destroyed, give him their memories which slowly tells us the back story for the game. The story is well written and well thought out. You could easily see the story in book format and not realize that it was a video game. The depth of the story and characters was pleasantly surprising and a breath of fresh air in this world of gameplay first, story second.

The graphics for the game were also surprisingly good. With the release being on the PS4, one shouldn’t assume great graphics just because it’s on a next gen machine, but in this case that assumption would be accurate. Level design is linear but that is to be expected with a game of this nature. Level layouts are well thought out, with somewhat hidden areas for those that like to find collectibles. Level select is available once an area is completed so completionists will be able to revisit areas to find missing objects. This adds to the replayability factor and should make completionists happy.

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As Wang traverses through the game world he comes across a wide variety of weapons that will be at his disposal. By far the most fun to use for us is his trusty sword, which can slice a man in half, leave him armless, or even headless. Some enemies are easier to kill with the sword while some require distance that can only be had with a firearm or a trusty shuriken. Those throwing stars work great on rabbits as well if you just feel like practicing your aim.

Handguns, rifles, and shotguns each have their own upgrade system that can make them more powerful, easier to aim, or lower their recoil. All of which can come in handy when taking on a boss level. These bosses require thought as each battle is unique with its own puzzle type element. Studying the movement of a boss, and then figuring out the proper attack timing and location are keys to success when battling these bad guys, so patience and thought are required to win.

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The game offers several different RPG style elements for upgrading Wang’s different techniques and items available. The game play is as well thought out as the story and that is a great thing. It’s not everyday that a reboot from a long ago series comes around and developer Flying Wild Hog should be proud of their accomplishments with this title.

Well done game that is worth the $39.99/£34.99 price tag.

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