Flying Wild Hog has brought us another classic remade with today’s standards in graphics, and style along with other remakes like Doom, Duke Nukem, and Wolfenstein. But can Shadow Warrior stand out and go down as one of the best remakes of all time? Let’s see!
Story: Players assume the role of Lo Wang who is trying to acquire a sword that he doesn’t know much about. After attempting to purchase the sword he learns that it wields a power of inhuman capabilities and he must get the sword in order to save the world. Lo Wang becomes sort of possessed by a comical demon who joins sides to help Lo Wang get the sword back before a demoness can attain the sword of UNPRECEDENTED POWER!!! I said that with a booming sound in my head to add dramatic effect. The story line itself is pretty bland and straight forward with not much appeal, but still funny and comical with a lot of laughs, much like the original.
Gameplay: Shadow Warrior has a real solid character progression gameplay mechanic that allows you to upgrade Lo Wang’s abilities and weapons by attaining Ki crystals and each upgrade to his abilities appears as a Japanese tattoo on his body. I thought this was very cool, and a great idea which I’d like to see more of some time in the future with other games. It adds to the depth of the game when upgrades actually show up in some physical and / or aesthetic form. It’s a very good touch. The combat is fast paced and very well done, it doesn’t lose any aspect of fun as it goes on and gets deeper into the story. Most games feel like you’re doing the same thing after a while, and in Shadow Warrior there’s no difference, but the enemies you fight help keep the monotony away a bit and with simple controls which help the flow of combat stay fluid and fast for a first person hack and slash shooter.
Characters and enemies also have unique abilities and difficulties and some tend not to stick out in the story. The main enemies I felt needed more of a stronger role in the game and because they weren’t super tough, it made the game feel a little overly casual compared to its original incarnation. The most entertaining was the demon who is fused with you, combined with a few other vulgar and sexually themed characters that made for a good laugh throughout the story. Some parts I felt were rushed, but the game was still enjoyable. Shadow Warrior has minimal replay ability. You might enjoy one play-through of Shadow Warrior and never pick the game up again, but Flying Wild Hog seemed as if they were trying to go that route.
I have to give them a good kudos though for bringing a great game back that I had enjoyed as a kid with the limited resources they had. I can’t help but think if they were a triple AAA company that this game would have excelled more in some areas such as the graphics which weren’t horrible and surprisingly good looking for the most part in most areas, but not all. You’ll see a few circumstances where their limitations show especially with the character models and not so much with the scenery. Nothing game-breaking, but I can’t fault them too much for this considering the fact that they are not a big game developer, but managed to reach near triple AAA quality and I commend them for that. Lighting and shadows looked amazing, but some areas of the game seemed as if weren’t focused on as others and that could be something that slipped by QA testing.
Audio: If you read my Preview of Shadow Warrior, you know how much I liked the music in the game. Being a big fan of Japanese themes, you get a good mix of that in Shadow Warrior which helped set the mood and fit the overall theme of the game. With a combination of Rock, Opera,Ttechno and Japanese instruments make hacking, slashing, blowing, and (that sounded bad) shooting your way through a demon horde more exciting. The soundtrack to the game is just amazing with great music and I’ve found myself listening to it a lot on YouTube (track 4 mostly). I highly recommend the game’s OST for good listening tracks if you’re into that type of music.
Final Verdict: Flying Wild Hog set out to deliver a nostalgic game up to today’s standards without sacrificing some of the great things that made the original great. This is a great example to follow and something I wish Duke Nukem would have had. While the game is no perfect 10 and doesn’t have much replay ability, it’s still a great entry and makes for a fun few hours. I give Shadow warrior a 7.5 out of 10.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
RGN Rating: Bronze Game
Developer: Flying Wild Hog
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Available On: Windows PC (via Steam)
Review Copy Info- A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.