Having never played the original Shadow Warrior, 3D Realm’s other 90’s first person shooter, this remake is a real treat. If someone said to me that the original was a fantastic game, I’d be forced to take their word for it, because going back to an FPS game from ’97 just isn’t going to happen. Between my recent experience playing the first Halo, and having also played the original Duke Nukem 3D in the past couple of months, it’s fair to say that sometimes it’s not fun to go back in time. The mechanics of shooters have come so far, and though I loved the spirit of those older games, I prefer the way modern shooters play. With that said, this modernized remake of Shadow Warrior doesn’t suffer from shitty controls or shitty graphics, and it has an interesting storyline along with some great humor, right out of the gate.
Right inside the gate rather. As the game opens, you’re driving to a business deal, as an employee of Zilla, trying to buy a sword for two million dollars. You are Lo Wang, and you’re a bad ass.
Inside the main building of the rather large estate in what is presumably Japan, you are met with the mysterious holder of the sword, and his goons. Of course a fight breaks out, mostly because you refuse to leave without the sword, and it’s current owner isn’t willing to part with it.
I did manage to make short work of them though. The game is a little on the bloody side, but it reminds me of movies like Kill Bill where the gore is over the top to the point of being silly. Still, it is quite satisfying to slice bodies in half and to chop arms off. The physics engine seems on point. Also, if you’re wondering why my sword looks a bit funny, it’s because in the options there are a multitude of sword skins to choose from, and this was the pixellated Hotline Miami Katana. I swap it out for a traditional sword later.
Fighting through a bunch of goons, I finally catch up to the sword-holder, but also a demon who takes me down.
Waking up later, Wang is tied to a chair, and his captors are trying to negotiate with his boss, who really needs the sword. His urgency is clear, and suddenly the TV screen fades to grey noise and the sword-holder fears a similar trouble. The man in the hat injects you with something, and then you black out again.
Waking up later, it appears you are at the same estate, but you see some kind of demons slaughtering everything in site. Later, a weird ceramic doll looking creature appears, then leaves. Finally, you awake and it’s time to get out of this cage.
Nearby, a dead guard holding a pistol offer’s you his weapon. Love the Zelda reference.
Inside a nearby building, you come across the same demon’s that killed everyone else on the grounds. Time to try out this pistol.
Fighting further into the compound, you come across a burning building, with no way to get around it. Heading inside, the floor gives way, and as you are starting to fade, the same Demon who was with the sword-holder earlier appears to you again. This time he says he wants to help you, as his ethereal form prevents him from doing much in our world. He says he will amplify your Ki powers in exchange for you helping him to do presumably dastardly deeds.
Ki powers can be used to heal yourself, perform various attacks with your Katana, or be used for defense. We’re given the healing power to begin with, and it comes in handy.
Various cool looking screens from running around the level.
Eventually you earn Karma points as well, which give you different masteries, in this case I’m learning how to do a particular stab move that will destroy particular altars.
I found a couple of interesting easter eggs in the game, the first being 3 arcade machines within one of the buildings on the level, but I’m not sure of the correlation between them. You can see the connection in that they’re all games that feel on the same wavelength, yet I don’t believe they were all made by the same company. In the second, I randomly found a bathing anime girl behind a waterfall when I was looking for secrets. Not sure what that’s supposed to be there for exactly, but it’s been documented nonetheless.
In the same building as the arcade machines (or perhaps nearby) you’ll find some keys that are used on a locked gate leading into a vast bamboo forest. There are some secrets hidden within, and you’ll find a shrine that holds a Ki Point, which I then applied to the healing tree, allowing me to heal myself up to 60 HP. Ki is represented on your body with tattoos, which I also approve of.
Finding this shrine, and using the aforementioned katana mastery, another passage was opened and I was able to get back towards the beginning of the level.
Passing through the last building, I found this fortune cookie, which is not only humorous, but I assume is the collectible item set you’ll be looking for throughout the game for an achievement. I’ll have to double check that.
Getting back to the car, I quickly hop back in, eager to get out of here. As soon as you sit down, Hoji, your demon friend, returns. He gives you some shit, and then you hit the road.
The final screen for the level. I think I scored fairly high considering I didn’t know there was going to be a scoreboard at the end of the level. And there you have it, the beginning of a new play through. Stay tuned, there will be more to come.
#shadowwarrior #firstpersonshooter #reboot #playthrough