Shadow Warrior was released last Thursday, and, truth be told, it is outstanding. Imagine a game that is fun, quite challenging, and amusing, but not at all pretentious. The sarcasm is actually funny and the pace of the game is quite good. Your spirit companion makes snide remarks but never gets tedious or in the way. Imagine a first person shooter which lets you save whenever you damn well please, not when the developer deems it a good time. Imagine a game which actually has melee combat that is meaty and doesn’t stink?
This is where I normally tear all your wishes down and tell you what the game is actually like. But no, it has all those things and more. Not only does it have good melee combat, the gun-play is satisfying and gives loads of feedback. The upgrades you can buy for your guns are both useful and fun. There is a good variety in other upgrades for your character including skills and abilities. There is no padding in this game and all of it makes sense. Even when things get bloody hard, and they do, there is a plot reason for it.
It is almost like the developers of this game actually like to play games that are fun and not frustrating/unfair. While the game might feature a guy called Lo Wang, there are few lows. I was pleasantly surprised as I was not enamored with their previous effort Hard Reset.
Graphically, the game looks rather good whether it is the “real” world or the other realms into which you pop. Most things are destructible and useful in combat. While it is a mostly linear title, there are places where you can explore a bit to find secrets and loot. While not having a map can be a pain on a couple of levels, generally it is fairly easy to know where you are meant to go. I only got lost a few times.
There are a few frustrations like the glitch that means it is hard to pick up health packs in the middle of the fight. But once you realise that is the case, you learn to depend on your magical heal. Additionally, there is a level where you fight a giant monster and the battle does get quite tedious.
Then again it should please you dear reader to know that I blew off reviewing this game for the day of release so I could get further into the levels. That was a good thing as well, because it has shown me some the variety of locations. I quite enjoyed the crashed ship level, though there is a room in it that gets quite frantic.
Ultimately, this an enjoyable and well made reboot of Shadow Warrior. It combines the best of modern gaming with the ethos of a classic FPS. There is enough meat on this bone to keep you playing for quite a while, and it is not even a full priced release. If you are an FPS fan you owe to yourself to grab a copy. How can you not want a game that has vorpal/daemon bunnies in it?
Shadow Warrior is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB for Animated Blood and Gore, Animated Violence, Strong Sexual Content.