The Shadow Warrior series had a fresh start in 2016 when its original 1997 version was rebooted. The games have been fast-paced FPS and are similar to the DOOM games. The story involves a witty Asian character, Lo Wang, whose character is similar to Marvel’s Deadpool.
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Contrary to the prequel, Devolver Digital’s Shadow Warrior 3 has linear missions (no open-world), offering more streamlined gameplay. This means an easier experience if you don’t like figuring out where or what to do.
As soon as all enemies die in an area, you can easily spot a grappling hook spot or colored tree branch indicating where to go. You’re always either killing enemies or rushing to the next area to kill throughout the game.
Another interesting mix is the resources enemies drop when killed. If killed by the katana, they drop ammo. If killed by guns, they drop health.
New finishing moves have been introduced. They enable you to kill the enemy with one move. Killing them with finishers also temporarily gives you the enemy’s weapon or health if it’s a minor enemy.
Though the game is meant to be fast and smooth, the difficulty level soon rises, and you have to start playing strategically since each gun’s ammo is limited. Each boss would need a different strategy, so button mashing with guns wouldn’t work.
The cast for the main character was also changed. An Asian voice actor was chosen, and for Lo Wang’s face, Mike Moh was brought on board. This meant providing a more Asian-sensitive aspect to the game instead of having a white person play the main character. However, Wang’s constant talking has not been welcomed.
The story continues after the events of Shadow Warrior 2. Lo Wang had caused a dragon to be unleashed. That dragon has now destroyed the world, and Lo Wang lives in seclusion with depression.
The story begins when his former rival, Zilla, offers him assistance to help kill the dragon and save the world. Lo has to get the energy of Hoji’s mask to defeat the dragon. As Hoji is revived, he first requests Wang to help him retain his physical form, so the story moves towards helping Hoji. Once the mask’s energy is utilized, a massive cannon is activated toward the dragon which fails to kill the dragon.
The story takes some twists and turns but seems far weaker than its prequel.
The Dynamic Combat
The game broadly involves two main attacking types: Wang’s sword and guns. Player movement is quite fast: double-jumps, sprinting, air-dashes, wall-running, and the grappling hook.
The sword can be upgraded several times with 3 different elemental effects added; electric, ice, and fire. However, with time, the sword is not scathing enough for larger enemies, and one has to use big guns.
At the start, you only have a standard pistol. Every few stages later, you unlock a new firearm with its purpose in the game, some being long-range and some being low-ammo high-damage ones.
The grappling hook is the cherry-on-top for the game’s agile combat. In almost all arenas, there are several hooks to swing from to avoid a horde of enemies or play strategically.
Lo Wang’s Character
Lo Wang’s new Asian casting was a welcome step, but the series’ third entry has received much criticism for his ongoing jokes throughout the game.
The main character was always a witty and sort of take-it-easy character, much like Deadpool. But in Shadow Warrior 3, the developers overdid it. Lo Wang seems never to stop talking, making the story utterly useless as he remains non-serious throughout.
Though this seems in line with the fast gameplay, the joking has rendered the plot pointless this time. Games like Shadow Warrior 3 aren’t played for the plot, but the writing of Wang’s dialogue was a little loose this time.
Users even call it annoying, preferring to play the game without dialogues.
Shadow Warrior 3 offers high-end graphics and smooth 60FPS gameplay. Its true experience comes with setting all options at high in the graphics section. Below are the recommended requirements for the game on PC:
CPU: Core i7 5th generation or above
GPU: Nvidia’s GTX 1080 or equivalent
Memory: 8 GB
Storage: 32 GB
Is the Game For You?
Being a 2022 game, it supports smooth 60FPS gameplay on PC, despite having countless enemies at several levels. Even with recording, the frames rarely drop and no matter how big a horde comes, the games continue to play smoothly on all platforms.
The animation of finishing moves for each different enemy, the dragon’s interior, the gore, and the details are well designed. Despite being a fast-paced game with countless enemies rushing, the game rarely lags and runs uniformly throughout.
The fast-paced gameplay carries smoothly, making it pleasing as the scenery is also quite detailed in the game.
The Good And The Bad
Smooth fast-paced gameplay
Endless combat combinations
What makes the game attractive is its seamless gameplay. Sort of like DOOM, you’re constantly shooting and slashing. But here we have wall-running, double jumps, grappling hook, and finishing moves. You keep unlocking new upgrades and guns. Bosses make sure the game does not seem too easy.
Weak plot and character
However, the gameplay may not be so different from its predecessors. Soon enough, it gets repetitive, killing enemies constantly. Jumping from one area to another only to see another horde of enemies. If you enjoy this type of fast-paced gameplay, then you’ll love it. Otherwise, it may get repetitive.
However, the plot in such games is usually not so deep. But compared to its predecessors, Shadow Warrior 3 does not have much to offer in terms of plot. You simply have a constantly talk and joke with the main character throughout the game.
The third entry in the series offers a beautifully designed world and linear missions.
Though the game may lack innovation, a smooth slash and dash experience may just make your day. Overall, the game does give an enjoyable experience as it is not too long. The game is not too challenging, so you're constantly rushing throughout the game and rarely get stuck. Wang’s poor character development also brings down the game's overall quality.
The combinations of combat are endless, and the constant grappling and dashing give it a rating of 79.