Shadow Warrior 3 is a fast-paced FPS for adult-aged children. It’s designed for those who’d enjoy playing as East Asian caricature and human dick joke Lo Wang, whose main character trait is that he sucks. He’s a tide of crap one-liners and innuendos so relentless that they regularly cut each other off during a firefight. He’s the kind of man who’s rating how bangable the game’s only female character is within moments of meeting her. He’s the answer to a question nobody asked: what if Deadpool was racially insensitive, and you had to be him for seven-to-ten hours?
Need to Know
What is it? A throwback shooter with an outdated punchline protagonist.
Expect to pay: $50
Release Date: March 1, 2022
Developer: Flying Wild Hog
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Reviewed on: Intel Core i7 8700K, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, 32GB RAM
Link : https://shadowwarrior.com/
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It begins with Lo Wang in a depression, because he accidentally destroyed global civilization by releasing a banished hell-dragon and its legions of demonic yokai. It ends with me in a depression, because I had to play it. In between, there’s a lot of shooting and an inescapable feeling that the legacy of the original 1997 game would be better left forgotten.
I’d like plenty about Shadow Warrior 3’s throwback shooter rhythm if it was anywhere else. Its singleplayer-only campaign of combat arenas excels at one thing: finding a flow in full-speed gunplay. Movement is constant. Cover is irrelevant. Gore is gratuitous. Survival is a perpetual parkour of air dashing, double jumping, and wall-running, all while rotating through different flavors of carnage as each weapon’s dwindling ammo count allows.
Lo Wang’s arsenal ranges from standards like a semi-auto handgun to more unconventional implements like a shuriken-shooting crossbow. The shotgun, in particular, has a bassy punch that made mulching yokai fodder reliably satisfying. A quick-recharging chi blast knocks back enemies, and a retractable grappling offers an escape from the yokai mosh pit when you need space.
The rhythm’s helped by the game of resource management that’s running alongside the high-speed shooting. Ammo and health pickups are scattered around the combat areas, but enemies themselves are the most reliable refill options. Right-click melee attacks from Lo Wang’s katana generate ammo on hits and kills, while a refilling finisher meter enables executions for a health refill and a bonus effect unique to each enemy type. Lots of notes taken from 2016’s Doom here, and it’s just as grisly: the meaty gob factor is so high that it’s almost exhausting.
The railgun—an elegant weapon, for a more civilized age. (Image credit: Flying Wild Hog)
I don’t think the game cares. I think it’s content with a Polish studio’s homogeneous, nonspecific idea of what “Asian” looks like. I think it’s comfortable knowing plenty of players will, even in the wake of a global rise in anti-Asian xenophobia, enjoy it without discomfort. After all, Lo Wang is the hero here. Isn’t that a compliment?
In one cutscene, the camera pulls back to reveal Lo Wang’s censored groin. Then he farts.
Shadow Warrior 3 is best experienced with dialog volume set to zero and subtitles turned off. It isn’t malicious. It’s tasteless. It’s embarrassing, because it expects that you’re the kind of person who’d enjoy it. Just play Doom 2016 instead.
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