Published on March 26th, 2022 | by Zorbz
REVIEW: Shadow Warrior 3
Shadow Warrior 3 marks the third installment of the re-imaging of the original Shadow warrior game, released back in 1997.
The series follows Lo Wang on his adventures, blasting through everything whilst spurting out obscenities left right and center. So how does this latest entry push the series forward?
Story/Concept: I am ashamed to say I never finished Shadow Warrior 2 despite enjoying what I played of it, which was a bit to my detriment as I had no idea what was happening when I first started up the game and the initial cutscene played.
Don’t let this deter you though as eventually you’ll pick up what is happening and can always look up what happened in the previous game should you want to jump right in.
The story continues on from the second game with following the aftermath of Lo Wang losing his best friend and being defeated mentally by a raging huge dragon (apparently, he lost his mojo) and basically let the world be torn apart.
It’s super cheesy and B-grade with some really cringe one-liners and constant chatting from Lo Wang whilst you’re playing and sure it’s quite lame but eventually, I found myself enjoying his lame jokes and interactions with the other characters you come across.
It’s basically about getting your mojo back and defeating the giant dragon to save the world. Typical super hero adventure, but more akin to Deadpool.
Graphics: The last two Shadow Warrior games I thought looked great when they were released, and this third entry is no different.
I absolutely love the level design and detail throughout the game with its emphasis on bright colours and flashy effects littering the battlegrounds where you devour crazy intricately designed Yokai.
The enemy designs are incredibly unique and quirky but still look creepy and grotesque and are very well designed.
The variety in environments you play through is also quite breathtaking with the game starting out with you scaling the massive dragon basically using it’s body as a battleground….this thing is massive!
You’ll then traverse through Japanese inspired yet heavily fantasy infused forests, snow-capped mountains and caverns. It’s all quite gorgeous despite the game being a first-person frenzied shooter.
Gameplay: The gameplay is heavily influenced by the recent Doom titles, and this can be seen with the introduction of wall running, a grappling hook and finishers on enemies, however with a twist, letting you use a part of the enemy as a weapon which is unique to each Yokai. This is a fun mechanic that can turn the tides of battles as the enemies come at you hard and fast (I feel this language is appropriate if you know the series). You’ll be blasting through hordes or Yokai with some unique looking weapons that are based on traditional style weapons from Shotguns, machine guns, grenade launchers, laser beams etc but with their own flair. Oh, and of course, Lo Wang still has his trusty kitana to slice and dice enemies at will.
The new traversal mechanics can not only be used in battle to escape near certain death situations but also used as a means of platforming as you progress through the levels. I love this hybrid between a first-person platformer and shooter.
Last but least, the action is incredibly fast-paced, and from my experience throughout the roughly 10hours I played to finish the game on PC, i only had a few game breaking bugs that crashed me to the main steam menu, but nothing that prevented me from progressing fortunately. It all ran at a rock-solid framerate and with the inclusion of Nvidia’s DLSS, I was able to run everything at the highest setting at native 4K flawlessly.
Sound: Voice acting wise the characters are so campy, with Lo Wang being a downright idiot that means well and somehow becomes somewhat endearing. I wouldn’t give the voice actors any awards, especially Hoji who has this incredibly annoying voice, but you know what, it fits the aesthetic, and I couldn’t imagine how the game would feel with voice acting veterans like Troy Baker or Ashley Burch playing any of the roles.
On to the music, it’s badass!!! You have rock music to classic Japanese influenced traditional sounding music, and a bit of everything in between. It all fits really well to the action and the situations you find yourself in adding to the thrill of everything. Not to mention, the guns all sound extremely powerful and really make you feel like a powerhouse.
Awesomeness: Shadow Warrior 3 has some upgrades for both Wang himself but also his weapons and whilst these can be achieved by locating them in the environment to completing challenges, they weren’t really all that hard to obtain, which kind of makes multiple playthroughs a bit redundant. However, the game is so fun, fast, and easy to digest that I would easily play this through multiple times over the next few years. I would love some sort of expansion or DLC too because as much as I loved the length of the campaign, I do want more, and that’s the sign that the game is ticking all the boxes.
Final Word: I would recommend Shadow Warrior 3 to anyone who has enjoyed the last two entries, to people who enjoy the latest doom games or really anyone who loves fast-paced first person shooters with a focus on traversal mechanics thrown in.
It really was a blast to play from start to finish, and it surprised me on every level. Here’s hoping for more titles in the franchise in the future.
Out of 5 Bugs!