Shadow Warrior 3 is an Old-School FPS Now Available

Shadow Warrior 3 was just released and it’s a unique title that’s put a new spin on the FPS genre. Instead of playing as a mercenary, soldier, or demon slayer, players control a super-ninja named Lo Wang. An ancient dragon has awakened accidentally and, along with it, droves of demonic entities want to devour the world. The setting takes place in a cyberpunk-laced feudal Japan where ancient Japanese culture is complimented with high-tech accessories and weaponry. It’s a strange mix, for sure and it works well concerning playing within a video game world. The action in this game is smooth, fast-paced, and brutal. Very reminiscent of DOOM Eternal and its predecessor. Players can collect a gamut of futuristic firearms along with various ways to stand toe-to-toe against enemies with a katana. When the story is concerned, this plot pretty much takes a backseat with the main focus of this game, which is decimating monsters.

This game knows what it is and it takes no qualms of delivering the goods. Shadow Warrior 3 definitely takes inspiration from other games of its caliber and combines some of the best elements to make something its own. There is nothing innately alien within the mechanics of this title. Any gamer who has played an AAA FPS within the last ten years will jump right into Shadow Warrior 3 without any problem. The carnage in this game will unfold just as comfortably as wearing an old pair of sandals. When gameplay is concerned, there is nothing here that really re-invents the wheel. However, what is established works really well and there is nothing really new or too jarring that can hinder the enjoyment of fighting. The simplicity is what gives it its charm and, what that said, there is still quite a bit of fun to be had here.

Bullets and Blades

The campaign in Shadow Warrior 3 is indeed short. However, it is worth pointing out that the action is dense and wrought with enemies to slay. The format of this game certainly has a “bottle-neck” flow concerning the progression of the levels. Gamers are constantly being enticed to go “forward” and they don’t have the option to backtrack or re-visit certain areas. There is an old-fashioned stage progression layout to this IP that isn’t found in too many games these days. Although developers strive on crafting worlds that offer exploitability, options, and various pathways, Shadow Warrior 3 isn’t one of those worlds. It may have a few solemn trails that players can poke around at their leisure, but they’re usually a very short venture that offers minor upgrades and collectibles. This game is all about the action and it centers on having Lo Wang going from arena to arena, clearing out baddies.

It is a simple enough level design for a video game, and this is all Shadow Warrior 3 needs. The lack of exploring is made up of the nifty new ways Lo Wang can fight and traverse the environment. Players can unlock a grappling hook and swing around to high places. Thus, they can also upgrade their character to wall run like in the Titanfall games. These features are nothing too inventive, by any means but, they are always fun to use in any FPS. This game is no exception, either. There are only six different guns to use, all that range from a standard six-shooter pistol to a spine-splitting railgun. The weapon selection can get a little old after using them multiple times. Luckily, they all have a sense of weight and oomph to them whenever they are used.

Nimble Ninja

There is no doubt that Lo Wang is fun to control, providing plenty of freedom and maneuverability within the arenas. The story of Shadow Warrior 3 moves fast. Action set-pieces kind of break things apart, a little bit. Between each arena, there are platforming segments to pass that kind of act as a tutorial of Lo Wang’s new moves and upgrades. They provide a little breathing room for players and give them time to prepare for the next battle. There are also “finishers” that Lo Wang can execute during the thick of combat. On some occasions, Lo Wang can even tear away the weapon that the enemy is using and turn it against them. Not to mention that this game has a very meta and tongue n’ cheek sense of humor about itself. Lo Wang is not a silent protagonist, by any means. He very much is a wise-cracking hero that gives him a distinct personality that’s akin to the days of Duke Nukem.

Sometimes, that can be a bit annoying but, at least the developers of Shadow Warrior 3 know when to make things colorful when need be. With that said, the art design is quite nice with the animations, level design, and weapon effects. The gore is also on another level. Enemies will become damaged in real-time during shootouts, showing torn flesh and gaping holes on their person. The thickness of the macabre doesn’t hold up and the crimson matter will coat the arenas after a successful battle. The combat is straightforward, sure. The thing is that the framerate stays pretty steady. Thus, the air-tight gameplay provides quite a few moments of thrills while slaughtering the demonic entities running amok. This game is old-school FPS enjoyment, and sometimes that is all certain gamers need.

Out of the Shadows

Shadow Warrior 3 was released at the beginning of this month and it can be easy to miss among all the other big titles being released. Given that another DOOM or Titanfall is most likely a long way off, this game can be a nice little placeholder for fans of those FPSs. The game may be short, but there is still a truckload of carnage to sift through with its content. Currently, Shadow Warrior 3 is available for the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. Fans of the other two games will get a kick of going on another adventure with Lo Wang, again. All the staples are there and the enhancements with the combat warrants checking it out to satisfy the lingering bloodlust of slaying demons.

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