A Reboot Done Right -Shadow Warrior Review (PS4)

No GravatarShadow_Warrior_2013

 

First Person Shooters have evolved a lot as a genre. From their beginnings with games like Wolfenstein 3D to modern games like Call of Duty and Halo, the genre has seen a lot of change. When Doom was big in the 90’s, there were many games that tried to ride its popularity but with characters who had more personality. From this we gained Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior, the latter being heavily based on the former, but with melee weapons as well. Both had characters spouting one liners and jokes that would not be acceptable today and had humor no longer seen as okay.

When Duke Nukem Forever finally launched after so many years of development, it was given a mixed reception in part because it was felt the game could not decide if it wanted to be a modern or retro style shooter. It tried to be both and didn’t succeed, so when a Shadow Warrior reboot was announced, many felt worried that the same would happen. However something else occurred in this instance and instead of making the same mistakes, they went in another direction.

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Shadow Warrior knows full well what it wants to be. It wants to be a modern take on the retro shooter while playing up what made the game awesome in the past.  The humor is offensive and crosses the line, but then it just crosses it again and again to the point of actually being funny. The game has classic ideas of how to use weapons and ammo but successfully integrates it with modern game mechanics.

You have regenerating health but there is a storyline explanation and it isn’t automatic, you have to manually activate it. That can be difficult in the heat of battle but you can also pick up health packs to heal like in classic games.  You can find money to upgrade your weapons as well and this will assist you in progressing in ways not done in most modern FPS games.

It isn’t perfect and there are issues in the game. The aiming is not perfect and can be off at times, the textures are abysmal in several areas and there is a lot of screen tearing and frame drops.  Some of the combat is just off as well as the game tries to encourage Melee Combat at times by not having enough ammo available. As well, the movement and jumping just seems to be programmed with mistimed jumps in mind. Still these faults ate not enough to make the game unplayable. There is enough fun to be had, especially with finding secrets the way you did in the original and other 90’s FPS games.

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I would be remiss if I did not mention that the story, while utterly ridiculous, is ridiculous in an amazing way. Its clichéd and stupid but extremely fun and is an enjoyable time. Lo Wang and his adventures are full of blood and gore but also humor and it’s a story that has consistency

Like I said, the game is not perfect but it knows full well what it wants to be and how to achieve that goal. I had fun playing this game and even with the issues it had, I felt like it was an awesome throwback to an older era. More importantly it was a throwback to an older era done right, and now with the upcoming sequel, I am even happier. The sequel looks to have fixed most of the issues I had with the game, including a rebalanced focus on weapons mechanics and new abilities.

Overall, while this is not perfect, it is a remake done the right way and I look forward to seeing what Devolver Digital has in store with the sequel beyond what they have already shown off.

 

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