To a lucky few, like myself, Shadow Warrior was a game that told them 3D realms were a funny bunch. Not only had they made Duke Nukem where you could pay a stripper to get out her pixels they also rock up with Shadow Warrior; a game that was so offensive that it’s only now that I’m older I can appreciate how ‘wrong’ it all was. Sticky Bombs, hentai ladies, innuendo and an aim to have more fake blood than the Friday the 13th franchise. These reasons and so many more are why you should care that Wang is coming back; bigger, better and harder than before…I should write on the next Shadow Warrior game.
1. Lo Wang is a dick joke
Wang is a euphemism for penis. It’s as simple as that. The image above features the wrong Wang but the iWang line is funny so the image stays. In the opening cut scene as Lo is driving along in his muscle car listening to Stan Bush’s ‘The Touch’ he receives a phone call, he picks up his brick of a mobile phone and says “You got Wang…”, that’s it, that is what had me giggling for longer than it should have. We are almost taught to not be immature these days, Shadow Warrior isn’t something that can be played with your family around, but it will make you feel young again.
2. It is What Duke Nukem Forever Could Have Been
Remember when Duke Nukem Forever was announced, well, the first couple of times? It was a great thought, excellent, the Duke is back! Then years, and years, and years passed, eventually Duke Nukem Forever was properly announced, and we then ended up with, well, Duke Nukem Forever. There was disappointment because it wasn’t what we remember, it was a shadow of its promise and ended up being crass and more than anything else, boring. Well Shadow Warrior comes from the same company originally, 3D Realms, it featured and features the same immature humour, but it differs in one main area; it is an interesting and entertaining experience. The graphics, guns and writing are all up to modern standards yet it maintains what made the original game so entertaining.
3. It is Face Smashingly Fun
The first level has Lo Wang going to a traditional Chinese palatial mansion/palace/castle to complete a deal on behalf of his boss. Once inside all hell breaks loose and you are faced with numerous opponents wielding swords. At this point you must pull out your shiney pointy stick, also known as a sword, and cut them up like they were chorizo in a Spanish butcher. If that alone doesn’t make you think that this deserves your attention then you are dead inside and should stick to your arthouse indie titles. In the original game Wang happens upon a lady in a bathing house, he delivers the Shakespearian line “Do you want to wash wang? Or do you want to watch Wang wash wang?”, if the writing in this new game is even up to 10% of the quality of that then we are in for something special.
4.It is Not What You Expect
I’ve spoken a lot in this pseudo-preview about the dick jokes, immaturity and the gore. That alone would make some people curious about the title, what will surprise most however is the fact that underneath all of that 90’s mildly offensive humour is an actual game, and a good game at that. At Rezzed, and more recently on a preview build, I have had the chance to play Shadow Warrior a couple of times, and each time I’m taken aback at how fun the core mechanics of this title are. It’s got the frenzied fun of a Serious Sam title and the simple at first glance but deeper within gameplay that you would want from a reboot. There is no requirement to play the original, there have been a number of liberties taken with the franchise, but with the addition of different button combinations creating insane spells like a bull’s rush or levitation there are elements here for new and old fan’s alike. The weapons are interesting and classic, each with an alternative fire mode for maximum destruction. Take away the gore and the Wang innuendos and there beats the heart of a great game that features some great Oriental design and gunplay that falls wonderfully between stupid and genius.
5. Slice Slice Slice Dice Dice Dice
The above image is to signify what the different points of damage, and slice, each basic demon enemy has. Just think about that for a second. Each of those individual elements of the enemy can be shot, or preferably sliced, off their bones. When Metal Gear Revengenencenceneceeee was announced with a trailer at E3 a couple of years back people went insane at the fact Raiden could go all Chop Suey on enemies, well that was all done with some taste and decency, Wang doesn’t do taste and decency. The prologue sets Lo Wang up against some mobsters and this was where I first saw the true potential, the slicing off of an arm from a suited and booted enemy and then watching them scream on the floor as I took the legs off another was more fun than I’ve had in most games recently.
Released soon on Steam we will have a full review up then, but for now just know that this game has the potential to be something awesome and, something we seem to have forgotten as gamers, fun.