Shadow Warrior review

(XOne, PS4, PC)

A re-imagining of the 3D Realm’s cult classic, Shadow Warrior harks back to the ‘good old days’ of hack ‘em up slashers.  But is nostalgia really all it’s made out to be?

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When I say cult classic, I mean truly that. Released way back in 1997 by the same team who brought us Wolfenstein 3D and Duke Nukem, Shadow Warrior, whilst never reaching the levels of fame as those titles, gathered a nice little following of its own. This rejigged version is a worthy throwback to the original, spruced up for today’s generations of super-consoles.

17 chapters of mayhem await as you take on the role of a wise cracking hitman, armed with a samurai sword, machine gun and a demonic entity to aid you along the way. The low-brow humour plays a large part in this game, and is a welcome respite from the seemingly endless rivers of blood and gore that are thrown in your face during combat.

There is no getting away from the fact Shadow Warrior is based upon a game that originally came out nearly 20 years ago now. The way the monsters attack without respite, the terrible AI, the old school combat system and the level design all hark back to yesterday.shadow2

It is a challenging game that is far from easy to play, meaning there is always a reason to come back. What enemy you face will have an impact on the weapon you use, and there is a modicum of strategy involved in playing.  It is certainly addictive, but it is all the same. The lack of variety is a killer, and the simplistic graphics and gameplay lend nowt to help matters.

A game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, there is plenty of like about Shadow Warrior. However, stacked up against modern releases its origins really do betray it. The overly simplistic gameplay and limitations mean once you have played it a few times, you have pretty much seen it all. Still, if you are after a quick slash, this ticks all the right buttons. Basic, but good, fun.

Mark Pilkington

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