Shadow Warrior is a brutal and fast FPS and a remake of the 1997 original by 3D Realms. And it’s great, bloody great. Shadow Warrior gives you an endlessly re-usable ticket to ride a roller coaster of death and destruction. The game is not just about wielding swords and tossing shurikens made of finest Sheffield Steel; it’s also about exploding trucks and awesome firepower. You’re going to get used to seeing heaps of foolishly fearless freshly sliced numskulls lying strewn on the roadside. Prepare yourself for a mass fight with all the trimmings.
You play as Lo Wang, a slick, cool as f*** dude on a quest to obtain a special sword. The story has little depth but rolls out chapter by chapter, throwing you deeper and deeper in trouble. Thankfully Lo Wang is a fast and nimble mover and a dab hand with swords, ninja stars and crossbows. As the majority of the time you’re going to be dissecting and dismembering advancing demons, it’s lucky that Shadow Warrior has a vast selection of moves, powers and upgrade abilities. Gathering collectables hidden in easy-reach places help unlock these. Emptying the odd fruit machine for cash helps too, but it’s far more fun exploding them with a waggle of your sword. These special abilities are rewarding to perform even if it does take a tap on the menu button to relearn how to perform each move. Actually, the amount of customisation available is pretty impressive and, if you nail it, it can all be selected mid battle. Need a boost of health just before decapitating Demon Dan? You can do it right there and then. Shadow Warrior utilises every button, trigger and finger imaginable. You might even need a friend on hand to lend an extra digit.
Using the scenery around you to destroy demons plays a big part in Shadow Warrior. Abandoned cop cars, motorbikes and fruit machines can all be exploded, taking any nearby demons with them. This trick is handy to conserve ammo, but be careful; explosions can take your head off too. You can even blow-up drinks machines. (I always knew those ingredients in Coca-Cola were lethal). Disposing of demons in different ways gives you more points and a greater chance to unlock extra powers. Graphically, Shadow Warrior looks a treat –from forest romps to sleazy run-down villages to romantic moon-lit temples, the detail and atmosphere are certainly impressive.
While committing mass murder is the menu of the day, the game’s humour tries to defuse it. ‘Titsubishi’ pickup trucks, amusing fortune cookies and odd dialogue make Shadow Warrior a true escape from the real world. Getting yourself inked Ozzy Osborne style is pretty damn cool, too. Such tattoos help you become a more rounded spiritual individual and also helps whoop ass as well.
There’s plenty of frantic running around loony style which takes you back to the good old days of gaming. Sometimes a tad annoying, you may get lost a few times, but don’t worry it’s a way cool place to get lost in. Some battles can seem a little chaotic and over the top and turn into an uncontrollable blood bath of carnage. These can be slightly overwhelming if you’re not armed to the teeth, so spend those coins wisely. Either way, Shadow Warrior won’t let you go.
Old school gameplay that rolls out a dream on PS4 – crash, Wang, wallop and shagging rabbits, Shadow Warrior won’t disappoint.
Lizard rating 9/10