The third entry in the Shadow Warrior game series sees the ninja, demon fighter Lo Wang return to fight a world consuming dragon. Keeping with the fast gameplay and ridiculous dialogue we get a bright, pacy, joyful world saving first person shooter that works in a linear, level based format.
Everybody loves Wang. The main character is the main charm of Shadow Warrior, he jokes and sings in combat; he cares about his friends to the point that he’d let the world end to save them. There’s something sweet about the character that just makes him nice to play as, a sort of intentional idiocy that should make him easy to dislike but somehow does the opposite. Random puns, insulting enemies, singing popular songs and generally not taking anything seriously makes Lo Wang a refreshing change from mega serious protagonists and I genuinely found myself laughing a few times.
Combat is Doom style fast moving, fast shooting. With an impossible to carry amount of guns that all work a little differently, plus a powerful katana the player spends most of the game blasting and slashing at demonic monsters with two proper boss battles thrown in. Every so often a new creature would be introduced, usually a tougher beast with higher health and a new method of attacking. A revolver, a shotgun, dual smgs, a grenade launcher, a rail gun and a shuriken launcher all become available as you progress through the game. Wang can perform execution attacks where invincibility is briefly activated, health is restored and a unique, temporary weapon is acquired from the enemy giving even more possibilities on how you can destroy the demonic hordes.
Skills can be unlocked for guns and Wang himself which improves performance in combat, making things a little different. The shotgun could become automatic, smgs could gain electrical bullets, Wang can gain constant health regeneration and more adjustments could be gained. The skills are unlocked using orbs that are found as collectibles in the levels and gained by completing challenges.
Traversal is done with smooth first person platforming that’s satisfying both in and out of combat. The movement gives the game good flow and allows for dynamic gameplay sections where reaction time becomes a key factor in success.
Problems… it could be said that the game is a little short as it has a short story which can be completed fairly quickly. The thing is that combat became so excessive and repetitive that I found myself getting bored, hoping it would finish soon so the short length was a blessing as much as a curse. The actual performance of the game was good with no framerate drops which was brilliant but there was an occasion where a progression thing didn’t trigger so I had to quit and reboot.
There is also a survival mode which I couldn’t be bothered with after the story mode pushed so much.
Overall, Wang is back to silly fast, fun demon killing where so much is happening that you can’t always see what you’re killing. The game is totally chaotic with so much stimulation that it’s amazing how much focus there is. It just can’t be great for me because there was so much that I got bored, you can have too much of a good thing.