Do you remember the halcyon FPS days in the 90’s? Where everything was a Doom clone – but among all of those clones and wannabes, we got games that could be considered classics in their own right? 3D Realms’ Shadow Warrior was not one of those games. Though it generated its own fans, it never quite managed the classic status of games like Duke Nukem 3D or Doom. When its reimagining was released on PC last year though, it was well received by fans of games from back then. Because it feels just like those games. It’s now out on consoles, and it’s a sterling port.


The series has been given a thorough reboot kick in the balls thanks to the folks at Flying Wild Hog. They seem to rather fancy the shooters of yore, having made Hard Reset, a shooter that tried in earnest to emulate that old-school appeal. They’ve pretty much nailed it in their Shadow Warrior reboot. it’s all about a bad ass Asian bloke with a puerile racially charged named; Lo Wang. Though the game dispenses with much of the adolescent, stereotypically racist humour of the original, it’s still as juvenile as ever, filled with bad words, buckets of blood, bullets, and blades. And that’s probably one of its most redeeming qualities. It knows it’s tacky, immature, B-grade schlock, and runs with it.


More a re-imagining than a remake, Flying Wild Hog’s Shadow Warrior tells the tale of Lo Wang, an assassin who’s sent by his corporate overlord boss Zilla to retrieve a legendary sword; the mystical Nobitsura Kage. Things obviously go rather wrong, and the world is plagued by a demonic invasion. It’s up to Wang, naturally, to rid the world of the myriad demons and save the planet. With the annoyingly-voiced, smart-mouthed companion demon Hoji, Wang has to reunite three parts of the Nobitsura Kage to put an end to the monstrous menace. In addition to slashing sword skills and gratuitously violent gun-play, Wang is able to use demonic magic to kick demon derriere. The narrative is weaved together from bits of the original game’s story, and the typical nonsense generally appropriated from Asian cultures. Told largely through beautifully illustrated scenes,  It’s a bit rubbish. It’s also largely unimportant, as the focus is mostly on the run-and-gun, hack-and-slash gameplay. It may play on nostalgia, but the fun sticks around well after the rose-tinted glasses come off.


Armed initially with little more than a very sharp sword, Lo Wang is soon in possession of an entire arsenal of interesting, and fun to use weapons. Some border on silly – like a Demon head that spews forth magic death, or  – and this ended up being a favourite – a crossbow that fires off explosive bolts. For at least half the game, I ended up using the sword anyway; it’s just too much fun slicing everything to bits and killing everything with a sense of reckless abandon.  Unlike modern shooters, he’s able to switch through all at will, unburdened by nonsense like “realism”. It’s this sort of old-school, retro flavour that permeates the entire game, giving you a smarter-than-it-looks taste of the fun you had in your youth. Unlike modern shooters, which are either invariably great big open worlds or tight corridors, what you have here is large, sprawling, intricately designed, filled with hidden secrets and magically gated doors. They’re half arenas for fights with great big mobs of enemies, half maze – with levers, keycards and bundles of keys.


In addition to guns, Lo Wang can use his demonic magic or Ki,  though it’s mostly for defensive or healing purposes. Using Ki, Wang can regenerate his own health, so much of the game becomes about dancing around enemies, trying to heal yourself while dispensing bloody justice at the same time; like some sort of psychotic ballet. Many of Wang’s abilities, weapons and skills can be upgraded as the game goes on, with guns getting extra flair and damage and alternate fire modes. Adding an extra two barrels to your already stupid double-barrelled shotgun makes it a murder machine. Also adding to the fun is a versatile and handy, stamina-draining dash move, that lets you flit about your enemies, slicing and dicing and shooting things like a bolt of yellow lightning.


Utilising magic, or more advanced tricks in Wang’s sword-fighting repertoire requires double tapping in a specific direction and holding a button – made easier on the PS4 by mapping that action, optionally, to a swipe on the pad’s touch surface. It’s entirely pointless, but a nice addition to make use of the PS4’s specific strengths. It all makes the regular frenzied killing a joy to play. That sort of mayhem comes in at a mostly smooth 60fps too. Yes, there are a few hiccups, when the game’s arenas fill up with hordes of soon-to-be-gibbed demons – but they’re infrequent enough to not matter. The game looks great too – though that’s mostly down to art direction more than any sort of real technical wizardry. One thing that makes the console port stand out, is that the developer has included all of the sorts of options PC gamers usually crave in their FPS games; FOV sliders, the ability to customise or even disable the HUD, toggling motion blur, and even dispensing with auto-aim.

It’s a great port of a pretty good game. Yes, it’s one that’s steeped in violence and stereotypes and that shouldn’t really have any place in modern society, but it’s fun – and that’s what games really should be all about. It knows it’s schlocky, b-grade nonsense, and that’s ok.

Last Updated: November 4, 2014

Shadow Warrior
Harkening back to a bygone era, Flying Wild Hog’s nostalgic re-imagining of Shadow Warrior is filled to the brim with bad words, b-grade jokes, buckets of blood, bullets and blades. And sometimes, that’s all a gamer needs.
Shadow Warrior was reviewed on PlayStation 4
70 / 100


  1. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 4, 2014 at 15:37

    Build engine games were the bestest. Spent hours & hours playing Duke 3D, Blood, Shadow Warrior & Redneck Rampage.


    • Admiral Chief 0

      November 4, 2014 at 15:40

      You said it man! Right in the awesome!


    • Rock789

      November 5, 2014 at 07:49

      Redneck Rampage!! I’d forgotten about that one! Now there’s a game crying for an HD remake… 🙂


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        November 5, 2014 at 07:52

        I’d love to open up another Can ‘O Whupass.

        I played the ROTT remake a couple of months ago. It’s not great by any stretch of the imagination, but it was some solid (very) old school FPS gaming – especially if you enjoyed the original.


        • Rock789

          November 5, 2014 at 07:58

          I’m actually quite keen to try out the ROTT remake. But, sadly, my PC can’t handle it, me thinks (I just have a pretty basic, non-graphics-card-holding laptop – pretty much use it for old-school gaming and get the new stuff on console). But maybe one day.


  2. Admiral Chief 0

    November 4, 2014 at 15:40

    Awesome. Man, I used to looooove the original….Actually, I still do!

    BOTH physical copy and the Steam version!


  3. Admiral Chief 0

    November 4, 2014 at 15:50



  4. Ross Woofels Mason

    November 4, 2014 at 16:05

    This was actually my favorite game from last year. I started a playthrough at 8:00am in the morning, next thing I knew it was 2:00am the next morning lol.

    So much awesome stuff in here for fans of the original as well, replayed it a few times too since then =p Still play survival mode often as well.


    • Admiral Chief 0

      November 4, 2014 at 16:07

      Wow, ok, sounds epic!

      This has been on my wishlist since it was announced!


  5. Ghost In The Rift

    November 4, 2014 at 16:45

    So i need some advice from a “professional gamer who knows alot about graphics cards and what makes them flop(tick)”, i know its not my place to ask and i apologize in advance, but what vga card would you say is superior,im deciding between the Gigabyte GeForce GTX750 Ti OC 2GB DDR5 and the MSI R9 270 2GB DDR5,which one is beter,i know the R9 270 has a 256bit memory and the GTX750 128bit,does that count for a lot?


  6. Ghost In The Rift

    November 4, 2014 at 16:46

    Oh and both sort of the same price,N$2900 here in Namibia.


    • Quo Vadis?

      November 4, 2014 at 17:23

      I’m ex Southwester 🙂


  7. RustedFaith

    November 4, 2014 at 17:20

    The game looks much better on pc my crossfire cant even run this game at full settings without hitting 40fps.


  8. Alien Emperor Trevor

    November 4, 2014 at 22:30

    Just noticed, it’s on special on Steam now for $10.


  9. Rock789

    November 5, 2014 at 07:54

    I’m quite keen to check this out. I remembered it from me childhood and even bought the Redux version on Steam (got the 3D Realms pack, so it included Duke 3D, the expansions, Shadow Warrior, etc.). Really enjoyed playing it again. This now intrigues me – looks great and still has that fun factor. Think it shall go on my “To get” list.


  10. brad coetzee

    November 6, 2014 at 10:40

    I love the old school way of FPS over the top fast paced non stop shooty action! The awesome bad ass one- liners too, oh man, these were real games that knew they were games.
    I also miss secret areas.


  11. Mateusz82

    January 31, 2015 at 15:11

    “Though the game dispenses with much of the adolescent, stereotypically racist humour of the original”

    Kinda hard since there really wasn’t racist humor in the original, but I guess you score SJ points for pointing at something and shouting, “Racist!”


    • Probotector

      February 12, 2015 at 20:07

      Playing the remake right now, and it’s pretty good. I was hoping the original would be DLC but alas no, looks like fun.


      • Mateusz82

        February 12, 2015 at 23:27

        At least it can be picked up on the cheap from Steam (at least when on sale), but yeah… it would’ve been nice to have it as DLC. The remake still looks fun enough to give it a shot.


    • Probotector

      February 12, 2015 at 20:10

      Yeah, it wasn’t racist, no less ‘racist’ than having a white European guy being stereotyped. If Lo Wang was instead some white European, no one would give a shit.


      • Mateusz82

        February 12, 2015 at 23:24

        Heh, actually, Duke Nukem (to which this is kinda a companion game) does feature a stereotypical white European (well, American, but presumably of European decent).

        If people are upset about “yellow face” (well, “yellow voice” in this case, a yellow character voiced by a white voice actor), then should people also bust blood vessels about every Japanese game that has white characters voiced by yellow voice actors (white Japanese people do exist, and there are still plenty of expats).


        • Probotector

          February 13, 2015 at 05:08

          I think Asians are increasingly jumping on the race card bandwagon.


  12. Lefuld

    June 15, 2015 at 15:01

    < ?????? +lazy +*********….. < Now Go R­e­­a­d M­o­r­e



  13. Whosecter

    June 22, 2015 at 13:19

    < ??????.+ spectre+ ********* ….. < Now Go R­e­­a­d M­o­r­e



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