Friday, 9 January 2015

Shadow Warrior (2013)

There is a demon apocalypse and only one man can stop it! Erm... and the Space Marine from Doom is not available... *cough*

This remake of the original Shadow Warrior game is, in a word - fantastic. The graphics are beautiful (which is weird for a FPS), the action is fast paced, the controls easily mastered, the plot better than decent and the comedy top notch. Well, for low brow comedy that is. I mean the hero is named Lo Wang after all. Throughout the game you can power him and his many weapons up however you like - I played on Insane and didn't get enough to unlock everything so that means it all comes down to your preferred style of play.

There are two features that really sucked me in this game, the first of which is the sword. I -LOVE- melee, and the way they have done it here is awesome as the katana can become uber powerful if you put your skill points in that area. There is less, hide behind cover and shoot, and more crazy hectic evading that keeps your heart rate up. The second one is that your left hand can be controlled independently of your right. Using a rocket launcher? That's cool, you can still swing your sword with your other hand. Or you can akimbo some uzis. Or you can be using a healing spell while hacking stuff with your sword (that was me, most of the game).

Blood and Gore is a plus!

As expected the game play is quite linear but there is ample opportunity to explore to find secret areas but the main problems come from two spots which turns the game into a chore instead of an exciting experience. The first is ALL THE BOSS FIGHTS. They are damage sponges, who face you in spots where ammo spawns freely because the creators knew this and thought it was a good idea. End result is repetitive dullness. People need to learn that bosses need not be damage sponges. A fast fight where you die or they die in a few hits is WAY more effective (like the final zone in Mission 16, where you fight waves of demons - that is challenging but fun).

The other spot I didn't like is Mission 13. In previous levels I was averaging around 30 minutes to clear but slowly this timer kept increasing after every stage. Mission 13 is the culmination of "lets make a long level for no reason other than making it long". 2 hours to clear for me. It's not even because there are hard fights, it was simply because the level design is so expansive, like someone didn't get the memo of keeping things short and to the point. The fights themselves didn't help since it was the same configuration of bad guys just in different rooms - Them in a circle room. Them in a hall way. Them in a lobby with stair well. Really? In MMOs the term for that is GRINDY.

Lo Wang, you are an improvement over your predecessor but failed to reach total enlightenment - I give you 4 out of 5 demon hearts.

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