Shadow Warrior - PlayStation 4

Release Date:

24 October 2014

Also on:

PS4 Xbox One PC

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
7.2

Summary:

Shadow Warrior on the PlayStation 4 tells the offbeat tale of Zilla Enterprise’s corporate shogun Lo Wang as he is ordered to acquire a legendary blade of limitless power by his deceitful employer. Betrayed and left for dead, Lo Wang learns of the blade’s connection to ancient gods from another realm preparing to push our world to the brink of destruction. Now the reluctant hero must become legend through a masterful combination of gun, blade, magic and wit to uncover the truth behind the demonic invasion and thus, banish evil back into the darkness.

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Details

  • Developer(s):
    • Flying Wild Hog
  • Publisher(s):
    • Devolver Digital
  • Release Date(s):
    • 22 October, 2014
  • PEGI Rating:
    • 18+
  • Official Site(s):
  • Player(s):
    • 1
  • Online Player(s):
    • N/A
  • Series:
    • Shadow Warrior

Technical Information

  • Required Disk Space:
    • 8GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Game Format:
    • Blu-ray Disk
  • DualShock Compatible:
    • DualShock 4
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 20 Hours
  • Remote Play:
    • Supported
  • Engine:
    • Road Hog Engine
avatar name

Posted:
2015-03-18

Steven_Shaw

Writer

PS4

7.0

'Shadow Warrior' on the PlayStation 4 is the ultimate throw back to the classic first person shooter/slasher/destroyer of all the things kind of game that we grew up playing. The game was developed by Flying Wild Hog and published by Devolver Digital. A glance thrown at the trailer probably won't be sufficient enough for you to believe the game anything more than a dumb and bloody experience, but it really is. This is a reboot of the cult classic that was released way back in 1997. This reboot features updated graphics, quirky one liners, and enough blood to make Quentin Tarantino blush. Let's dive into this modern day retro achievement and quickly get you into the game with the incomparable Lo Wang.

A classic game for the modern age.

Lo Wang isn't your conventional assassin, especially not in the world of video games. He is a scrawny guy who is filled with one liners (even if he doesn't get them right) and a bad attitude. He works for Orochi Zilla, a powerful Japanese company, and he is sent to acquire a legendary katana from a man by the name of Myazaki. Wang is told to purchase the sword for $2 million dollars but when Myazaki refuses to sell he instead tries to take it by force. This obviously doesn't work and he is soon taken hostage and thrown into a cage. A short time later the compound that he is locked in is attacked by demons straight from Hell. Miyazaki is killed outright and Wang is left as the sole survivor. He is then approached by a mask wearing demon by the name of Hoji. This is where the game takes a turn for the absolutely bizarre.

Hoji convinces Wang to take on a quest for him. He has to venture out and collect three different swords that, when merged together, are capable of killing immortal beings. This sets Wang out on an adventure full of demons, bloody assassins, terrible one liners, and some truly hellacious looking levels. The game twists and turns into a story of immortals, demons, and some odd romance between two immortal creatures. There you have it, essentially. The game is truly bizarre but it hits all of the sweet notes as you play through it.

Looking past the odd story we are forced to contend with the bones of the gameplay. At its core 'Shadow Warrior' is a love letter to the bloody battles of forgotten first person shooter/slashers. Wang is a capable assassin that is only made more deadly the more we play with him. We come across increasingly interesting weapons that push our limits of acceptance for blood and gore.

The primary mode of the game is the campaign and it clocks in at around ten hours of play time. This is perfectly alright as by then most people will need a break away from the constant, brutal action. Not unlike a great Stephen King book, there comes a time when enough is enough. 'Warriors' hits that mark and then promptly releases its player while they still feel content and appreciative.

The game is slotted with four different levels of difficulty that make the experience range from powder puff to friggin impossible. Not unlike the different levels in the 'Halo' series, each step up dramatically changes the way that the game is played. On the easiest difficulty you will find yourself running into the middle of a room full of demons with nothing but a sword in your hand. From there you'll hack and slash them apart, limb from limb, before departing covered in blood. Step up the difficulty and suddenly you will be more strategic, more careful, with how you approach them.

The brightest aspect of the game for us has been how smoothly the combat works. Armed with the DualShock 4 controllers, we've never felt more satisfied by a kill. Your guns kick and rattle as they literally tear apart enemies and your sword cuts through opponents like a hot knife through butter. This is perhaps where we spent most of our time: gleefully hacking away at opponents, both undead and alive, with the various katanas that we came across. You are also armed with throwing stars that seamlessly fly from your hand in order to rip apart your undead opponents.

Aside from the basic hack and slash elements there are a few other things worth mentioning. While it would be remiss to call 'Shadow Warrior' an RPG, there is a skill tree that you can upgrade. You can beef up your healing ability or the way that your guns do damage to opponents. As you upgrade your character you will also gain more tattoos, eventually becoming one super imposing individual.

The game itself is relatively casual with no single element stepping up above the crowd. In fact, the experience would be startlingly average were it not for Lo Wang himself. the team of developers struck gold with their wise cracking assassin and he is one of the real joys in the game. His constant barrage of one liners and insults keep even the most stone faced gamer entertained and the voice actors all benefit from true chemistry with one another. Despite Hoji's standing with us in the story, we grew to look forward to the way the two characters interacted.

Despite being a PlayStation 4 title the game does suffer from a dated graphical interface. Nothing looks especially great despite the fact that nothing looks intrinsically bad. The game runs at 60 frames per second and displays at 1080p. The sound mixing in the game is wonderful but we have a feeling that squeamish gamers will grow weary of the sounds of blood and flesh splattering on the ground.

Far from a revolutionary concept, 'Shadow Warrior' on the PlayStation 4 gives something to fans who want to experience something simpler. Without being associated with industry buzz words (Open World! Sandbox! Crafting!) the game still pushes us through and holds our interest. The premise is appropriately bizarre and it definitely shines because of it.

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By:

Devolver Digital

Release Date:

24/10/2014

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