Posted: February 14, 2014
Meet Shadow Warrior, the overlooked FPS game from creators of Duke Nukem 3D, Asian style. Just like Duke Nukem 3D, player will find themselves exploring the "real" levels, that are filled with ancient chinese secrets, as you are mowing down mutant ninjas with explosive weapons and interacting with level themselves.
Sure thing since this is old game, you probably want to know how this release works... Well, this one is the original FULL registered version (No expansion packs included), provided for free for your enjoyment, as it was back then. Even meaning that it still adverisates you to go and have some dojo multiplayer fun at Ten website (Which sure is non-fuctional now and just contains the history of the project). From what I heard, this one went free after some hacker managed to leak/abuse keys that were being given away on Twitter in one way or another... So you should enjoy a F2P game that doesn't have hats and microtransactions.
The second Expansion Pack (Wanton Destruction) is also available for free, just not on Steam, so you will have to do some stuff with your own hands.
Sure thing since it's a DOS game, developers had to do something about it. Developers went in a simple way - use DosBox. It uses the latest 1.74 version of DosBox, thankfully, and the CD music is still there, so there are no problems there. The launcher allows you to choose whetever you want to go and configure game (Launching Setup in DosBox) or launch game itself.
Your average player will not be able to play multiplayer in this one, as it isn't really supported (no configurations for that for average Steam player) and that it will require some serapate configurations of DosBox, so I didn't try this one. I would recommend you running one of modern source port if you want that that (Or even Shadow Warrior Redux once it gets multiplayer, some day). Another thing, is that controls are already configred by default to fit modern WASD configuration, as well as use mouse for mouselook, with only having to press square brackets buttons to choose items being uncomfortable.
And yes, it's a Software version of the game, not 3DFX one.
Now, game itself. In short, it's Duke Nukem 3D with style of the East. Heh, the only thing it's lacking are rainbowly colored human ninjas, like in Western movies... But randomly colored mutant ninjas will do. Shadow Warrior provides the players with two episodes. Shareware 4-level episode and Registered episode made for full version. And let me say this: When I played Shareware episode, I was amazed by level design. It was big, varied, had something interesting going on, as you travel city to the village in the forest. Worth playing for that. Now, the Registered episode felt like a let-down after that. The levels were just much less interesting, more of generic. I played only half of it, in all honesty, but from what I seen you spend first half of episode travelling through ancient Asian temples and villages, wihle only the second half lets you out to more interesting city levels.
Another thing to note, it the humor of the game... The main character is Lo Wang, the old bald Asian pervert with love for personal, automated and nuclear weapons. With his tongue-in-cheek comments, I found myself often chuckling during playthrough. It also inludes some more of offensive things, that puppies nowadays can't handle which is why we got none in new Shadow Warrior reboot game. Be ready to meet some out-of-place anime girls. Fun easter eggs and the ever wise Fortune Cookies included.
Weapons are varied as well... Well, there are some more or less underpowered ones, but you will find use to most of them. Some have few modes. One of more interesting things would be a Grenade Launcher... It has same blast power as the rocket launcher, but the radius of explosion is simply huge. As a result, you will use it often to lob grenades around corners into rooms you suspect an enemy to be in, instead of using it for direct combat. Sticky bombs that are abe to stick to walls, as well as bodies. ("Oho, sticky bomb likey you!"). (Strangely enough, Railgun shoots a bit to the left of crosshair.)
Graphics are of high-quality pixel art, and levels have a lot of details, usually, utilizing the latest improvements of Build engines. Prepare to see some floor-over-floor, reflections and other nice features, if you are familiar with previous Build games. As for music, it mostly plays a role of ambient, being CD quiality. mostly just enchanting the atmosphere of the game. But no worries, Boss and Title music are kicking and rocking.
And final note, the game is insanely hard. It's even more hard than Duke Nukem 3D, mostly in cheap ways. It either pits you againts monster with hitscan weapon (some of them even able to take cover) or it casually makes you face the enemies that can insta-blow-up your face off the Earth. Traps are no less nasty. As a result, I would highly recommend you to play the game on the lowest difficulty settings, like Tiny Grasshopers, if you wish to have some fun, without having to quickload OFTEN. Not that you still will not be blown off the face of Earth, mind that.
This link will provide you with anything you need, including some Lo Wang rap.