If you ever wonder what would happen if you give game devs total freedom, tell them to have fun, and let them smoke some pot while at it, then Shadow Warrior 3 is your answer. This game is a “love it or hate it” kind of thing, and there are no in-betweens. Curious as to why we think of the game this way? Read on and let us tell you why.
Let’s Make FPS Games Fun Again
Shadow Warrior 3 fits smack in the middle of the fast-paced FPS game genre where high-octane action and gory explosions are kings. If you’ve played Doom, then this game will feel strangely familiar, but with an Asian twist of shurikens, katanas, monsters, and a whole lot of parodies.
Moreover, if there is one thing praise-worthy with this game, then it would be its high-speed combat action. It fluidly finds a flow despite all the frantic movement as Lo Wang battles against the legions of demonic yokai. Add to it a perpetual motion of parkour moves possible only in movies and an arsenal of guns, shurikens, bows, and a katana, then you’ve got a riveting game that can keep you on the edge of your seat.
Such fast-paced action can be exciting enough that chomping through a constant fodder of yokai meat, with blood, guts, and all can be oddly satisfying. But this can quickly become stale if this is all you’d have to do throughout the game. Shadow Warrior 3 breaks this monotony with jokes and banters and some slow-mo action you can only see in movies.
The high-speed FPS game genre can be very competitive as games with the same concept are made almost year after year. The same deadly cocktail of guns, swords, guts, and monsters may not be enough. Shadow Warrior 3 tries to stand out by making jokes an integral part of the game. If you love high-speed FPS, parodies, and jokes with *some sexual innuendos, then you might find this game amusing. If not, then it will leave a bad taste in your mouth.
A Mishmash of Parodies
As mentioned before, one thing that you will quickly notice when playing Shadow Warrior 3 is how it incorporates a lot of movie parodies in the game and with Lo Wang himself. If you’re wondering what Deadpool would be like if he were Asian, then look no further. Lo Wang is the embodiment of him. All the jokes, side comments, and sexual innuendos have Deadpool’s character personality written all over him. Even some slow-mos are reminiscent of exact scenes copied from Deadpool, or maybe Matrix, or whatever.
However, Deadpool may not be the only movie the devs have gotten inspiration from. It seems they have also taken notes from Spiderman’s web-swinging and high flying parkour skills. They are not even apologetic about it. “Does whatever a spider can!” You can even hear Lo Wang singing a phrase from the Spider-Man theme song himself.
Do you think movie parodies are not enough? Then, you can add to that all the epic kung-fu action movies you can think of. This is exactly what Shadow Warrior 3 is all about. The only difference is that their depiction of Japan is an endless sea of mountain pillars, which is more reminiscent of a karst range in China. Aside from that, you will find pagodas and Buddha statues on every other mountain that you see. That is what it showed in the game anyway.
It’s Seriously a Bad Joke
Now that we have touched on the subject of Asian action movies as an inspiration for the game theme, let us take this review on a more serious note. If there is one glaring criticism that we can make about this game, it would be its depiction of Asian heroes as a tasteless joke. It probably is an attempt to avoid stereotyping Asians, but some might still find it offensive. The way Lo Wang talks in an Asian accent might be a joke in itself, but it still is tasteless. On the brighter side, at least the hero of the game is Asian. That’s a compliment, right?
Another quirk that can easily be picked on in the game is the fact that it is full of sexual innuendos and crappy one-liners. Lo Wang just seems to be the type of guy who would blurt out his rating of how bang-able a female character is the first time he meets them. Imagine a guy who makes his first move by blurting out a barrage of senseless sexual banters. Heck, show him a scarecrow with a skirt on and he might just hit on it with a one-line sexual innuendo. He just seems to be that type of guy, a walking punchline full of crappy jokes and side comments.
It’s not that we’re too stiff to laugh at one-liner jokes. It is that constantly hearing outdated punchlines throughout the game can be very exhausting. It can be funny for some, but it gets old really fast. You might just be better off turning the volume way down.
So, is Shadow Warrior 3 a hero or a zero? The gaming community might be a little divided on this. Lots of game reviewers have noted this game as unremarkable, while some have also quickly picked up on the issues we have discussed above.
On the other hand, some gamers who are fans of the franchise are also very quick to defend the game. This is with the argument that Shadow Warrior 2 was a decent game that was just overshadowed by Doom, and that Shadow Warrior 3 is an attempt to build it up.
As for us, we will call it for what it is. It is a high-speed low-drag FPS game whose main character is an outdated walking punchline. It has some merits, but its quirks outweigh the things going for it. Some reviewers hate it, but some gamers also love it. Again, this is a love it or hate it kind of game, and there are no in-betweens.