Next on Apogee's list of 3D shoot-em-ups, Shadow Warrior drops you into the body ot a master ninja for some grisly first-person-perspective bloodshed. To put an end to an uprising of lunatic demon worshippers, you're armed with a sword, crossbow, Uzi, and throwing stars. You can also learn several potent magical spells to take down your foes, who, like you, can crawl, climb, duck, and swim.
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If you were wowed by Duke Nukem, prepare to be thrilled by 3D Realms' newest action hero, Lo Wang, in his debut title, Shadow Warrior. With loads of new monsters to slaughter through more than 20 involving levels, get ready to see a lot of blood.
Who's This Wang?
Lo Wang's speed, guile, and keen eye for puzzle-solving make him one mean ninja. A sketchy Asian accent and a rapier-like (if somewhat questionable) wit are perhaps his least discerning features. There's nothing politically correct about this Shadow Warrior--the game's earned both a Mature rating and a parental lock to block the comments that can and will offend some people. But when rabid gorillas, undead samurai, sultry vixens, and alien zombies are after Lo's blood, the odd off-color remarks shouldn't be all that surprising.
In Wang's favor is his own arsenal of destruction. The lethal katana is always available; the riot gun has a single- and a four-shot setting that's deadly at close quarters; the rail gun has great range; and a single Uzi is useful, but one in each hand is positively frightening. For real damage, the head and the heart weapons cause enemies to fry or die in an instant.
A Taste of the Orient
Shadow Warrior scores high in both style and level design. Lo Wang can jump into an Uzi-mounted speedboat for a great ride around Hara-Kiri Harbor. A tank and a forklift truck are also useful for hammering enemies or for accessing certain hidey-holes within the levels.
Gas bombs, flash grenades, and foot-puncturing caltrops can also be used against the various enemies--or against up to seven other human opponents in the manic multiplayer game.
More of the Same
Shadow Warrior has a lot in common with Duke, and that's a good thing. It's enhanced by a high difficulty level, a great audio soundtrack, and ambient music and environments you can really believe exist (if it wasn't for the rabid gorillas...). The bottom line is fun, and Shadow Warrior serves it up in abundance.
- Keep a sharp eye out for hidden booby traps like these arrows.
- Always check behind waterfalls far bidden alcoves concealing power-ups.
The 3D Realms mayhem continues with yet another corridor shooter, Shadow Warrior. As a former Navy SEAL (and skilled ninja), you must rescue astronauts held hostage on a defense laser satellite. Not for the faint of heart, Shadow will let you rip hearts from your opponents' chests, and some of your enemies, when defeated, put their guns in their mouths and pull the trigger. You can also drive tanks, forklifts, and boats. In addition to the usual strating, running, and shooting routine, you can fly and belly-crawl. Stay tuned for more on this awesome title.
3D Realms is at it again with another first-person shoot-em-up bloodfest, Shadow Warrior. This time the Duke Nukem guys poke fun at martial arts flicks, dropping you into the role of Lo Wang, a highly skilled ninja pitted against a horde of evil supernatural forces.
Like Duke Nukem 3D and Blood, Shadow's packed with lethal odds and ends. Among the many weapons you can find to improve your chances of survival are a missile launcher, an Uzi submachine gun, a quad-barrel shotgun, and sticky proximity mines--just to name a few. If you run out of ammo, you can toss decapitated heads and human hearts for effect. Other items, like smoke, gas, and flash bombs, lie in wait, as well as several health power-ups that range from first-aid kits to fortune cookies.
The enemies in Shadow Warrior run the gamut from stealthy to outright suicidal. For example, coolies strut around carrying boxes of TNT to shield them from gunfire, so engage them at your own risk! Other enemies, when defeated, commit suicide by putting their guns in their mouths and pulling the trigger! Yes, this is definitely a violent game.
The levels are huge and loaded with traps and secrets. Tucked away within these areas are forklifts and other heavy machinery, which you can operate. Let's see how tough the bad guys are when you drive up in a bulldozer!
Shadows isn't all blood and guts, though. Mixed in with the carnage are bits of goofy humor. For example, a fortune cookie power-up reads "Man who fart in church has to sit in his own pew!" But, even though it's4 meant in jest, the tired Asian stereotyping (your character insists on pronouncing the letter "r" as an "I") can be a turn-off.
Even in the shareware version, it's clear that Shadow Warrior has all the makings of another hit from the makers of Duke Nukem 3D. Stay tuned to "PC GamePro" for a review of the final version.
Enter the world of cheesy ninja movies where the constant fight for survival is a way of life. Shadow Warrior, the latest game based on the Build engine first used in Duke Nukem 3D, is a tongue-in-cheek romp across a parody of Far East culture that includes lots of free-style killing with hilarious sound and animation.
You play the part of Lo Wang, master ninja and killer-for-hire, looking for revenge against the evil Zilla [no relation]. Your quest will take you from the high mountain temple of your former master through subways, mines, and caves to Zilla's hideaway inside an active volcano. Along the way you will need to use your cunning, bravery, and a vast array of weapons to battle the genetically-altered hordes sent to stop you.
For those who played Duke Nukem 3D, very little about the interface in Shadow Warrior will be surprising. The same controls are there, as well as the same options. The real differences come in the array of weaponry and the overall feel of the game.
Driven by a desire for vengeance, you must fight through the usual assortment of general nasties and bosses on the way to your face-to-face meeting with Zilla at the end of the game. But the bad guys in Shadow Warrior actually have some intelligence. They will duck behind counters and move to circle around behind you if given the chance. And there are also other ninja warriors that pack the same weapons, equipment and skills you have.
Lo Wang is a master swordsman, and starts the game with only his Katana and a fistful of shurikens. He soon adds heavier weapons such as a pair of Uzis, a grenade launcher, and a devastating rail gun to his arsenal. But the sword remains the most satisfying weapon to use -- as Lo Wang says, "you getta that personal feedback."
Several of the weapons have multiple modes --my favorite is the missile launcher which has a normal and a heat-seeking mode, as well as a small nuclear rocket you can find and load into it for extra devastation. But the most amusing weapon is the sticky bomb -- when thrown it attaches to any surface, even to enemies in the game. When thrown against a wall or floor it becomes a proximity mine, but when attached to an unsuspecting opponent they will run in circles for several seconds in panic, then the bomb goes off with a satisfying thump. As in Duke 3D there is also an assortment of items to be picked up and used; the most enjoyable are caltrops, which can be dropped on the ground for your opponents to step on.
One additional feature in Shadow Warrior not found in other first-person shoot-'em-ups is access to vehicles such as forklifts, tanks and speedboats, which you can jump into and control. There's nothing quite as satisfying as firing tank shells into unsuspecting bad guys or squishing them under the treads as you race by.
Graphics and Audio
The graphics in Shadow Warrior are the best the Build engine has produced. The level designers and artists have stretched the limits to provide a realistic 3D experience, but Shadow Warrior isn't going to give games based on the Quake engine any competition when it comes to eye candy. However, extra touches like transparent water and colored lighting provide a richer environment than previous Build-based games. A 3Dfx patch is promised soon to improve the graphics even further.
The music and sound effects are also top-notch. From the opening cry of "You no mess with Lo Wang!" you are catapulted into a world of hilarious (and occasionally off-color) quips and sound effects. The actor who portrays Lo Wang overplays the accent to the hilt, providing an atmosphere reminiscent of the horrid dubbing jobs you get in old ninja movies.
Shadow Warrior is great for single-player gaming, but it's even better when you play with friends. There are four game modes -- a free-for-all deathmatch (or "Wang Bang"), team play, cooperative play or capture-the-flag. You can attempt to slaughter your friends in any of the 22 single-player levels, most of which are slightly modified when in multiplayer mode to provide better game balance, or choose one of the six multiplayer-only levels included in the game. These levels are so addictive and fun that a Wang Bang once lasted several hours in one level alone, resulting in one player having over 200 kills. Shadow Warrior supports up to eight players on an IPX network as well as two-player head-to-head modem play.
This is not a game intended for kids or the faint of heart. The animated violence and gore can get to be quite graphic, and the language used in the game is a bit risque. Some players may also find the game characters' stereotypes offensive. Shadow Warrior has been rated "M" (Mature, 17+) for strong sexual content, violence, blood and gore.
Pentium-60 (P-90 or faster recommended), 16 MB RAM, 2X CD-ROM drive, DOS 6.2 or higher
Shadow Warrior may not be the most original game on the market today, but the combination of Lo Wang's antics and quips with the fantastic level design have made this one a favorite around our offices. This game is simply fun to play -- there are other games that look better, but no other 3D shooter surpasses the mix of weapons, outstanding sound and creative gameplay that make Shadow Warrior both an engrossing single-player game and a laugh-your-head-off multiplayer riot.