Devolver and Flying Wild Hog's Shadow Warrior is free on Steam until 6pm UK time (BST) today.
11th June 2015
27th October 2014
23rd October 2014
UPDATE: It looks as if the original Shadow Warrior has been free on Steam since 2013, when publisher Devolver released an updated version of the 1997 adventure called Shadow Warrior Classic Redux. This Complete Edition has been free on GOG since September.
UPDATE 11/06/2015 4.49pm: Shadow Warrior 2 is confirmed for PS4, Xbox One and PC, publisher Devolver Digital has announced.
It will also have four-player co-op.
Here's the first trailer for Flying Wild Hog's upcoming urban ninja fantasy.
Shadow Warrior made a splash last year on PC with impressive visuals and kinetic action, but high system requirements left us wondering how well it would translate to console. With developer Flying Wild Hog announcing a target of 60 frames per second on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One earlier this year, it was clear this was an ambitious project. Of course, hitting 60fps and delivering a consistent experience are two different things. Can PS4 and Xbox One attain and sustain the target?
Shadow Warrior is built on a unique, in-house graphics technology known as the Road Hog Engine, first used in Hard Reset on PC. For Shadow Warrior, the team introduced a host of improvements, including completely dynamic lighting, parallax occlusion mapping (POM), and screen-space ambient occlusion (SSAO). All of these elements have been successfully translated onto console with minimal loss in quality. In its original PC form, one of the game's limitations was its inability to scale well across CPU cores, translating into performance issues with specific settings. So how well do the console versions fares against the PC original?
The PS4 and Xbox One versions of Shadow Warrior operate at 1080p and 900p respectively. Image quality is crisp on PS4 and although a bit blurrier, it's still relatively clean on Xbox One. Post-process anti-aliasing along the lines of FXAA does a decent job of smoothing out edges without overly blurring the image. Considering the target frame-rate, image quality is acceptable in both cases, though clearly PS4 has the advantage. However, last year's PC version still has the real edge in this regard with support for arbitrary resolutions and additional hardware MSAA. The game demands some hardware muscle to operate smoothly though, making higher resolutions difficult to reach with a consistent performance level on many PCs.
Still on the fence about Shadow Warrior despite Eurogamer's review? Just want to see the game in action with Ian's lovely face in the top corner? You're in luck.
So I was browsing the UK video game charts the other day when something dawned on me: there are only 15 games in the top 40 this week that are about firing guns.
There are a lot of things I like about Shadow Warrior, Flying Wild Hog's modern reimagining of 3D Realms' ageing, racially insensitive first-person shooter, but I think the thing I like most is the level design, which is pure 90s. Remember key cards? Pulling levers to lower water levels? Magically sealed doors? It's all here. Each chapter is a labyrinthine sprawl of arenas, locked doors and secret areas. If you ever looked at the top-down map of a Doom level and marvelled at its intricacies, you will probably enjoy Shadow Warrior.
Actually, you will probably enjoy it anyway, because even if this cartographical nostalgia isn't doing it for you, there's plenty more to like, if not admire. Shadow Warrior is a game of simple pleasures - bad jokes, gorgeous graphics, florid decapitations - and as long as you don't expect too much from it, you are unlikely to be disappointed.
It begins in style. The game's star may have inherited his dumb name from 3D Realms, but this Lo Wang is immediately likable as you meet him speeding along a forest highway singing along to "You Got The Touch" by Stan Bush. Then his phone rings. "You got Wang." We discover he's on his way to buy an ancient sword called the Nobitsura Kage for his employer, Orochi Zilla, and if it's not for sale then he's to obtain it anyway.
UPDATE 28/08/14 13:58 The console version of Shadow Warrior has been delayed.
Shadow Warrior publisher Devolver Digital has teamed up with Viscera Cleanup Detail developer RuneStorm to bring us the amazing crossover Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior.
Flying Wild Hog's new Shadow Warrior reboot has added Saints Row 4's giant purple dildo, the Penetrator, to its arsenal.
The Shadow Warrior reboot is coming to PC on 26th September via Steam, GOG, Humble Store, and Get Games, publisher Devolver Digital has announced in its latest gruesome trailer.
The Shadow Warrior remake from Hard Reset dev Flying Wild Hog will release on PC via Steam and other digital services this year and on next-gen consoles in 2014.
Hard Reset developer Flying Wild Hog is developing a new Shadow Warrior game with Hotline Miami publisher Devolver Digital.
Little is known about the project, but according to its official Facebook page, Flying Wild Hog calls it "a total reimagining of Shadow Warrior," suggesting it's a remake rather than a sequel.
The original Shadow Warrior was a 1997 first-person PC shooter by Duke Nukem 3D developer 3D Realms. No platforms have been announced for the reboot, but given that both the original Shadow Warrior and Flying Wild Hog's previous outing, Hard Reset, were both PC-exclusives, one could postulate that this will be on PC, too. It's unclear if it will come to consoles, though.