Inside Shadow Warrior 3’s opening minutes, protagonist Lo Wang stands in dirtied underwear, screaming profanities at a large dragon exterior his window. This comedic introduction units the stage for a lighthearted and breezy strategy to storytelling and fight – each satisfying in over-the-top methods whereas developing slightly quick in scope and selection.
It doesn’t matter what is occurring on display, developer Flying Wild Hog nearly all the time goes for a budget snort. Zany popular culture references, a close to limitless stream of traces like “I feel I simply peed slightly” when barely making a bounce, and jokes about human physique components are delivered like they’re going out of fashion. Some hit in comedic methods, however most don’t, but there’s a allure to those swings and misses that work in Shadow Warrior 3’s favor – it’s nearly funnier when the humor is horrible.
After placing some garments on and hatching a plan to make use of darkish magic to kill the dragon, Wang exhibits us he’s no slouch on the battlefield. Given his transfer set and overly violent strategy to killing, he seems just like the understudy of Doom’s Slayer – an odd and mouthy model of him who’s a blast to regulate. He doesn’t cease transferring as soon as fight begins, lighting up demons of all sizes with a rattle of machine weapons, a flurry of swords, and even utilizing their very own weapons towards them. If Wang pauses for a short second, the enemy will probably kill him shortly. Fortunately, the vertically-designed arenas work in his favor, with traversal traces and escape routes liberally littered all through to create separation from the swarms. With a small but balanced number of armaments, chaining collectively kills may be a whole lot of enjoyable, particularly when including within the properly designed environmental maneuvers of double leaping, wall operating, grappling, and dashing. Some arenas even do the combating for you, corresponding to spinning sawblade traps that may be activated from afar to cut up foes. All informed, the fight move feels good and makes you’re feeling highly effective.
This run-and-gun motion shouldn’t be for the faint of coronary heart, nevertheless: Demons pop like zits to the shotgun, intestines soar by way of the air like occasion streamers after sword slashes, and each explosion turns an enemy right into a bloody mess. When Wang racks up sufficient carnage, he can direct a ending transfer to at least one enemy. Identical to Doom, the motion pauses for a gory fatality, like ripping off an enormous’s arm and utilizing it as a hammer or tearing off somebody’s head and squishing it to juice. The carnage is a bit a lot, and seeing the similar demise sequences steadily grows tiring, however some moments result in humor – extra of that’s desperately wanted to alter issues up.
After an hour of play, Wang says, “Chopping demons to items is the one factor I can’t ever get bored with,” and it’s not meant to be sarcastic, however comes throughout that approach given simply how steadily the identical conflicts erupt. Flying Wild Hog tries to inject selection into the battles with new enemy varieties in every zone, however depends too closely on the identical grunts, which pose little risk and find yourself stealing pleasure from nearly each battle.
Platforming sequences normally happen after most encounters, however not often final various seconds and don’t do a lot for the participant, apart from provide you with an opportunity to catch your breath earlier than the subsequent brawl. This can be a disgrace because the motions are fairly good and infrequently present simply how thrilling they are often. The perfect diversions are a harrowing rooftop ascent, and a set-piece second wherein Wang chases a tanuki by way of a cavern – a second lasting lengthy sufficient to present the platforming that means in a goofy approach.
When transferring between areas, the participant is inspired to maintain an eye fixed out for hidden upgrades that may improve Wang’s weapons and base attributes in vital methods (like headshots triggering explosions), however a very good variety of these things are discovered on the crucial path or earned as rewards for finishing primary challenges. Sadly, the sport doesn’t allow you to revisit previous ranges to gather perks you’ll have missed.
Shadow Warrior 3 rushes together with zaniness and gore disbursed in masses, and that combo is oddly satisfying. It feels totally different, doesn’t take itself too critically, and is wildly aggressive in how a lot it needs to make you snort. I admire this strategy and had fun with this sport, regardless of how typically it hits the identical gameplay and humor notes. When most main releases today are 100-hour juggernauts, Shadow Warrior 3’s five-hour playthrough is a pleasant various and is value a glance. Simply be ready to groan steadily and be oddly amused by these groans.