Developer: Flying Wild Hog
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Reviewed on: PC
Also available on: PS4 & Xbox
Release: 2nd March 2022
Ok so picture DOOM, Serious Sam and Deadpool had a baby and put a slight Japanese twist to it. Non stop action, amazing humor and god damn a good time.
Shadow Warrior 3 which I will refer to SW3 for the review was developed by Flying Wild Hog, the developer of the previous two entries in the SW series as well as 7 other IP’s, with punisher Developer Digital who has published the Serious Sam franchise and Enter The Gungeon as well as many others over the years. Generally not much can go wrong when two successful companies work together to bring in a new project so I was looking forward to jumping into SW3 but it is my first SW game. The setting of a “Neo Feudal Japan” has me very interested, more specifically at it’s environments and whether it does give off that feel
Lo Wang who formerly was a Corporate Shogun embarks on a mission with his former employer turned enemy Orochi Zilla to imprison the undefeatable and ancient dragon before it completely destroys the world. With the help of Zilla, a dragon egg a dead god and just a splash of magic fingers crossed you can sort this pesky dragon out.
As I mentioned in my initial statement of this review the game clearly inherits from DOOM and Serious Sam, from its fast paced action, to enemies spawning ammo and health packs to glory kills. Your primary weapon is your katana which can be enhanced through levelling to be more and more destructive accompanied by an arsenal of fun and devastating weapons. The weapons range from a revolver to a shuriken launcher, you know what they say variety is the spice of life. When in combat which is almost constant it feels fun, engaging and impactful. From what I can see this was the main focus of the dev team and it certainly paid off. I haven’t had this type of fun cleaving through enemies since DOOM Eternal came out. When not in combat however you traverse your environments with Ninja skills, wall running, grappling hooks dashes and jumps while being accompanied by in my opinion hilarious dialogue between you and your companions. I really like this type of humor which is crude, silly and sometimes a little outrageous which I feel is missing in a lot of games these days. Sure the situation is bad but that doesn’t mean you can’t crack a few funny jokes to ease the tension. But be sure to explore a little as there are hidden items to level up your character and arsenal.
For lack of a better phrase the environments are intriguingly beautiful. They are very colorful and fantastically designed, if this is their vision of Neo Feudal Japan then I can certainly dig it. Because the ancient dragon has been a tad to pesky is the world most of the world has been destroyed or is still being destroyed there are ruins everywhere of amazing feudal Japanese architecture littered about but being that time setting also covered in nature, big rivers, waterfalls, crystals and lots of colorful trees. It’s a joy to stand for a hot second to just admire the views the game gives you.
There are a large number of things this game has done right. The combat is impactful and feels good. The humor I love and if your a fan of Deadpool styled humor I think you’ll enjoy it as well. If you have been wanting another DOOM like game than this will scratch that itch for it. The environments are gorgeous. The graphics are great, nothing mind blowing but really good to look at and suits its theme very well. Unique special enemy types all with a cool intro, think back to The Warriors PS2 game developed by Rockstar, the way the gangs were introduced is fairly similar but a little longer. Sweet sweet glory kills and each enemy has their own glory kills which is well glorious. This may sound silly or odd to mention for some but for me it makes the game just that bit better, a really good slide mechanic, I don’t know what it is but when I can slide it games it just elevates it for me. Story is simple but good, stop the dragon from destroying everything, delivered well and easy to understand and get onboard with. A great tutorial, so many games get tutorials wrong and make them long and boring, the tutorial in SW3 is fun, has cutscenes mixed in, explains how you got to where you are and only takes about 10 minutes to complete and gives you a very good understand of the game and its mechanics. Glory kills reward you, this is great, depending on the enemy type you kill you get get their weapon or in one case you rip out a mechanical heart of sorts from a head creature and when you use it its like a laser bomb, so it gives you a reason to glory kill special monsters aside from it being an insta kill. And thankfully it is very good to newcomers to the franchise. I haven’t played the previous two titles but I don’t feel like I am missing out on much needed story or important details, which for someone in my position its great.
Despite its many great things about it, it does have its flaws. The optimisation is poor in a lot of ways. I have quite a strong system but for some areas my FPS went all over the place, even after tinkering with the graphics options which has a good variety in it was still framey a little to much. Speaking of FPS drops the cut scenes would often start with massive stutters which not only ruins immersion it just makes the story telling experience a lot less. Glory kills are very fun but there is a distinct lack of variety in them, each enemy has one and only one type of glory kill. DOOM for example had several for each enemy type, I think they could have added one more for each enemy and would make it seem more fresh each time you did it. This could just be my inexperience with the franchise but I think the story needs to slow down a tad as it feels like we are constantly rushing through everything.
The game is amazing, its beautiful and plenty of lore. If you want a story driven guntastic game or even if you don’t care for story and just want a massive shoot em up gory game then I think this one is for you. Personally I loved it and will keep playing it. Despite its flaws which for the optimisation will be fixed with a patch I think it is 100% worth a buy. If 1 equals worst game ever, 5 equals an average nothing special game and a 10 is the best thing since sliced bread than this game for me is an 8.5. Extremely fun even with it’s flaws and has me wanting more. Have a lovely day everyone and happy gaming.