Shadow Warrior! A game and name that oozes the 90’s through and through. Headed up by a ninja named Wang – Yes, Wang – the title makes a triumphant return through a reimagined reboot, rather than a HD upscaled remake. At Gamescom we got given a tour of the game by designer Pawel Kowalewski and writer Slawomir Uliasz and shown the amount of damage that one Wang can make.
Running on an updated version of the Hard Reset engine, the game is an FPS – a First Person Slasher – aiming for the perfect balance of sword and gunplay for a brand new audience. More veteran players can utilise some of the many power attacks, but its possible to play through to completion with just the regular weapons. I say regular weapons, but seeing how one of them is a type of blade fan that chops demons into balloons of blood, they’re a very special type of regular. Even weapons such as the crossbow have been given a hard upgrade with explosive arrows available through upgrades, all done via in-game currency.
With the amount of demons, blood and wang on the screen, you would expect the game to get slightly bogged down when it comes to the frame rate, especially with a laborious use of particle effects and destructive elements.. The game seemed to run extremely smoothly with little, if any, drops. However this is countered with some extreme screen tearing in the demo, but the game is not yet final and tweaks are still to come in for optimising.
The extremely asian look to the game comes from many inspirations, said Pawel. Films like Big Trouble in Little China and Hong Kong B-Movies such as Ninja Terminator were all investigated whilst designing the title. This also came in handy on the writing side, with the game aiming to be a lighthearted action comedy.
The move from the 90s to the current generation has made the game pick up some modern attributes. Whilst it will be twice as long as the original title, the levels have turned more linear. Secrets and complicated paths have been included, giving players the ability to get lost, but the main paths remain linear. Levels are wider, rather than longer.
Watching people play is an interesting experience, as it’s very easy to tell when someone has been playing for months and someone has been thrust into it. The gameplay craves for finesse, for the ability to chain together powers, gun and swordplay. I played the start of the game at Rezzed and it’s the sort of game that conditions you from the start and has an extremely clear difficulty curve. Once you get your hands on Wang, you’ll become a Wang Master and be able to pull off the moves the game wants you to.
The game shall arrive on Steam for PC on September 26th. So if you’re not yet ready for Wang, then you’ve got some time to get acquainted.