Shadow Warrior review
By Marty Dodge (html/art work by Robert Edvardsson)

Shadow Warrior is the new 1st person shoot em' up based on the Duke3D engine. Call it "Duke goes Samurai" and you will know what to expect. I have been playing the demo since it came out, trying to like it and I just cannot. It may be, as with the Duke3D that it is just a bad port but there is nothing to really recommend this game. The game does nothing for the genre. I wonder why it was not released as an add-on pack like "Duke it out in DC" and the forthcoming "Malice" for the Quake engine.

Shadow Warrior is a pretty good game as a demo or if you get it free, but it is definitely not worth the money. Lo Wang, (the main character, the name is obviously suppose to be a clever knob gag,) utters one liners like Duke, unfortunately they get very old very fast and do nothing to add to the gameplay. Again like Duke there is a great deal of blood and gore flying around, and for the more perverted there are semi-nude/nude Manga-like doe-eyed girls placed around the place.

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The weapons are rather bog-standard although the full-auto on the shotgun is an interesting touch. I would not trade this for the weapon that has gone missing from Duke: the good old pipe bomb has been replaced by Dark Forces style grenade proximity bombs covered in spikes so that they stick to things. The other weapons are standard for the genre, instead of a fist, you start with a sword, a nice touch, but hardly original. The demo does not have all the weapons that can be found in the full game. One other feature is that you can drive vehicles that are kicking around the place.

The graphics are nothing special. Oriental scenes are different but they are not spectacular. The outdoor and mountain scenes are interesting but not that different to Duke3D. The best bit in the whole game are the killer bees that appear on the higher levels of the demo. They are a pain and keep you on you toes. The game does run smoother and faster on my 200mhz that Duke3D which is odd. It does not crash as much either, only twice so far.

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Unlike Duke3D demo it is possible to play a network game, not that this means much. Over a network, the game is sluggish, and gets out of sync every five minutes. The maps are uninspiring and after a few attempts become dull, there are unique deathmatch levels for the full game. Unlike some recently released games for the Mac like Carmageddon, you are required to play on two relatively fast machines, to make it all playable. Carmageddon works fine with a 200 mhz (host) with a 60mhz PowerMac 6100 on the LAN. (The box says that it requires at least 80 mhz.) It is not the case with Shadow Warrior, the two people I forced to play linked with me, declared it "impossible" to play even with minimal graphics and a small screen.

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Overall Shadow Warrior is a neat idea, that is let down in its completion. It is truly an "also' ran" in the 1st person shoot' em up arena. Quake, even with its solo limitations blows Shadow Warrior out of the water, networked from what I hear Dark Vengeance will make mince meat out of them both. Shadow Warrior, goes in the same pile as Prime Target and ZPC. You'll play it all the way through once and never touch it again. Avoid and save your money.

If you ignore my advice, there are plenty of sites on the web dedicated to Shadow Warrior, several of which will soon have user levels for downloading.

No doubt I will get more flaming E-Mails from infantile gamers. But rest assured, your threats do not mean anything to me. Grow up and get a life.

Comment from Webmaster:
I would just like to say that though I agree with the most Marty sais, I still like this game. Sure it's a plain copy of Duke Nukem 3D, but if you enjoyed Duke, I'm sure you'll like this game as well.

Test Computer: Requirements:
  • Starmax 4000/200, 200 mhz 604E
  • 32 MB RAM
  • 256k cache
  • MacOS 7.6.1
  • Asanti Ethernet card
  • Any Power Macintosh or compatible
  • 16MB RAM,
  • 256-color monitor
  • CD-ROM.
Retail Price: Demo:
  • Around $40:00 (Contact MacSoft for details.)
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Reviewed by Marty Dodge