Dom Robinson reviewsShadow Warriorfor PC CD-RomDistributed by
Eidos Interactive Limited
- MS-DOS 6.2 or higher (or Windows 95 run in DOS window)
- Pentium PC 90 Mhz
- 16Mb RAM
- 1Mb VGA graphics card
- 2-speed CD-ROM
- 65.5Mb Hard Disk space
- Soundblaster or 100% compatible soundcard
- Multiplayer: IPX, Serial lead or Modem
Shadow Warrioris the title given to the character you play, Lo Wang,who has been a master ninja assassin for the past 20 years.
Shadow warriors are the best of the best, and Lo Wang was the best of theshadow warriors. Every top company in Japan had a shadow warrior…a protector,a negotiator, a cleaner.
Lo Wang worked for Zilla Enterprises, a conglomerate with control in every majorindustry. Too much control. Power corrupts, and Master Zilla’s corporation wascorrupted to the core. Lo Wang discovered Master Zilla’s demonic scheme torule Japan, using creatures summoned from the dark side.
A man of honour, Lo Wang quit. But one as powerful as Wang must either be onyour side or no-one’s side. Master Zilla unleashes his creations for their firsttest: to kill a single man, a shadow warrior…Lo Wang.
Put into plain English, this game is like a samurai warrior version of theclassic Duke Nukem 3D, and comes from the same creators, 3D Realms.
Installing and Running the Game
Running the INSTALL program on the CD-ROM and following the on-screeninstructions will install the game on your hard drive, in your chosendirectory.
Once installed, typing SETUP will run the setup menu allowing you tochoose the screen resolution, various soundcard options, and also the keyboardconfigurations. Then choosing the option Save and Launch Shadow Warriorwill do just that. If you’re not running it from here, just type SW torun the game.
Playing the Game
Controls with this game are similar to those in Duke Nukem 3D, Blood and mostother games of this ilk in that the cursor keys move you around, Ctrl actionsthe current weapon, Space opens up a door or uses an item, and combining Alt andleft or right will move you in that direction. Also, TAB brings up a mapwhich can help place you exactly where you are.
Other keys act as hotkeys to select different weapons, activate specialweapons (more of which later), or quicksave your current game.
Starting The Game
From the main menu, you can start a new game be it single-player ormulti-player, load a previously saved game or go to the options menu.
The options menu allows you to configure the screen size, sound and music,and mouse speed. Other selections include toggling on-screen messages, auto-run,auto-aim and “3D sprites” to give some game items more of a 3D effect.
There are four levels available ranging in difficulty, Tiny Grasshopper,I Have No Fear, Who Wants Wang?, and an almost-impossible one, No PainNo Gain, of which I use the third which is rather hard and needs constantsaving of game position after clearing each area so you don’t have to redomost areas too often.
Lo Wang has many weapons available to him from basic items such as hisKatana Blade for slicing up his opponents, and Darts tocool weapons to make mincemeat of your enemies such as the Uzi,Grenade and Rocket Launchers, and Sticky Bombs, a small explosivedevice covered in sharp spikes which sticks to any surface and then detonateswhen anything walks past.
Armour, Fortune Cookies and Medikits boost your energy, Keysopen doors, but what’s more interesting are the Gas Bombs which chokesyour enemies to death, Smoke Bombs which render you invisible for longenough to get into a room full of monsters and kill them before they havechance to see you again, and Flash Bombs which blind them for a fewseconds, also giving you chance to finish them off before they know what’shit them.
There are six different colours of Ninjas each of which have similartraits or weapons to you, and each proving just as dangerous, Coolieswhich are literally suicide bombers who, like pop band The Carpenters, longto be close to you, and Rippers, ape-like monsters who can cling towalls above you waiting to drop when you pass by. As they’ll get closer theycan rip at your flesh, or at worst, rip your heart out!
Then there’s also the Bosses – the Serpent God, a four-armedevil snake-like creation of Zilla, Sumo, the worst Sumo wrestlernightmare of all time, and Master Zilla himself – your final battle ofthe game.
Hints and Tips
To use these codes, press T while playing, type them in and press Enter:
Graphics, Sound and Playability
The graphics are the same as have been used in Duke Nukem 3D and Blood, andthis is part of the problem with this game. Since Duke came out over two yearsago things have moved on, mostly in the way that 3Dfx cards have becomeincreasingly common, and now that some models cost less than a hundred poundsthey are in the reach of most gamers, so there’s no reason not to include suchan option. Examples of recent games to benefit from 3Dfx technology includeTomb Raider II.and Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II.
As it was, even with my Pentium 90 PC and a 2Mb Diamond Stealth graphics card,anything remotely SVGA slowed the game down noticeably, so I spent most of thetime with the graphics set to basic VGA level. This resulted in a low resolutionof 320×200 pixels, but at least it ran at a decent speed.
I did manage to find a Website on the internet which contains patches for anumber of games, but on using the patch I found it didn’t work quite as wellas expected even though my 4Mb Maxi Gamer 3Dfx card has the necessary Glidedrivers. It continually put my monitor into 640×400 resolution, giving thescreen a compressed “widescreen” look, and all attempts to alter the resolutionwith the F5 key were to no avail. Perhaps if an official 3Dfx patch was releasedthis would solve the problem.
If you want to try the 3Dfx patch (of which there are four, for each of thedifferent versions out there), the site can be found at :http://www.iinet.net.au/~pveder/3dfx
The game’s sound is mainly limited to explosions, bullets ricocheting, or LoWang endlessly coming out with phrases like “Want some Wang?” or “Pain isfor the weak!”. There is a music option available, but even with it switchedon I didn’t hear a note come out.
Finally the gameplay is the game’s one redeeming factor. It’s just as playableas Duke and Blood, and with the auto-run option on you can go exploring justas easily, and killing monsters without a problem causing their blood to spurtaplenty.
One thing that I haven’t mentioned yet is that this game has been rated 18by the BBFC, presumably for the massive amounts of gore involved. However, onething that the BBFC don’t like in films is the use of the Shurikenweapon, and as such those have been replaced with Darts although thischange won’t affect the gameplay when using them.
The fact that the BBFC are now rating games is a comparitively recent thing,it only having happened in the last few years, and is a step on (or should thatbe backward?) from the 1985 Video Recordings Act which stated that every videocassette rented or sold in the UK had to have a certificate, so the first onesto be affected were films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and TheExorcist. This certainly explains why the ZX Spectrum game, Saboteur,still had shurikens in 1984.
Overall, one gets the feeling of having done everything before as nothing hasbeen done to improve the original game engine. On top of this, the levels andscenery haven’t been created as well as those games that have gone before it,thus giving you not much incentive to go through the levels.
Similarly there seems to be not much in the way of humour here, so if you’reafter a game of this type and haven’t played Duke Nukem 3D then buythat, especially as it’s at a bargain price now, or the more recentBlood.
If you’re after some more info on Eidos Interactive’s games, you can checkout their official Website atwww.eidosinteractive.com orthe official Shadow Warrior site at www.shadowwarrior.comGRAPHICS : **SOUND EFFECTS AND MUSIC: **PLAYABILITY: ****ORIGINALITY : **ENJOYMENT : **——————————-OVERALL : **
Review copyright © Dominic Robinson, 1997.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.