Shadow Warrior 3 review – It’s like Doom Eternal, only Lite

Shadow Warrior 3 Review

A giant dragon is trying to devour the whole world, and only Lo Vang, a sociopathic ninja, can stop him. In the dynamic shooter Shadow Warrior 3, the player will have to fight hordes of youkai, move around arenas and use a grappling hook.

Path of the Shadow Warrior

The first Shadow Warrior was released in 1997 by an American publisher and computer game developer 3D Realms. In it, a ninja named Lo Vang saved the world from Orochi Zilla’s corporation, which was trying to summon monsters from other dimensions. 

The original Shadow Warrior was reminiscent of the famous Duke Nukem 3D shooter, but with an Asian flair. Duke destroyed the hordes of aliens with a huge arsenal. Lo Vang, on the other hand, crushed monsters, ninjas, and kamikazes. Being a master ninja, he used not only guns but also traditional methods of dismembering enemies, such as katana, shuriken, and fists.  

The characters of the heroes of these shooters were also similar. Duke joked obscenely from time to time. Lo Wang did the same, but with a distinctive accent. If the Duke tore off the head of the alien and shitted on his throat, then Lo Vang ate the enemy with chopsticks. In general, they are both frostbitten.

Shadow Warrior 3 Environment

In 2013, the Polish studio Flying Wild Hog released a remake of Shadow Warrior. The publisher was Devolver Digital.

This time the game took a cue from Serious Sam. Youkai (Japanese demons) rush at the rejuvenated Lo Wang from all sides. To fight them, there is a pistol, shotgun, machine gun, crossbow, etc. 

But the game has not forgotten about its roots. By pressing certain keys, Luo Wang used various katana attacks or healed himself. If desired, the game could be completed with one sword!

It was a beautiful game. In many locations, cyberpunk is mixed with traditional Asian architecture. This made completing levels and finding secrets especially enjoyable.

In 2016 Flying Wild Hog released a sequel: Shadow Warrior 2 . In addition, she had more guns, enemies, locations. Added open world and co-op.   

And now Shadow Warrior 3 has appeared. This time we decided to take an example from Doom Eternal. What could go wrong?

In pursuit of the dragon

In Shadow Warrior 3, the world has been destroyed by a giant dragon, and now Lo Wang, who released him, must prevent him from destroying the rest. 

The game has arena battles and parkour. And nothing more for six hours! You run through the site, you find yourself in a small arena. There you exterminate several waves of youkai, you move on. 

The arenas are scattered with ammo, first aid kits, and exploding barrels. Sometimes they are equipped with traps. There are plenty of places where you can run on walls or cling to a grappling hook, which allows you to effectively break the distance with enemies. 

Shadow Warrior 3 Fighting

Yokai have an interesting appearance and die quickly. Among them, there is even a parody of the headless kamikaze from Serious Sam! The most dangerous of the youkai is the Laser Shogun, which fires at the player from a distance. He is only vulnerable to his attack, plus he has a weak point on the back of his head. But approaching him from behind is not very convenient: he is covered by other youkai. And this beast can also climb ledges. The rest of the opponents are much easier to deal with.

Lo Wang has a special gauge, when filled, he instantly kills any enemy (excluding bosses). In the process, he grabs a broken youkai piece to use in combat. Weapon effects vary depending on the opponent. It can be a hammer, health boost, or freezing everything around. The most useful of them is the sword and machine gun, they can quickly clear almost the entire arena. The performance of the rest pales in comparison.

There are only two bosses in the game. They die quickly, have several phases and many interesting attacks. Fun, but not enough. Very little. 

In previous installments, killing rabbits was punished by the appearance of a giant demonic rabbit. He had a large supply of health and high attack. In Shadow Warrior 3, if you kill these animals (by the way, rabbits no longer mate), then ears will appear on the miniboss. He will have more health and he will learn to teleport. 

Shadow Warrior 3 Enemies

To destroy the youkai, Lo Wang has six types of weapons in store. There are few cartridges, so the guns often have to be changed in battle. There is no alternative fire mode, but when upgraded, natural damage appears (electricity, fire). 

But melee combat is now ineffective. The katana is no longer a standalone weapon. It acts as a chainsaw from Doom Eternal, used to knock out health and ammo from monsters.

The game has a leveling system. For special balls, weapons can be upgraded up to three times. You can also improve Lo Wang’s health or his ability to push enemies onto spikes or off cliffs. Orbs are on the level or are issued for completing tests: killing opponents, replenishing health, etc.  

Technical condition

The open-world of the second part turned into a linear sequence of levels in the third. There are only a few places in the game where you can move off the beaten track. This is done in order to get to the hidden balls to improve the skill or weapon. The process of finding secrets spoils the level architecture. Even if a particular platform appears to be accessible, the player may die when attempting to jump onto it. It turns out that it was impossible to meddle there, but it was not correctly shown! I played the game on a high difficulty level, and the most common cause of my death was gravity. 

Shadow Warrior 3 Detailing

Enemies are not smart, they periodically get stuck or fall into textures. If they are thrown from the arena, they can hang in the air. 

The gameplay is peppy, some metal would be perfect for it. But instead, it plays something to Chinese folk music. Doesn’t fit at all. 

The game is well optimized. The levels load quickly, for nine hours of passage I did not have a single crash.


I really want to praise this game! The fights in it are dynamic, the parkour is driving, the locations are beautiful and unusual. Lo Wang and his friends are well revealed, their story is interesting to watch. Enemies are nice to be torn to shreds.

But now you don’t perceive enemies as a threat. Constant death from falls discourages any desire to explore the levels. Who knows, maybe the traditional sprite girl in the bathtub is hidden somewhere? I do not know!

Due to ineffective close combat, you don’t feel like a master ninja. There are no more high-tech locations that were so well done in the previous parts. And you won’t be able to fight the demonic rabbit while heavy metal is playing in the background. The main sentence – there is no desire to replay the game. Cheerfully, cheerfully, but – disposable.

Good Features:

  • Beautiful locations
  • Dynamic battles
  • Well planned arenas
  • Well written characters
  • Funny translation into Russian
  • epic videos
  • You can tear off pieces from monsters and beat other monsters with them


  • Systematic fall into the abyss
  • Inappropriate Music
  • It became uninteresting to use a katana
  • Only two bosses