The late '90s played host to some of the best first-person shooters of all time.
The biggies that battled it out for supremacy were Id Software's Quake and 3D Realms' Duke Nukem 3D, but there were a number of slightly less well-known titles around at that time, too, many of which offered experiences just as good -- if not better than -- the big hitters of the period.
One such title was Shadow Warrior, also developed by 3D Realms, which made use of Duke Nukem 3D's "Build" engine. Build wasn't a true 3D engine -- people on the "Quake" side of the first-person shooter war of the period always made a big deal of the fact that Id's title could do "rooms above rooms," which just sounds like a silly argument now -- but it was fast, efficient and ran on a wide variety of machines. It was particularly friendly to the kind of frantic shooter experiences that 3D Realms specialized in, and Shadow Warrior was no exception.
Casting you in the role of the deeply, deeply stereotypical ninja Lo Wang, the game sees you running through near-future Japan battling against the demonic forces summoned forth by his former employers. That and making suggestive comments at anime girls who just happen to be standing around naked amid the bloodbath -- and who are almost inevitably packing their own lethal weapons somewhere for when Wang gets a bit too amorous for his own good.
Ahead of the upcoming Shadow Warrior reboot by Hard Reset developer Flying Wild Hog, which is due to start pre-purchase promotions later this summer, publisher Devolver Digital has partnered with the Singapore-based developer General Arcade to remaster the original Shadow Warrior and rerelease it on Steam.
The original Shadow Warrior was rereleased for free on Steam a short while back, but this new "Classic Redux" version, which costs $10, features enhanced graphics (though they're still largely sprite-based), remixed music, the two expansion packs for the original game and a full suite of Steam Achievements to challenge.
Shadow Warrior was a fun game that got somewhat passed over on its original release due to the fact everyone was still playing Duke Nukem 3D at that point. It's worth a shot, though; if you can get over the dated graphics, there's some fun, satisfying, frantic shooter action to be had.
Check it out on Steam.