Shadow Warrior 3: Definitive Edition review: Definitely ninja speed

Devolver Digital
Devolver Digital /

Title: Shadow Warrior 3: Definitive Edition
Developer: Flying Wild Hog
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platforms: PC (reviewed on), Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5
Release Date: February 10, 2023

Shadow Warrior 3: Definitive Edition is an upgrade to last year’s game for next-gen consoles. So if you enjoyed Shadow Warrior 3, you’ll like Definitive Edition. I haven’t played the original Shadow Warrior 3 so this is going to be my fresh thoughts on the game as someone who did have a pretty good time with Shadow Warrior and Shadow Warrior 2.

Graphically, this game looks darn good. The facial models look good, the blood and gore look goopy and gross, and all the slashing, shooting and parkour animations are fluid — all while moving really fast and being ferocious. But when transitioning from gameplay to cutscene there was a massive lag spike which is hopefully fixed with a quick patch in the near future. I did find the environments pretty lacking as most were just arenas and pahs that are sometimes too clearly defined.

The sounds were spot on. The Japanese instrumentals with the guitar provided perfect harmony while keeping pass with the gameplay. Every gun sounded with the exact bang you would expect. The explosions were a typical cartoon boom, and so on. The one thing I will give this game without a second thought is the sound of finishers being particularly squishy.

The voice acting is also well done. Every character sounds exactly how I would think they would. The lines were performed well; every quip with a perfect deadpan or sarcastic tone to match the joke left me with at least a good chuckle.

While the game is short, it is a blast. Cutting through and shooting enemies is a ton of fun, reminding me of Doom Eternal or Serious Sam. You collect power-ups to gain finishers, reminding me of the newer Doom games. And from the finishers, most enemies will surrender a powerful weapon to help simplify the slaughter of the mob.

That brings me to my last point. The game is incredibly linear. It’s a cutscene, a fight, parkour, rinse and repeat. Maybe you’ll stumble onto the occasional puzzle; however, these are incredibly rare. A lot of the mob-type battles become increasingly frustrating if you don’t find the upgrade orbs or complete the challenges to gain upgrades.

Shadow Warrior lacks the power fantasy of a game like Doom and it becomes a shortcoming with the size of mobs and the amount of damage each enemy can do. The enemies are also almost all bullet sponges, so you’ll find yourself out of ammo in your favorite guns most of the time.

While a really fun experience, its lacking environments and incredibly short playtime make this a hard game to recommend at full price. But it most definitely is a game worth playing on sale or if you have it already and want to check out the PS5 or Xbox Series X upgrades. The frustrating combat scenes, simple environments and plain environments make it hard for even Lo Wang to quip into greatness.

Shadow Warrior 3: Definitive Edition (PC) Score: 6/10

The frustrating combat scenes, simple environments and plain environments make it hard for even Lo Wang to quip into greatness

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.