It is not often when a special game comes along that does something a little different and not only succeeds but has a successful remake as well. Shadow Warrior is one of those rare games because it basically introduced the sword as a the main weapon into shooters all the way back in 1997. This was an era that was dominated by games such as Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, and Quake. Hand-to-hand weapons were used in those games and many others, but were mainly afterthoughts when compared to all the exciting guns available.
Shadow Warrior changed that by introducing Lo Wang as its main protagonist. Low Wang could be seen as an Asian version of Duke Nukem complete with Japanese weapons such as the sword and shuriken. The sword is a key part of the game as you can slice and dice your way through most tough situations. There are plenty of guns including double Uzis which the character will give a nod to John Woo for his Killer movies where the Killer was fantastic with two guns at once. However, I prefer to use the Ninja style weapons because they feel more unique and fun instead of using guns for the millionth time.
Although I have played many other action games since Shadow Warrior in the late 90s, I always wanted an even better game that uses swords. Unfortunately, there have not been that many. In fact, Die by the Sword is the only other PC sword game that stands out in my mind and that game is also extremely old. It was released in 1998 and featured even better sword play than Shadow Warrior. However, that has been about about it until …. Shadow Warrior 2013 the remake. The remake takes what was great about the original and amplifies it. The sword play is much more fluid and potentially gruesome. While lost gems like the aforementioned Die by the Sword and Outlaws have never received sequels or remakes, Shadow Warrior gets a remake that builds on the potential of the original. It is also not as cartoony and plays more like an action movie with fluid graphics.
A whopping 16 years since the original and the game is better than ever. Unlike Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem Forever, Shadow Warrior is a relevant game again because of this remake. In fact, I would not be completely surprised if there were not a sequel or two in the future if done right.