Shadow Warrior 3 – 12 New Things You Need To Know

Flying Wild Hog's latest adventure looks to be its craziest yet. Take a look at everything you should know before jumping in.

Posted By | On 07th, Feb. 2022

Shadow Warrior 3 – 12 New Things You Need To Know

In development for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, Flying Wild Hog’s Shadow Warrior 3 is a unique title in a season full of high-profile releases. The series has always been niche but the sequel completely revamps the gameplay and pacing for a faster-paced, more dynamic experience. With the game releasing on March 1st release, let’s take a look at 11 things you should know about the game before jumping in.

Story

Picking up directly after the previous game, the story sees Lo Wang teaming with Orochi Zilla, his former nemesis, in order to capture an ancient dragon that’s running amuck (if you haven’t played Shadow Warrior 2, then trust us – it’s a long story). To do this, some magic, a dragon’s egg and a mask are necessary. Given the series’ entire messed up timeline, it should be interesting to see how things play out especially with regards to the Outer Gates, Mezu, Xing and the forces of chaos that have plagued the world.

More Linear Levels

Compared to the first game, Shadow Warrior 2 employed random map layouts, changing up the terrain, enemy positions and even weather conditions with each playthrough. This worked well with the loot system and leveling mechanics to make replaying levels less repetitive. In Shadow Warrior 3, however, Flying Wild Hog is returning to a more linear, hand-crafted approach with its levels. This makes for “better pacing and interactivity with Lo Wang’s surroundings” as per the developer. Combat arenas have also been expanded on with more verticality to accommodate the new movement options.

Wall-Running and Grappling

While Lo Wang could dash and double-jump in the previous game, Shadow Warrior 3 expands on his movement significantly. Dashing and double-jumping are still possible (and very much essential in some of the more pitched battles) but they now play a bigger role when navigating through levels. In addition, Wang can also wall run and use a grappling hook. Based on gameplay showcased thus far, chaining together dashes and wall-runs looks to be fluid and seamless.

Combat

shadow warrior 3

The crux of Shadow Warrior has always been its combat and there’s a lot to like about the sequel’s. Along with an arsenal that includes firearms and his trusty Dragontail katana, Wang can also execute weakened foes. Furthermore, the controls now employ two separate buttons for attacking – one for the katana and another for a ranged weapon – thus enabling you to more seamlessly switch between melee and long range fighting in the heat of battle. Special attacks also feel more responsive as a whole and it’s possible to boot enemies or palm thrust enemies to push them away. You can also use the grappling hook in cool ways during combat, like pulling Wang towards an enemy or grappling an explosive barrel and then throwing it into a group.

New Weapons

For all the time he spent mastering the blade, Wang has no qualms about using guns to get the job done. Shadow Warrior 3 knows this and gives you some fairly potent weapons for mowing down hoards. Along With the katana, there’s also the Crimson Bull grenade launcher which reloads after every shot and The Outlaw, a six shooter. You also have dual SMGs in the form of the Sidekicks which are great when ducking and weaving through hordes in the arena. Other options that have been spotted include a shotgun with a revolving barrel and a railgun-esque weapon with a short charge time between shots. While it seems doubtful that there will be +70 weapons like in Shadow Warrior 2, there’s still plenty of diversity to be had.

Weapon Upgrades

shadow warrior 3

Each weapon has its share of upgrade options, starting with The Outlaw which can either set enemies on fire with its shots or cause them to explode on headshot, thus damaging other foes in the process. The Sidekicks can be upgraded to paralyze enemies on hit while the Crimson Bull has an upgrade that bestows homing shots. The sheer range of upgrades has yet to be detailed but they look incredible thus far.

Gore Weapons

As noted earlier, players can execute weakened enemies and tools like the grappling hook will help in that regard by exposing weak points. But aside from looking cool, there’s a more tactical purpose to executions thanks to Gore Weapons. These are essentially parts of an enemy that can be weaponized for Wang’s benefit. For example, executing the Gassy Obaryion enemy nets you Double Trouble, which are dual mini-guns which can make mincemeat of enemies. Seeking Shokera, on the other hand, bestows the Seeking Eye on execution which focuses its attacks on your current target, slicing through it multiple times.

Enemies

Gassy Obaryion and Seeking Shokera are only some of the foes you’ll encounter throughout the campaign. Others include Hattori who wields dual blades and a two-handed sword – thanks to having four arms – along with Slinky Jakku which laughs constantly as it bounces through the arena. Oni Honma is a giant demon that uses a large hammer to attack (which can be used as a Gore Weapon) while the drill-headed Mogura Twins will burrow underground and emerge to attack. As a result of all these enemy types, combat can quickly become hectic.

Environmental Kills

Guns, katana and Gore Weapons aside, the environment is your biggest asset during combat. Each arena is full of different environmental hazards that can tear through enemies quickly or provide some breathing room. In “That Damn Dam” level for example, there’s a giant bladed roller that can be activated to quickly mow through enemies. “Motoko’s Thunderdome”, on the other hand, will periodically rain down lightning and shock enemies in place. With the ability to kick and push enemies into said hazards, along with grappling around to reposition, each level seemingly fulfills the team’s vision of “ninja playgrounds.”

Skill Tree

As part of the shift towards a more linear campaign, Shadow Warrior 3’s progression has also been dialed back significantly from the second game. In an interview with GamingBolt, lead designer Paweł Kowalewski described it as more akin to the 2013’s Shadow Warrior where you acquire different equipment and abilities at specific points in the campaign. There’s also a “really simple” skill tree for one’s progression. What the various skills will be remains to be seen though.

Playtime

shadow warrior 3

While Techland was busy clarifying its remarks on Dying Light 2 Stay Human requiring 500 hours to complete (which is actually for 100 percenting the game), Flying Wild Hog decided to have some fun with that number. It confirmed that Shadow Warrior 3 would take 500 hours to complete as well…if you played it 60 times. If the math checks out, then a single playthrough would require roughly 8.3 hours to complete. Whether this playtime only factors in the main story is unknown, especially since not many details have been provided on side missions. But regardless, expect the sequel to be fairly concise with its length.

Optimized for Xbox Series X/S and Smart Delivery

Flying Wild Hog hasn’t officially confirmed whether Shadow Warrior 3 is coming to Xbox Series X/S and PS5 or not. However, its Xbox Store listing does indicate that it will be optimized for Xbox Series X/S along with supporting Smart Delivery. This also opens up the possibility of PS5 support, though to what extent remains to be seen.


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