Shadow Warrior 3
Who would have thought that the remake of not too popular 3D Realms game from 1997 will be so much better and brighter than the original?. The remake even managed to spawn a series that is true to its foundations and does not try to become something else — there's still no open world, no multiplayer, and single-player lasts just long enough not to get tired of it, — 6–7 hours. It's even weird to see such a fossil on the shelves, but still immensely satisfying.
That said, the fact that the authors cherish the tradition does not mean that they have not spied everything they can from their more established competitors. Shadow Warrior 3 retaining Asian flavor and humor turned into Doom Eternal, which means that it won't suit everyone. There's healing with ranged kills, ammo gathering with melee kills, savory finishing, a widespread shortage of ammo, and a hook-and-pull for parkour. Demons in shock, Doomguy in shock, the player in shock, but… Shadow Warrior 3 has a very different dynamic. There's hardly a quiet minute here — You're either flying through the sky, running through walls, or sliding through chutes, or shooting back, with the authors alternating this much more often than their id Software counterparts. Even the level designers don't hide the secrets too deeply, so as not to slow down the pace. Even the problem of Doom Eternal with a constant shortage of ammo is solved by trivial pumping of guns and character. Already in the middle of the game you can relax and shoot, and not run to the monsters to cut them up.
What's debatable here is not that, but the weaponry. Basic as much as possible banal: revolver, shotgun, «rail», grenade launcher, paired machine guns, crossbow-pilot and katana. And the game has a mechanic of finishing, after which the player gets something much more interesting depending on the type of monster that is destroyed. For example, when you kill a demon-bayan (or accordion) a firecracker can fall out of it. Of the other monsters, the hand-eye-killer, laser disco ball, foam drill, sledgehammer, paired miniguns, ice grenades, and automatic slo-mo swords fall. These items have infinite ammo, but work temporarily. They are a hundred times more fun than the basic weapons and entertain a lot more. Only, alas, it is not possible to achieve constantly. You'll have to kill all your enemies to get the ability to roll. Conclusion: 95% of the time you are shooting from boring guns to get a buzz from something unique. The wrong and extremely offensive balance.
The second problem — variety. There are very few types of enemies in the game: the usual ones are barely a dozen species, and the bosses are two. Even the traditional rabbit-killer, who comes out for revenge after the death of several forest brethren, the authors did not give the uniqueness — it's just a basic troll antagonist, only with rabbit ears. It's quite lazy.
The third, a little less tangible problem — music. Inaudible Asian howls don't create the right atmosphere. They're worse than the secondary ambient here and are forgotten in a moment. If you are going to copy Doom Eternal, your soundtrack must be no worse than Mick Gordon's, otherwise you will be among Chinese fakes.
The last problem — main character. The story in this game as if there were two teams. The first bent the Shadow Warrior 2 storyline, turning the hero into a complete idiot, running around in his underpants and chatting up an imaginary dead friend. The second came next, kicked out the previous team and continued the story as it should. Her demon friend becomes unimaginative, and with him the character of the G.G. from the first Shadow Warrior returns — an eccentric and hilarious professional, less infantile and more adequate than in the sequel. Here you can see a clear attempt to depart from the second game, returning everything to what it was at the beginning. It was a laudable attempt, but it did not lead to the wholesome hero, only stumps of his character.
What the authors certainly succeeded in was the bloody dismemberment. Shooting at the monster, the player can literally look at his inner world, because demons become an open book with bloody pages after firing. And this doesn't bother them at all, and the fight goes on until the amount of blood and guts on the floor is greater than in the monster itself. A nice rest after a hard day's work.
So if carnage and pop culture and fart jokes — is yours, and Shadow Warrior 3 will be a perfect pastime for a couple of evenings. There's probably a lot missing from it, but the game has always been a little on its own wavelength. That's what makes it unique.