This isnít a next-gen game from any point of view. Technically, this game might be right at home among the first wave titles of the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. But in terms of artistic vision, Shadow Warrior carves out its own identity with panache. Eastern aesthetic sensibilities are delivered (and mocked); the bamboo, cherry trees, and koi ponds do not go unnoticed by Lo Wang. Combat animations look great, especially when they culminate in dismemberment and evisceration. The ways in which Wang can dispatch his enemies are numerous and entertaining. So many games these days are afraid to market themselves as a good old-fashioned blood and guts extravaganza. While I appreciate the literary ambitions of games like BioShock and Spec Ops: The Line, itís great to see a title that rejoices in its own insensitivity.
Shadow Warrior sounds as tasteless as it looks. The voice acting is ridiculous, in a good way. Wang definitely sounds Asian, but he doesnít speak the hysterically-butchered Engrish. That being said, his lines are plenty stupid and full of that wonderful self-awareness that is so lacking these days. Letís put it this way: when we are first introduced to him, heís letting loose to "Youíve Got the Touch." Your spirit companion Hoji is an interesting character; heís an imp with a wicked streak to him.