30 Minutes Of Me Blathering All Over Shadow Warrior

By Nathan Grayson on August 16th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

Devolver Digital was kind enough to provide us with ample preview code for Hard Reset developer Flying Wild Hog’s upcoming revival of Shadow Warrior.

That may have been a mistake.

I decided to attempt some form of Let’s Play/Blather All Over/Preview thing, and well, I’m new to this. Very, very new. The end result is a mixture of description and discovery that hopefully gets the job done, but with “ums” and “uhs” a-plenty. Also, when I die, just go ahead and carve the phrase “So anyway…” into my tombstone. It’s become abundantly clear that it’s what I wish to be remembered by. Shadow Warrior really is coming along nicely, though. It’s easily the bloodest game to ever bleed blood, and the sword-fu is like fast food chili: chunky, satisfying, and made up primarily of disembodied limbs. I doubt it’ll take home any Game Of The Year awards when the dust settles, but it’s big, loud, and dumb enough (in a sort of smart way) that you should probably take notice. My enthusiasm doesn’t come across as well in the video as I’d have liked, but I did have a fun – though certainly not perfect – time with the couple hours I played. View 30-or-so scattered minutes of it below. (P.S. If you hate my voice, well, it’s actually impossible for you to hate it as much as I do. So!)

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55 Comments »

  1. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    The dismemberment looks okay but it’s weird to see some attacks just make blood pour out but only cause the enemy to step back a little. I’d prefer totally blocked or totally kill. Not weaken life bar type of combat.

    • Monkeh says:

      Couldn’t agree more. To me it looks quite awkward when you hit enemies and see a lot of blood, but it’s just them getting stunned. Would already be a lot better if you’d at least see the damage of the cut on your enemies, instead of just a bunch of blood coming out of basically nowhere.

  2. Phoibos Delphi says:

    I´ve mocked you for a few minutes now, but I can´t feel any karma increase, and I haven´t unlocked any additional skills either. You, Sir, are a fake! Not Brititsh….pfffff.

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    DantronLesotho says:

    You could have at least faked a british accent.

  4. Wandering says:

    For what it’s worth, after years of exploring various video playthroughs of interesting games, I long ago came to the conclusion that the only good commentary is no commentary at all. I assiduously seek for those with no commentary, and dump any playthrough that includes commentary.

    Partly because they are often filled with awful language, but mostly, and in every case I encountered, they repeatedly tell us what is generally blindingly obvious, (ad nauseum) and rarely add any new information to the game. They are also handicapped in that few can play well while babbling away and frequently tell us that as well, over and over again. While more recently most of the well-known commentators have cleaned up their language, I wonder why, the other points remain valid.

    I haven’t viewed this one, and I appreciate the warning about your commentary. You do write well…

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I agree. I’ve never seen a Let’s Play and thought, “Wow, he’s so good at commentary.”
      I just want to see the game.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        I watched this one in mute and it’s still annoying because there are parts where it just sits on a menu screen and the commentator is probably blathering on about something.

        • njursten says:

          But, uh, you made that part worse yourself, by muting the sound?

      • kalirion says:

        Actually, commentary is what makes it fun to watch Let’s Plays of games you’ve already played.

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      xao says:

      Proof by counterexample: Epic Name Bro’s Dark Souls walkthroughs. I thought Nathan did a pretty good job, all things considered. Nice use of silence, allowing the game to speak for itself during the dialogue and story moments. I felt like the voiceover provided useful information about how the game felt and how the mechanics worked in ways that weren’t immediately obvious from watching the gameplay.

      On the whole I agree that most commentators detract from the experience, but there are exceptions.

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      Carra says:

      So euh, put the volume to zero?

    • Low Life says:

      That’s true for one person videos, but with more people (like Giant Bomb’s Endurance runs) they can actually discuss the game (and everything else) so things suddenly get a lot more interesting.

    • Mctittles says:

      For a loooong time I have wished youtube or another video place would put in options for multiple volume controls. Then people could upload a let’s play video with the game audio and commentary separate.

  5. Nim says:

    It looks and feels like Shadow Warrior… Forever. This is not Wang I want.

  6. DaftPunk says:

    That beginning is awesome,where he sings in car haha :D Also didn’t know this is from the guys who made Hard Reset,nice.

  7. Creeping Death says:

    “I doubt it’ll take home any Game Of The Year awards when the dust settles”

    From what I played at Rezzed earlier in the year, it may take mine. “Big”, “loud” and “dumb are attributes I like to celebrate. Videogames have become to serious and self conscious in recent years.

    • Turkey says:

      Really? I feel like big loud and dumb games have had a pretty big resurgence over the past few years.

  8. Utsunomiya says:

    This game actually looks awesome.

  9. ResonanceCascade says:

    You did fine, Nathan. At some point you just have to accept that you will always hate the sound of your own voice when it’s played back to you.

    • Deathmaster says:

      I would suggest a better microphone though, sounds like you’re talking to me on Ventrilo. That aside, do more of this, I like it!

  10. Scumbag says:

    Need to turn up the volume in places Nathan. The fights at the end you were getting drowned out a mite.

  11. GoaThief says:

    Since when was Shadow Warrior made by id?

    It was 3d Realms, same as Duke Nukem.

  12. Guvornator says:

    “The end result is a mixture of description and discovery that hopefully gets the job done, but with “ums” and “uhs” a-plenty”

    I’ve only you had a video editor to tighten and polish the video and audio.

    In other news, I’m a video editor*. Waddaya mean “blatant whoring”…

    *who knows very little about website creation as you can tell by clicking on my profile

  13. Hilden2000 says:

    Saw the TotalBiscuit vid of this and went from “oh look XP popping out of everything, how quaint” to ‘this might actually be fun as hell to play despite the XP popping out of everything.

    On that topic, why can’t they just show those xp reward notes in a tiny corner of the screen like how Deus Ex did it, or even just in an after level summary?

    • tobecooper says:

      In the video Biscuit goes over the menus, and, I think, there’s an option to turn off these battle messages completely :) So, yeah, there will be hacking and slashing with no lettery distractions.

      • Hilden2000 says:

        Now that’s what I’m talking about, delicious menu options.

  14. Wedge says:

    Darn, seems like the dismemberment is all pre-cut sections and not dynamic =/

  15. edwardh says:

    Why should it have been a mistake? The preview is great, this looks actually more promising than I expected. Especially the gore. Aside from the recent Mortal Kombat, I haven’t seen a lot of interesting gory effects in years.

    And your voice? Seems to me you may have unnecessary confidence issues ;-) (It sounds very nice to me. Just the right amount of manly for most women probably as well.)

  16. stoner says:

    I made it a drinking game.

    When he says “Um” => take a shot
    “So anyway” or “But anyway” => chug a beer
    “Ba dum” => a shot and a beer

    After 20 minutes, I was wasted…

  17. wodin says:

    Difficult to take seriously set in modern day..you see four lads get chopped up and you still want to go toe to toe with a sword..surely out pops the gun? Though I suppose it’s stupid talking about taking the game seriously anyway.

  18. Phendron says:

    Ha, I was conceived in the US and born in the UK.

  19. Cytrom says:

    There are a lot of things i like here about the gameplay, but the level design just feels so generic and boring, I mean it looks pretty and the assets are nice, but it always felt like you’re forced in an extremely tight and restricted play area with an extremely simple map layout. That would be still fine with better enemy variety, that requires you to switch between different kinds of weapons on the fly, (or just extremely good gun mechanics) but it seems to be lacking in that area as well.

    I hope it gets better as the game goes on, and there are more open, and more complex areas. There might be still time that devs polish it up further.. i want this to be good.

    • AlienMind says:

      Railshooters. Kids eat them.

    • Stevostin says:

      Actually I thought exactly the opposite. I saw it as old school level design, with lack of defining space but always some room to run in every direction, big above any realism etc.

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    Ben Barrett says:

    Voice is totally fine Nathan, though maybe move the mic away from your mouth another inch or so. I’d recommend lowering the game audio around a third when you’re speaking as well, sometimes it was a little hard to hear you over the dismemberment, particularly towards the end.

    The best thing to do for videos like this, in my opinion, is to record post-commentary rather than during (and not pretend you’re doing it during, as some seem to think is a good idea). It means you can actually come up with some thoughts about the game and then say them at relevant times without being distracted by trying to play non-embarassingly. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t try to type an article while you played a game. Breaks up the slight monotony of combat sections too, since those aren’t really as enjoyable to watch as they are to play.

    On top of that, I like using a webcam at times. Some hate it, as they feel it takes attention away from the game and towards the personality of the maker. However, personality is one of the great things about RPS. I don’t think you want the permanent PewDiePie REACTION CAM or any such thing but it could be useful for rounding off a video or making a specific point. They also make a video unique, which is something this lacks.

    There’s also some technical issues – it’s a little dark, and the aspect ratio looks messed up (doesn’t fully stretch to widescreen on a widescreen monitor). It’s a good first shot though, I hope you keep trying to do this sort of thing.

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    JiminyJickers says:

    Looks okay, but I want rememberable one liners like “Do you want to wash Wang, or do you want to watch Wang wash Wang” Haha.

    • waaaaaaaals says:

      I remembering seeing a bunch of reports that they were doing away with those sort of lines from the original. Something about not wanting to come across as prejudicial or stereotypical.

      I always felt that the original game was actually poking fun at the use of stereotypes but there you go, I suppose it explains part of why they went and put the tweaked original up on sale.

      As for the remake, I find it a bit odd. The melee looks somewhat fun but I’m not sure that the gun upgrade system from Hard Reset is the best fit. On that game you ended up feeling like the guns weren’t great until towards the end of the game, where most did very little to the stuff it was throwing at you.

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    barelyhomosapien says:

    I was quite surprised that but the time I was done watching, I was thinking; “Huh, that actually kinda looks like fun!”

  23. TsunamiWombat says:

    So it’s Jedi Knight 2 with saber dismemberment cranked way up.

    i’m actually pretty cool with that.

  24. tonkinese says:

    game looks like fun but at the 17 minute mark god you are a little bitch. serious wow man you can tell that your a linear kind of gamer. and never had the opportunity to actually have the capacity to think while playing a game.

  25. kud13 says:

    Nathan, you sound a lot like Chris Avellone in the Arcanum LP videos.

    Is there something we should know?

  26. dmoe says:

    2013, people still having trouble making good-looking hands and arms for an FPS today. Not to mention that was incredibly dull to watch.

  27. EOT says:

    I’m confused, is this meant to be in Japan, China or Korea? The architecture’s all over the place.

  28. DXN says:

    Excellent! First class blathering. More of this sort of thing, please! In fact, more RPS-based A/V stuff in general, I say!

  29. Thereoper51 says:

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  30. Jerykk says:

    Really tired of people calling Shadow Warrior racist. Stereotypes != racism. Racism is when you believe one race is inherently inferior to another. At no point is Lo Wang depicted as weak or inferior. Quite the opposite, in fact. Is the perverted old Asian man archetype a stereotype? Sure. It’s also a stereotype that you routinely see in anime and other, non-western mediums.

    Was Shadow Warrior crude? Yup. Did it have plenty of stereotypes? You betcha. Was it racist? No.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Genuinely racist people will misuse stereotypes and as such the presence of a negative stereotype can indicate that the person who implemented the stereotype may be racist, even if this is not the case in this situation.

      I consider myself to be a victim of this negative stereotyping – I am a wheelchair user. About a year and a half ago the Daily Mail wrote an article on the front page in which they revealed that the disabled were the group of people most likely to claim benefits whilst working (It was heavily inferred that this was fraud, despite the later apology and 1.5cm correction on page 10 saying that disability benefits were not related to work status). I was stereotyped as a scrounger and I’ve even had my best friend ask me if I’m OK scrounging benefits I don’t need.

      I don’t even claim, nor have I ever claimed the benefits and tax credits I am entitled to because I personally don’t need them. Thanks Daily Mail.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      Racialized stereotypes absolutely do equal racism. Every time. Even if they’re “good” stereotypes (like, everyone of African descent can dance and play basketball). Reducing someone to a broad character type is erasing them as an individual. And erasing an individual based on the colour of their skin specifically? Sounds pretty damned racist to me.

      You don’t need to hate someone because of their “race” to still engage (accidentally or not) in racist behaviour, just like you don’t need to be racist to benefit from white privilege, or don’t need to mean to hurt someone’s feelings to still hurt their feelings.

      • Jerykk says:

        According to your logic, any type of stereotype would qualify as racism. Guys who wear glasses are smart? Racism! Gay guys are flamboyant? Racism! All New Yorkers have the same accent? Racism! All Californians are blonde and go surfing? Racism!

        A stereotype in and of itself is not racist. It only becomes racist when that stereotype serves to depict a particular race as inferior. Emphasis on “inferior.” Racism exists to provide people an easy way to feel superior to others without actually doing anything to earn that superiority. If that stereotype only makes you look inferior, it completely contradicts the whole point of racism.

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          jrodman says:

          You have responded with:
          1 – a completely nonsense claim. You’ve tried to suggest that Gunner believes stereotypes about non-racist concepts are racist, which doesn’t even *close* to follow. Of course, “gay guys are flamboyant” is a close cousin. We call that homophobia.

          2 – A flat denial of reality; racial presumptions are racist unless (in your opinion) they are bad. Since it was already explained to you that this is false, I’m not sure why you bothered to reply. You could have just pasted an ascii art of putting your fingers in your ears.

        • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

          Sometimes, in the rush to comment on something, we don’t actually have time to read it, eh?

          “A stereotype in and of itself is not racist. It only becomes racist when that stereotype serves to depict a particular race as inferior.”

          Saying of someone, “I’m not willing to consider you as an individual, I’m just going to assume you share [x] characteristics with everyone who has the same skin colour as you,” is rendering them pretty fucking inferior. Doesn’t matter if you’re calling them a good dancer or a great lay or whatever, you’re still erasing them as a person and telling them you already know everything about them, which is a very superior position to assume. Do it because of their perceived “race,” and it’s racist. Do it because of their gender, and it’s sexist. Etc., etc.

      • Jack Mack says:

        It depends on context, like most things. For example: in Super Mario 64, mario dreams about pepperoni if you let him doze off. I have a really hard time believing that could cause harm, or that it shows that Miyamoto is racist against Italians. At least, I’d want to see some good evidence before I’d believe either of those things.