PSA: Shadow Warrior is still free

Since every other games site is ecstatic to discover this week that the original Shadow Warrior is free, hey, we’ll post it too. I’ll ride that #trending content, blitz the bandwagon, disseminate to the viral limit, and zonk that zeitgeist until the SEO bursts. I know that Shadow Warrior has been free for four years now — a fact other sites seem to have missed — but I also know quite a few folks dig Shadow Warrior so sure, it’s helpful to remind people that it is free.

This is the Shadow Warrior released by 3D Realms in 1997, mind, not the pretty decent modern reboots from Flying Wild Hog and Devolver Digital. And don’t confuse it with Shadow Warrior Classic Redux, the £7 update of the original with “remastered visuals”. Nope, just regular old Shadow Warrior.

GOG are offering Shadow Warrior Classic Complete, which rolls in its two expansion, for free – as they have since 2016.

If you cling to Steam like a baby monkey to a cloth-wrapped wire mother, you can get Shadow Warrior Classic there for free – as you could have since 2013. Steam’s freebie doesn’t include the expansions but the expansions were free anyway so you can download them separately from ModDB and follow this guide to play. The Steam version did also recently add alpha and beta versions of Shadow Warrior for the curious.

Shadow Warrior, ah, it’s not the Build engine game for me. It’s not nearly as fun as Duke Nukem 3D or Blood (Adam’s former favourite game), a lot of the environmental interaction feels gimmicky, and the lazy comedy racism is unpleasant. But it has fans.

If you are into ’90s Build engine shooters, by the way, do check out Robert Zak’s chat with Build creator Ken Silverman.

Of course, I should remind you that a great many wonderful games are available free.


  1. Michael Fogg says:

    To balance all the free publicity the game gets, here’s some criticism
    link to

    • Syrion says:

      I never got into Shadow Warrior. I love Dark Forces, think Blood is really cool, and Duke 3D is ok as well. But Wang never did it for me. Maybe because I was only exposed to Duke Nukem and Doom on my N64 back then. Ah well, opinions.

  2. Syrion says:

    This is quite fun to see. Two days ago an ill-informed but well-meaning redditor posted about this on the GameDeals Reddit, and suddenly it’s everywhere again. Or was he influenced by some other site before? Who knows!

    • Jalan says:

      It was amusing to see PCGamer post about it as if GOG had made it recently free but somehow neglected to post about it anywhere on their site as they normally do.

      I’m still hoping that GOG gets the alpha/beta versions that were pushed through to Steam but given how long it took GOG to get the Redux version and make the “classic” version permanently free I probably shouldn’t hold my breath for it to happen any time soon.

      • Syrion says:

        They actually did, but only accompanying the SW2 and SW Classic Redux announcement: link to
        That was last September! :)

        • Jalan says:

          I know they did, what I was referring to was PCGamer’s inability to at least check GOG to see if the “discovery” they’d made was accurate. I guess I just foisted too much expectation on PCGamer’s writers.

  3. Jalan says:

    Too many bemoan the cultural stereotyping (and those that do can play the Flying Wild Hog reboot where such things are toned down or removed entirely), but the game is still quite fun. It’s my favorite (still readily available) Build game aside from Blood.

    • Ghostwise says:

      Too many bemoan the cultural stereotyping

      Imagine that !

      • Jalan says:

        I now regret not adding that my having written that doesn’t mean I condone it (but ultimately neither does it bother me to such a degree, given my own heritage) but griping about it being there in a decade(s) old game isn’t going to make it go away, nor is it shining a spotlight on something that wasn’t evident when the game first released and it’s not as if people now don’t have the option of bypassing it entirely thanks to the reboot series being a thing.

  4. Ghostwise says:

    If you cling to Steam like a baby monkey to a cloth-wrapped wire mother

    Heh, I was reminded of that study not too long ago. :-)

  5. gabrielonuris says:

    Talking of which, does somebody has a good mouse look mod to recommend me to play this game? Just enabling mouse look in these old build games just looks and plays terribly (tried to replay Blood recently, and almost gave up because of the mouse look).

    I think those games are in serious need of a “GZDoom” like engine to play properly with a mouse.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      There is eDuke32, which is exactly the smooth source port with mouselook. I think it also a version for SW? I’m not sure, but you could investigate that.

      • Jalan says:

        There’s been talk of a eDuke32 Shadow Warrior port for ages but the movement on such a thing has been slow as molasses (owing to the fact that the game is less popular and eDuke32 takes priority).

        Shadow Warrior has some decent source ports but none of them were really “flawless”, most having some issue or another. ProAsm’s SWP is still pretty okay to use, but the last actively developed version of it had a nasty save corruption bug. You can potentially avoid it by using the version previous to it but if you want to play any multiplayer games then you’ll be out of luck with that version. One of the eDuke32 devs took over work on that port and released another version of it which fixes some issues but still isn’t 100% perfect.

    • Syrion says:

      I don’t know about SW, but as regards Blood, these are your options:
      -bMouse 0.6: This is said to improve mouse aiming a lot. I’m using it and I’m not sure if it actually helped or I just got accustomed to the controls, but at least I’m fine now: link to
      -BloodGDX: A reverse-engineered source port that’s being developed right now. I think it’s not complete, but it doesn’t seem to miss anything major and really controls a lot better than using DOSbox: link to
      -BloodCM: An eduke32 port by the same author as above. I haven’t tried it, but I suppose it works well while not being 100% accurate to the original game. I’m not sure.

  6. ansionnach says:

    Seeing as Shadow Warrior isn’t really worth playing beyond the shareware episode, the best version has always been free!

    The shareware episode of Duke3d was probably the weakest (short and sweet).