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GOG Connect is a pleasant little scheme from the DRM-free digital distributor, letting people who own certain games on Steam get GOG versions too for free. Now it’s back. GOG today launched another round of GOG Connect, with another seventeen games for Steamers to redeem. Because, y’know, it’s nice to have a DRM-free backup without buying a game twice. The lineup this time includes Hotline Miami, The Last Federation, the Shadow Warrior reboot, X Rebirth, and Teslagrad.
Oh, and GOG has launched another big sale too.
Shadow Warrior 2 is coming on October 13, as we learned earlier today, and it's looking pretty good. As it should: The first Shadow Warrior was a blast too. But the first first Shadow Warrior, released back in 1997, was solid stuff in its own right, and right now you can pick it up for the low, low cost of nothing.
To clarify, this is Shadow Warrior Classic Complete, which is different from Shadow Warrior Classic Redux: The gameplay is the same, but the Redux edition features remastered graphics and GOG Galaxy achievements, while the Classic Complete version is the same as it was 20 years ago.
It probably bears mentioning that certain elements of the game are kind of, well, racially insensitive. There are no outright slurs or anything (at least not that I remember) but it's shot through with an air of Charlie Chan-esque stereotyping, and has none of the sly, self-aware wit that made Flying Wild Hog's remake feel so much smarter than it looked. At best, it's lowbrow, but some people will find it outright offensive.
The Shadow Warrior Classic Complete package includes the game, a digital copy of the manual, and the soundtrack. Get it at GOG.
Shoot and slice ’em up Shadow Warrior 2 [official site] is set to launch October 13. It’s a bloody, over-the-top ninja adventure that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s a guy taking a selfie as he decapitates a monster, so there’s stuff in there us millennials can relate to, too. It’s also shaping up to be quite beautiful if you look past all of the gore spraying everywhere. In the trailer below, Flying Wild Hog has recreated the subtle fall foliage of November in Japan contrasted with the white-washed walls of austere Buddhist temples. Lovely!
Demons, in Shadow Warrior 2 [official site], appear to be made of jelly. I m carving one particularly big bastard open like a Christmas turkey and the segments that slide away are like the gelatinous gloop and gristle sliding from a tin of cheap dogfood. They wibble and wobble, quivering beneath the teeth of my chainsaw. They fold and flop, eventually disintegrating.
The ultraviolence is more over the top than in the game s predecessor, but it s nothing new. That s just about the only place that the sequel takes the more of the same approach though. Almost everything has changed.
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>
But which Shadow Warrior do I mean? Despite my love of the magnificent Build Engine, not the 1997 original which never worked its way into my heart in the way that Blood did. Gotta have some Blood in your heart. But, no, I’m talking about the distant year of 2013, when Hard Reset developers Flying Wild Hog released a game that surprised me by being one of my favourites of the year.
The Shadow Warrior reboot was one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had since I started writing about games. It’s a superb action game that does first-person melee combat well, has gorgeous environments, and managed not to feel like a throwback to the skeevier parts of the Build Engine days while capturing so much that I loved about the era. I can’t wait for the sequel [official site], and these twelve minutes of blood, bickering and burning demons make it all the more attractive.
The games that fly under publisher Devolver Digital‘s banner are often funny, sometimes silly, and always quirky. Frantic shooter Not A Hero revels in its messy, hedonistic chaos; Dropsy tells the tale of sad, social misfitting clown; and The Talos Principle is a wonderful game about philosophy and mind-boggling puzzles, to name but a few. The Humble Devolver Bundle has them all and more and is live right now.
When I think of gaming in the mid 90s, I think of a unique kind of grunginess. It s like my mind s got its finger on the Shift key with its left hand, and the Up arrow with its right, gliding swiftly through the sordid corridors of crematoriums, porn cinemas, hillbilly backwaters and dojos. But despite their muted tones of muddy browns and tombstone greys, these spaces were anything but dreary, brimming with richly-animated sprites, the promise of gory violence around every corner, and a tongue-in-cheek energy that felt clandestine, fresh, and fiendishly fun.
When I think of gaming in the mid 90s, I think of Build Engine games.