When Shadow Warrior 3 launched back in March 2022, it was plagued with various performance issues and bugs. But worst of all, it lacked native PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series support and was only released on last-gen consoles and PC. The PlayStation 4 version suffered from tons of frame drops, stutters, freezes, and was all-in-all not a very good time. FMV video playback was a mess and the target 60 fps that sometimes dipped into the 20s presented a visually inconsistent experience. The console version’s graphics were also capped at a murky 1080p and missed a lot of the ambient particle effects and texture qualities that higher end PCs could render.
After nearly an entire year, developer Flying Wild Hog has repackaged Shadow Warrior 3 into a dubbed definitive edition that addresses many of the aforementioned concerns, includes native support for PS5 and Xbox Series consoles, and even adds a slither of new content. Unfortunately it doesn’t boast nearly as much new material to warrant being called a definitive edition. At least they didn’t call it a “Director’s Cut” or something! This is going to be a review of what’s new but if you’re looking for opinions on the actual game itself, check out Joe’s review on PC. So what exactly is new here?
Let’s start off with the brand new stuff, which includes a horde style Survival Mode where you brawl it out in battle arenas. Three new weapons skins can be obtained as rewards for completing this. New game plus, which allows you to start over with all your unlocked gear and skills, is now an option alongside chapter select and a Hardcore difficulty option. Lastly, the developers have implemented a Hero mode, which essentially serves as a permadeath mode that decreases the number of times you can respawn.
The now native PlayStation 5 version of the game also includes PS5 specific features such as haptic feedback and adaptive triggers while shooting and even controller speaker support. Two visual modes are offered: performance at 60 frames per second or 4K visuals at a capped 30 frames per second. What’s interesting though is that the PlayStation 5 playing the previous PS4 version of the game through backwards compatibility already performs at a steady 60 fps, so there’s not much of an upgrade here. In fact, the fps in the PS5 version dips into the high 40s at times during hectic gunfights and some stuttering still occurs. The visuals are no longer capped at 1080p in performance mode on this current version, and are actually closer to 1440p, so that’s a positive.
Honestly there’s not much new content here but at least this “definitive edition” upgrade is free for existing owners. All it adds is some extra replay value, some gameplay improvements and that’s about it. It’s definitely not enough to bundle the entire experience up and call it a definitive edition because the game still desperately lacks content and a cooperative mode. It continues to boggle my mind that they took out the one thing that made the second game so fun when this upgrade could have been the perfect opportunity to implement a multiplayer mode. I doubt that Flying Wild Hog is going to push out anymore updates after this unless some critical bug needs to be patched, so this is probably the end of Shadow Warrior 3. Until next time, Lo Wang!
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.