Devolver Digital said on Tuesday that Shadow Warrior (2013) will be slicing through Steam, Get Games, GOG and the Humble Store on September 26. It's not an HD remake of the original classic shooter launched by 3D Realms in 1997 after the studio crashed into the PC gaming scene with 1996's Duke Nukem 3D. Instead the 2013 release is a reimagined version that retains the main character, the setting, and some of the story and combat, but sheds the baggage that made the original so controversial.
"There’s a light-hearted humor element to it. The first one had some wise-cracking, and it also had things we avoided, like the racial stereotyping and misogyny and things like that," said Devolver’s Nigel Lowrie in an interview with Penny Arcade. "The writing team did a very good job of re-inventing Lo Wang, he’s still a smartass… but it’s a much more clever sense of humor and wit, rather than relying on the old Duke Nukem or Shadow Warrior tropes, falling back on jokes about women and racial stereotyping."
Yet as Penny Arcade points out, some of the appeal with the original Shadow Warrior was the protagonist's utter disregard for good taste and political correctness. Many fans of the classic shooter may be turned off by a more serious, "watered down" Lo Wang given all the racial and sexist humor have been ripped out. Yet fear not: Wang references seem to be intact, as shown in the new clip below.
"If some fans don’t like it, that’s unfortunate, and we think we can win them over with the other parts of the game," he continued. "In fact, those things were, in our minds, detrimental to the original. We’re reinventing it how we think it needs to be done. If they miss that, we’re not going to be sorry, or anything like that."
The Shadow Warrior Classic Redux bundle landed on Steam in early July for $9.99, featuring a visually polished and upgraded Shadow Warrior Classic (OpenGL), the Wanton Destruction and Twin Dragon expansion packs (OpenGL), the original version of the game (DOSBox), SteamPlay support for PC and Mac, Steam achievements, and Steam Cloud support. Those who purchase the bundle will receive a Steam coupon for the reimagined Shadow Warrior when it lands next month.