Why Shadow Warrior Classic Redux is a Rip-Off and You Shouldn't Buy it

Updated on April 13, 2015
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ANDR01D writes PC game reviews, comments on the video game industry, and sells video games for commission through Amazon.

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Just this week, in preparation for the upcoming release of the new Shadow Warrior game in development at Flying Wild Hog Studios and published by Devolver Digital, Steam released a new version of the original Shadow Warrior, which was made by 3D Realms back in 1997. It’s called Shadow Warrior Classic Redux.

SWCR or Classic Redux, as I’m going to refer to it from now on, contains the original Shadow Warrior, plus the two released expansion packs, Wanton Destruction and Twin Dragon (there is a third unreleased expansion pack for Shadow Warrior, called Deadly Kiss, which isn’t included here) and boasts a graphical update and an enhanced soundtrack. All this goes for just under $10.

It sounds good, but I’m here to tell you that it isn’t. While the launch price is still quite cheap (and the price will no doubt drop; in fact it already has dropped by 15%, now selling at $8.49 instead of $9.99 in the Summer Sale), I know for a fact that you can get the same core content for nearly half that price, or even less. Maybe even for free (and I’m not talking about pirating it either).

First off, Shadow Warrior is currently F2P, or Free2Play on Steam, so it would make sense to check that out first and see if you like it. All you need is a Steam account, which is free, and about 50 to 100 MB of data to download, install, and update the Steam client, and then about 250 to 300 MB to download and install Shadow Warrior.

If you like the game and want more, then this is what you should do: head over to GOG.com, where you can buy the game for $5.99 (or even less if the game is included in a sale – maybe for as little as half that price). The GOG version comes with the two expansion packs as well, and will likely run off of a DosBox-powered configuration, which is engineered to work on modern operating systems, much like several other old school shooters from that era on GOG, like Duke Nukem 3D. You may as well buy the game, because there’s no guarantee that Shadow Warrior will stay F2P “forever” on Steam even though Devolver Digital says it will. If you buy it from GOG, then you will own it forever, or for as long as you have your GOG account anyway. And it's DRM free.

If you don’t like the vanilla version, and want to go ahead with the graphical upgrades, the Classic Redux version of Shadow Warrior isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, because not only does it not look that impressive, but it is also reportedly very buggy – and this could very well be because this version is based on JonoF’s Shadow Warrior source port (also referred to as jfsw or JFShadowWarrior) by Jonothan Fowler, although according to the credits, ProAsm’s Shadow Warrior source port is also mentioned. Speaking of which, ProAsm is the better source port for Shadow Warrior, so you can then just download that for absolutely nothing and then copy your GRP files (sort of like WADs, pk3, or pk4 files – they house all the game’s content) in to the new unzipped or installed source port directory (C:\Program Files\SWP or something similar) and then just run the source port’s .exe file, which will then load all the content from the GRPs and you can fiddle around with a bunch of different options at the menu before playing the game. You can also try to get some high resolution textures and models for Shadow Warrior online and download them too.

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What should I do?

Do you own Shadow Warrior?
Download the expansion packs, a source port and a high resolution pack -- all for free.
Play Shadow Warrior F2P on Steam.
OR buy Shadow Warrior for less at GOG, then download a source port and a high resolution pack -- all for free.

The way Steam is set up with its directory system on your PC, you might find it a bit tricky to get access to the GRP file depending on your computer literacy. With GOG’s version, you have easier access to all you need.

If you already have Shadow Warrior, whether it’s an old copy, or you bought it from GOG.com, then keep in mind that the expansions are freeware (so they shouldn’t technically be sold at all – no legal fallout has occurred yet), and the ProAsm source port, which is superior to JonoF’s port in my opinion (no CTDs, or crash to desktop incidents), is also free as well as is the HRP. You can grab the expansions over at moddb.com.

So buying Shadow Warrior Classic Redux seems silly, when all you’re getting is a game with minor graphical upgrades, based on an – at best – unstable source port. The only new things would be the enhanced soundtrack (which someone will probably end up ripping or re-recording with their own Roland SC-55 or similar equipment for use in the ProAsm and/or JonoF source port anyway), and the Steam Achievements. And if you want to buy a game you already own, or you want to buy a game at a more expensive price just for Steam Achievements, then you need to stop reading this right now, because this article is for sensible people, and is not for the likes of you, tiny grasshopper.

What do you think of Shadow Warrior Classic Redux?

See results
2.7 out of 5 stars from 20 ratings of Shadow Warrior Classic Redux

© 2013 ANDR01D


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    • Hoover1979 profile image

      Hoover1979 17 months ago

      I wish I did not buy Shadow Warrior Classic Redux. I have never got the game to run due to crashes when attempting to load a level 111% of the time. Yet the shadow warrior + source port + HD content works fine!

      All posts regarding the crashes were almost immediately deleted by the devs, and to this day these shoddy devs have not made any effort to assist me or say anything other than "The game is fine, your PC is shit" which is a complete cop-out as they know I have a 4.0Ghz 4th gen i7, 4Gb GTX970 and 32Gb 2400 DDR3 RAM.


    • profile image

      FistMarine 3 years ago

      Last comment I make but I got my steam account back 2 months ago and I talked with developer of Megaton/Redux and he seemed nice enough to offer me a free key for Classic Redux since I asked him. So I recommend people who just want to test Redux to NOT buy it but to ask developer to give you free key or buy if it's on sale (like right now). Never pay the full price.

    • profile image

      FistMarine 3 years ago

      A bit late to express more of my opinions and experiences but few months ago my steam account was suspended for absolutely no reason, thus I lost Megaton Edition that I had on Steam, which was actually a gift from someone. I even had the developer of Duke3D Megaton Edition and Shadow Warrior Classic Redux added as friends list but sadly I didn't took my time to talk to him about my opinions of these steam remakes.

      However I still can't stand what he did with Shadow Warrior. Why the fuck did he make Free to Play forever the FULL game? He should have made the shareware version free to play, not the full game because as I said in previous comment, it's pretty much piracy.

      Of course when I commented on YouTube my opinions, some assholes had to reply rudely to me. I wasn't offended but still, I hate a lot of people on internet because they like bashing someone's opinion. Especially when I'm getting reply comments from someone else other than author of video. 99% of time I get either rude replies or nonsensical comments that have absolutely nothing to do with what I wrote. Rarely I get a nice well thought out comment that explains what he/she hates on my comment or simply agreeing with me but that's the Internet.

      OK enough with off-topic, now back to Shadow Warrior. I've actually purchased two weeks ago Shadow Warrior Complete and One Unit Whole Blood from GOG.COM, they were on sale and costed $2.99 each. That was mainly because I never played them before and wanted to try them. Even though I'd like to also buy a psychical copy of Shadow Warrior from eBay, just because I'm a collector, I still couldn't refuse GOG.COM, the only good digital distributor. At least they are doing their job nicely, unlike Steam which I hate with a passion on what they are doing. I would still like to discuss with the developer of Megaton Edition and Classic Redux to express my hatred and hopefully fix the mistakes, as well as bring the Duke3D expansions to GOG.COM. That way everything will be fair, GOG.COM will include original games and expansions running through DOSBOX, Steam includes modified games, so that way people can choose.

      Sorry for this long rant but I had to say. What are your opinions on Shadow Warrior?

    • profile image

      FistMarine 4 years ago

      Shit, I shouldn't had insulted the developer, he put a lot of effort into this. But I still agree that this SW redux is a rip-off and not worth to buy. But Megaton Edition is and I enjoy it (well I was actually gifted by a friend) but still, I enjoy Megaton Edition for Duke Nukem 3D, mostly because of multiplayer as I never played before multiplayer on Duke Nukem 3D. :)

    • profile image

      FistMarine 4 years ago

      Thanks for reply!

      Actually I was thinking the exact same for Duke Nukem 3D (the GOG version I also got free on 12.12.2012) to wait for them include the expansions but unfortunately, they don't plan to do that. I will try to contact Devolver Digital about that but I'm pretty sure he won't listen to my message.

      I also noticed that Duke Nukem 3D is the only BUILD game that doesn't include the expansions on GOG, the other 3 (Blood, SW and RR, none of which I played) have them.

      At least I'm not losing much for this as I already own all 3 expansions for Duke Nukem 3D, which I bought months ago from eBay. I got kill-a-ton collection that included Duke Nukem 1,2,3D (both 1.3D and Atomic), Duke It Out In DC, Duke Xtreme and Duke!Zone 2, as well as separately Duke Caribbean and Duke Nuclear Winter (the latter was hard as hell to be found, I got this few days before Christmas, while the others I bought around the time Megaton Edition was released, I believe it was released on 20th March 2013). I will never give my money to Steam and/or Devolver Digital. Not to mention I have been playing Duke Nukem 3D since I was 3 years old (now I'm 18), but at that time the copy we had was not original, even though it was full version (with 3 episodes), it was from a CD which had various "shareware" games.

      For Shadow Warrior, I was thinking to buy from eBay (since this is where I buy all my games from) but I looked once again and maybe isn't worth, considering it's free but instead of downloading from Steam, I will "pirate" it from another site. Take that Devolver Digital!

    • ANDR01D profile image

      ANDR01D 4 years ago from Hell

      You're right. I was thinking about this the other day. This wouldn't be the first time Valve/Steam has been accused of anti-competitive practices.

      I considered buying Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition during the Christmas Steam sale but figured I would wait until my GOG version, that I got free in 2012 when GOG gave it away, would be upgraded to include the expansions, but I doubt that will actually ever happen.

      So I'm not sure about doing a review for that reason. I don't really feel like paying for a game I already own, somehow, even though I technically didn't pay for it, I got it for free.

    • profile image

      FistMarine 4 years ago

      I have never played Shadow Warrior before and I'd like to buy a psychical copy from eBay, since I love having psychical copies. :)

      About this edition, I can clearly say that Devolver Digital (the current developer of Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition and Shadow Warrior Classic Redux) is ripping off GOG. Seriously, look at this:

      Duke Nukem 3D GOG Version includes Atomic Edition running through DOSBOX. Costs $6.

      Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition includes Atomic Edition and 3 main expansions running with JFDuke3D source port. Additionally it includes Classic version (the Atomic Edition) running through DOSBOX. Costs $10.

      Seriously? It looks like they intentionatlly included the classic version (basically the GOG version) into Megaton to piss off (or rip off) GOG costumers. It isn't fair what they did, I think they are stealing costumers. Currently what would be the point to buy GOG version if you buy Megaton edition and actually have GOG version included in it + 3 main expansions for an extra $4? I don't see the point here.

      Same goes for Shadow Warrior. But here this case it's even worse, this game IS ACTUALLY FREE NOW!!! It's free to play on Steam and the expansions are already free, so basically you don't even need to pay for this game anymore. You can just grab it from Steam + download expansions from somewhere else (nice move here Devolver) and here you go, piracy at its finest!

      Fuck you Devolver Digital for ruining two great games!

      Speaking of which, are you going to review Duke Nukem 3D Megaton Edition?

    • profile image

      qwerty 4 years ago

      Meh, screw that pack it's unfinished...

    • ANDR01D profile image

      ANDR01D 4 years ago from Hell

      Yeah, that's fine. I'm happy for you, because Shadow Warrior is one of those classic FPS titles from the 90's that needs more attention and seems to be getting it. Enjoy it.

      I'm not sure what you're getting at in the last part of your comment, though. I'm not ripping the company off by not buying it. That's my choice not to buy it. Unless you're trying to bring piracy in to the mix, and for the record that was not mentioned at any point in the article, and I don't condone it.

      So buy it cheap or don't buy it at all if you're not completely sold, but don't pirate it.

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      Stranger 4 years ago

      I bought it and I'm VERY happy with my purchase

      It's much better to buy something (even if it's on sale) rather then ripoff from a company

    • ANDR01D profile image

      ANDR01D 4 years ago from Hell

      That's what I'd recommend. If you have ever played Duke Nukem 3D, then chances are you'll like it.

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      Tonythedemon 4 years ago

      I'll probably go with the F2P version on steam just to try it out.