Why Shadow Warrior Classic Redux Is a Rip-Off and You Shouldn't Buy It
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.
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?
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