Outside of a few outliers like Hard Reset and Serious Sam HD, it's tough to find real old-school shooters these days. While I'm still very much a fan of modern FPS design, playing game after game with regenerative health and linear pathways can get tiresome.
That's where Shadow Warrior (expect Andy's review coming soon!) comes in, delivering a fairly challenging experience along with some elements of '90s FPS goodness. So sit back and enjoy some tips for Lo Wang's latest adventure.
As a general rule, you're going to want to spec into healing as soon as possible. When you're in a pinch, dashing away and healing can save your life most of the time. In Shadow Warrior, many of the hardest encounters are big arena fights, leaving you plenty of room to duck into a corner and heal.
As a result, having the uninterrupted heal skill and the ability to regenerate up to 80% health is vital to surviving tough encounters on your first try.
Try to also unlock the ability to make enemy souls appear 30% more often from their corpses. This allows you to heal on the fly when you otherwise can't get a regeneration spell off [Andy Dixon].
The next thing you're going to want to get are area-of-effect capabilities, as you start the game with none. Spec into the katana tree and get Circle of Iron after you've buffed up you healing tree.
As soon as you hear demons, queue up your Divider of Heavens attack (up, up, right hand), which you'll earn around 30 minutes into the game. You can run around, open doors and chests while your attack lies in wait for a surprise enemy. Alternatively, holding your left-hand button can queue up a formidable slash.
Mix up your attacks in arenas to earn more karma (currency to purchase skills). It's a bit like Tony Hawk -- doing the same song and dance will only get you so far.
You can heal and slice/shoot at the same time. In fact, all of your left hand abilities can be used in tandem with right-hand attacks. Picking up the shield ability and using it on a constant basis is a great way to deal with minor encounters.
If you're in the middle of an action, you can queue up a special ability by performing the combination for said ability at any time. Use this to switch up tactics on the fly and quickly call up a heal.
Get in the habit of using demon hearts. It's easy to forget that you can only carry one at a time, but when used often, they can make the game a lot simpler. As a rule, always use a heart when you spot one in the wild, then just pick that one up for later use.
If you're in the mood for a hardcore experience, go into the options menu and turn off checkpoints, visual item cues, and play on the Insanity difficulty.
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