Shadow Warrior was a 1997 first-person shooter very much in the vein of Duke Nukem 3D— no attempt at realism, and a focus on campy, if not overtly offensive, humor. It’s no surprise that the two titles shared so much in common, they were both from the same developer (3D Realms).
Where Duke 3D traded pretty heavily on crass sexism and action hero tropes, Shadow Warrior went the more enlightened route– by trading heavily in even-then-tired Asian stereotypes and Hong Kong martial arts movie tropes. The game itself was technically more advanced that its other 3D Realms forebears, but Lo Wang– oh, did we fail to mention that? That would have explained everything much more succinctly– Shadow Warrior‘s protagonist is named Lo Wang. On purpose. Lo Wang failed to make the cultural impact or achieve the kind of name recognition that Duke enjoyed (though that apparently did not stop not just one, but two novels with Lo Wang as the main character from being written, according to Wikipedia).
According to a story on Gameinformer, not dissuaded by the dismal showing of Duke Nukem Forever‘s fifteen-year development time and disappointing release in 2011, developer Devolver Digital (Hotline Miami, Serious Sam series) has decided to breathe new life into Shadow Warrior and they have accordingly released a teaser trailer today that gives no indication of any relationship between the old Lo Wang title and the new title except, y’know, Asian stuff, plus also, the same name.
While the developer assures that the offensive elements of have been removed, the game is intended to retain both sharp wit and over-the-top, implausible action. The novelty of the original game was in the combination of weapons– Lo Wang could use a sword alongside various firearms, and it was among the first games to allow dual-wielding of firearms– leading to some of the first ridiculawesome mass-carnage gameplay in games.
There is no word on when to expect to see the game playing on a screen near you, but if you’re itching to play with Lo Wang (eww), there is an iOS version of Shadow Warrior that was released, and the source for the original game was released publicly with ports for several other platforms available.
Update: The original Shadow Warrior has been made available free-to-play via Steam. You can get in on the (ridiculous) action here.