Shadow Warrior 3: Definitive Edition

Posted:  Feb 21, 2023
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Cloud Saves
Gyro Supported

Review

Shadow Warrior 3 was provided to us by Devolver Digital and Tinsley PR for review. Thank you!

Shadow Warrior 3 is a fast-paced first-person gory bloodbath. As Lo-Wang, you will team up with your former nemesis, Orochi Zilla to embark on a seemingly impossible mission across a gorgeous neo-feudal Japan to capture an ancient dragon that was freed. You will utilize a combination of your sword and guns to demolish your enemies, slicing them in half or using finisher moves to smash heads in with hammers or just rip out their hearts. Will you be able to restore balance that you unleashed?

The definitive edition of Shadow Warrior 3 was released last week too. It adds in New Game Plus, which comes with additional challenges and skins, Survival Mode, a new Hero modifier to make things even more difficult, chapter select to replay certain levels at your convenience, and hardcore difficulty. To celebrate, the game is 50% off for the next 2 days (2/23) .

If you're a fan of DOOM and games like that, you will love what Shadow Warrior 3 has to offer. The game is gorgeous to look at and has vibrant landscapes, which I personally love. The gameplay is quite addicting too, swapping from slicing enemies up for ammo and then mowing the rest down with dual wielding SMGs or a revolver. It also features simultaneous/mixed input, which means gyro controls work wonders here! The story is alright and the one-liners tend to get old (not the biggest fan of the voice acting), but as a fan of shooters like this, I would prioritize how the game plays above all. So how does it run on the Steam Deck you ask? Let me tell you.

Shadow Warrior 3 - Max Performance

The game seems to run okay right off the bat, but the starting area in the game is especially hard on the system and shows the flaws on max settings. Overall, you can expect a 20-30 FPS with 25W+ battery if you try to play on max. Though, as usual, we can adjust this to make the game not only playable, but a fantastic experience!

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Max Settings
Recommended Settings
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Recommended Settings
Max Settings

Shadowy Optimization

I wanted to start off with aiming for 60 FPS, but I found this hard to stabilize as there are some stuttering issues that really show on higher framerates. I went down as far as I could feasibly without ruining the smooth experience and landed around 45. From there, I played with the settings and turned FSR 1.0 on to see how that looks compared to the original. While it is a little more pixelated, I felt "Ultra Quality" was passible and saved a lot of battery.

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FSR Off
FSR On Ultra Quality
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FSR On Ultra Quality
FSR Off

Then, keeping everything on medium and turning Shadows to low, I was able to keep a stable framerate under a TDP Limit of 8. It felt smooth, stable, and saved way more battery than I was expecting.

Next, I decided to prioritize framerate and see how far I can push without ruining the visuals. For this, I kept options on low with FSR on Quality kept the game looking pretty decent with FPS at 55 for a smooth feeling that was very close, if not identical, to 60.

After that, I wanted to see if we could push the quality up while keeping 40 FPS. While going to 30 would allow pushing for higher quality settings, 40 feels significantly better for first-person shooters. With this, mostly medium settings with no FSR at all is possible!

Gyro Aiming and Stutter Issues

Shadow Warrior 3 has some good and bad aspects to it, but I personally feel the good outweigh the bad. First, the game supports mixed/simultaneous input. This means setting gyro to "As Mouse" works wonders! When using it, it can change button inputs in-game to show the KB+M ones (usually finishers will show up as "Q" instead of "LB+RB", but being able to have gyro like this is way more important.

On the other hand, there are some stutters. These don't happen often thankfully, but are prevalent enough to make note of it. This happens most when going across levels and loading in new areas. Framerate also tends to drop when cornered in certain fights, but in general when you are moving around, you won't find drops.

Conclusion

Shadow Warrior 3 is a high-octane, vibrant game that wows me at how good it looks and feels to play. I will never get over the joy of slicing enemies up and then shooting another one behind them with akimbo SMGs. Some of the finishers feel a little slow, but as someone who loves boomer shooters, especially on the Deck, it is wonderful. And with these tweaks, the experience has been a blast and I can't wait to go back and try to beat it on hardcore mode!

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Shadow Warrior 3 is a fast-paced FPS game that allows you to slice, shoot, and pulverize your enemies in gruesome ways. And doing that all on the Steam Deck feels fantastic with some tweaking!

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Community Rating

Let us know what level of playability you consider Shadow Warrior 3: Definitive Edition to be. Help our community determine the viability of playing this game on Steam Deck!
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Current Price: 
$39.99
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Other Builds
Framerate Build
SteamOS

Limit

55

Refresh Rate

55

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

11

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

1200

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

AMD FSR 1.0: Quality

Resolution Scale: 90%

Overall Quality: Low

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

13W - 18W

66c - 72c

2 - 2.5 hours

Quality Build
SteamOS

Limit

40

Refresh Rate

40

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

12

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

1200

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

AMD FSR 1.0: Off

Resolution Scale: 90%

Anti-Aliasing: Medium

Post Processing Quality: Medium

Depth of Field: Low

Ambient Occlusion: Medium

Shadows Quality: Low

Textures Quality: Medium

Effects Quality: Medium

Screen Space Reflections: Low

Foilage Quality: Medium

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

15W - 20W

70c - 76c

~2 hours

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