I’m not sure when I’ve bought the game anymore, but I’ve completely forgotten about it, even though it was right there in my Steam game library.
I got reminded of it when they’ve offered it for free on Humble Bundle. I got it, but when I actually tried activating it on Steam, it shouldn’t have worked… but it did. What actually happened was that it had added all the downloadable content for the game to my library.
So I’ve started playing the game, on the hardest difficulty available, of course, which was “insane.” I’ve completed the game on insane and I have the achievement to prove it, but then I found out that there was one more difficulty, which only unlocked after completing the game: Heroic mode.
What Heroic mode does is… force you to play on an even higher difficulty than insane, and without allowing you to save your progress at will. The only way to save is to complete the current chapter without dying.
So, I have only one major complain here: the video game has some serious bugs, one of which is game breaking and it appears every time you’re trying to beat the fast healing enemy in chapter 12: Zilla. In theory, for each time he heals, the next time he is supposed to heal slower than the last time, so, theoretically, after a few healing cycles it would be possible to kill him. When the bug occurs, it prevents him from slowing down, thus the game becomes impossible to finish. Apparently even if you manage to get his health all the way to 0, if the bug occurred, nothing happens and you can not defeat him. I have found others on Steam with the exact same issue I’m having.
It turns out that this fight was initially not even supposed to exist. It was only introduced in the Direct X 11 version of the game, and it’s not even an actual boss fight. It only serves as a transition between two cutscenes.
When you start the game on Steam, you get to choose between launching either the Direct X 11 version or the Direct X 9 version. The latter is actually called “Shadow Warrior (Windows XP).” If you play the game in Windows XP mode, when you get to the buggy part in chapter 12, the fight doesn’t even exist! I swear I’ve tried beating Zilla literally ten times, separately, restarting the game and my computer and what not. The bug appeared every time.
And now… I find out that all that work was for nothing. Each of the ten attempts I’ve fought him and let him regenerate over and over again about four to six times over, and it never ended. That is seriously frustrating. And I’ve sent an email about this to their support address, but to no resolution. They haven’t even answered my message. At least they could’ve had the courtesy of saying “we’re sorry, we can’t help you.”
Anyway, like I said, the fight doesn’t even exist in the Direct X 9 version of the game, and you can just carry on with the chapter, battling with hordes of enemies eager to make you do the whole chapter all over again.
But… You can’t just continue the game in the older version without a little bit of work, first. In your Windows profile folder (e.g. “C:\Users\Player”) if you started both versions of the game, there should be two game profile folders: “Shadow Warrior” and “Shadow Warrior DX11”.
While the initial chapter checkpoints savegame files are compatible between the versions, the player profiles are not. At least they are not working for me. If that’s the case for you as well, what you have to do is delete the contents of the Windows XP version, and launch the game once. Be sure to disable Steam Cloud first, or else it will automatically restore the old files when you launch the game.
After you launch the game, make your settings and exit. Do not start a new game. Now, in the game’s folder there should be a folder with your profile’s name, and a similar one in the Direct X 11 version’s folder. Sort the files by modification date, and copy the newest save file from the DX11 profile to the DX9 profile.
COPY IT, DO NOT MOVE IT.
Now you can launch the game in Windows XP mode, and choose to resume game.
At the time of writing this, I haven’t managed to beat chapter 16 yet – I’m still trying to beat the fourth wave of enemies in the infamous last battle, so I can’t say if that bug will appear again in the Direct X 11 version or not. By the way, after beating chapter 12, you can do the reverse and copy the latest save file from the DX9 profile to the DX11 profile, and resume playing in Direct X 11 mode.
In any case, I wanted to make a note about this little nuisance for future players who want to try playing on this mode (obviously, to get the achievement), but get stuck and encounter the same problem.