Lo Wang meet Tommy Hawk

LIke lots of people, I’ve recently played the Prey demo. Coincidentally, just a couple days before the Prey demo came out, I also started playing Shadow Warrior. While Shadow Warrior came out in the late 90s and Prey hasn’t came out yet (although it has quite a long history and was originally conceived around the same time as Shadow Warrior), there are a lot of interesting similarities besides the obvious fact that they were both spearheaded by 3D Realms (although Prey was produced by Human Head, it was 3D Realms that originated the project).
While going from the venerable Build Engine to the currently state-of-the-art Doom 3 Engine was quite a jolt, and Prey’s portals and gravity-flipping were quite fun, beyond the visuals, the other details haven’t changed that much. Shadow Warrior is over-the-top and full of intentionally stereotypical depictions of Asians. To give an indication of the humor included in the game, the main character’s name is Lo Wang and like his spiritual predecessor, Duke Nukem, he has lots of witty phrases. On some level it is pretty offensive, and mixes Japanese elements such as ninjas with Chinese elements, but it is so over the top and cartoony it is hard to get worked up about it. I mean it’s no Showdown in LIttle Tokyo or anything.
Prey stars a Cherokee man by the name of Tommy Hawk, which, not as bad as Lo Wang, is still a lame pun, who gets sucked up into a UFO along with his grandfather and girlfriend (who spends the whole demo screaming “Help me! Help me!” in a way that would make Princess Peach embarrassed. Although the elements in the demo try to play the Cherokee heritage straight and respectfully, they end up with something that has a lot more in common with Shadow Warrior’s level of accuracy than it has different from it. Metafuture has already covered it in their article, “Your Guide To The Cherokee People” so the only thing I will add is this: When Tommy dies he goes to his ancestral homeland. Who knew that The US South was a dessert full of buttes?

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.