One of the bigger fighting franchises for mobile is the Shadow Fight series. If you’ve been around the block of mobile games you’ve probably heard of it. It’s a Mortal Kombat style game with similar mechanics. Shadow Fight 3 is the (you guessed it) third installment in the series. Although it’s a good looking game, some mechanics are broken and it lacks polish. Oh, and the online PvP sucks because the game is pay-to-win (but more on that later). But as always we’re gonna be taking a deeper look at what exactly is going on, so let’s jump right in.
The story takes place years after the second game. Shadow Energy has become part of people’s day to day lives, but some use its power for war. The Legion is at war with the Dynasty because they believe that the Shadow Energy is a great threat to humanity.
You will be playing as a rookie in the Legions’ Shadow Squad, a special unit of the military that actually uses Shadow Energy (despite it being a no-no for the Legion). This squads mission is to retrieve an orb that is apparently the source of the Shadow Energy. The whole premise is pretty interesting but the dialog is written very poorly. But hey, it’s a fighting game after all.
As I said the game looks good. I wanna mention the new art direction that Shadow Fight 3 has taken. The other first two games were basically just 2D shadows, but now we have some very pretty 2.5D environments and actual 3D models for the fighters. So that’s pretty cool. But a game’s graphics shouldn’t outshine the game’s mechanics. Ok, it’s not that bad but it’s not really good either.
Apart from the story missions, you can also partake in side missions and online PvP battles. The side missions are a good way to obtain some extra items or Shadow Abilities. The Shadow Abilities will be received from winning fights or from packs that can be purchased in the in-game store. The same goes for weapons and armor. This is where the PvP suffers greatly since you can get legendary items from the store. So if you’re just not skilled enough at this game (which is kinda busted by the way, but more on that soon) just throw your wallet at it and you’ll be good.
The animation looks very good but there are some extremely bizarre hitboxes. The game sometimes goes into slow-mo when you and your opponent launch an attack at the same time. I have been agitated numerous times because it looked like I hit the dude first, but the game said I didn’t.
The hitboxes are a real pain especially because the controls are actually pretty good and the combat has some depth to it. It’s easy enough to pick up but mastering it is tough and that’s always a plus in my book. You have an on-screen analog stick on the left and on-screen buttons for attacks on the right side of the screen (one for arms, one for legs, one for ranged weapons, and one for Shadow Abilities). The buttons are even well placed and your thumbs don’t cover the important part of the screen.
Shadow Fight 3 although impressive in some parts still manages to fall flat on its ass. Like my ex, the game looks very good but ends up being a disappointment. The microtransactions kill the PvP aspect completely, pay-to-win is never fun. Even though the story is somewhat interesting there’s still not enough there for you to keep playing. And for those reasons, I am giving Shadow Fight 3 a 5.5/10. It's out on both iOS and Android. As always, for more mobile game reviews, news and more visit us right here at GameBuz.