By Sam Coles:
Over the years the old school first person shooter has made resurgence with titles such as Bulletstorm kicking it off, and then we got Wolfenstein The New Order and Doom. One game that didn’t get too much attention was the reboot of the Shadow Warrior series which the first game came out in 2013 on PC and a year later on consoles and it was a competent effort but lacked its own identity. Shadow Warrior 2 on the other hand is something completely different and you would be forgiven if you were to think it was from a different series. Is that a bad thing? No as it is a fun and addictive adventure with beautiful visuals, fast paced gameplay and glorious and over the top violence and gore.
You step into the shoes of Lo Wang once again and yes it is an immature name but it is still hilarious. He is driving to his boss with an artefact to exchange it for money but he is once again attacked by demons that total his car which makes him mad and he embarks on a journey where he disembowels every demon he sees. He later saves a girl who has a god manifesting within her where he has her soul inside his head which is similar to what happened in the first game. The story is a lot of fun and Lo Wang is always funny with great quips and puns.
The game is a first person shooter taking elements from old school shooters like Serious Sam as it will throw you into huge wide open arenas with waves upon waves of enemies with blood flying everywhere when you blow the limbs off demons. However this game is more of an RPG dungeon crawler like Diablo where you take on quests from a hub and then fast travel to a map where you’re free to tackle objectives in any order you want to. You’ll battle different enemies and where the Diablo comparison comes into play is the fact that they make look the same however they are colour coded with their names with white being common cannon fodder to purple being more difficult and elite characters.
You unlock a vast array of new weapons which are the usual pistol, shotgun, machine gun and super weapons, but what makes this game unique is that you can add talismans similar to the gems in Diablo III. These can add extra purposes such as making your Uzi fire faster to your shotgun doing elemental damage. This is great as it encourages you to experiment and see what stones are more effective on certain enemies so you’ll never be using the same weapon.You can also tackle the entire campaign in four player co-op which is great if you are struggling with the tougher bosses and missions.
The game looks beautiful it has more life compared to the original game as it felt a bit sterile and bland. I love the environments in this game they are beautiful and colourful with long grass swaying in the wind or when an explosion goes off. However with more graphical detail comes a sacrifice in performance on the consoles, Shadow Warrior 2 runs at 30 frames per second compared to the 60 that the first game did, but it does struggle in some of the busier sections dropping below 25 fps.
Shadow Warrior 2 is a fun and addictive game with tons of replay value with fast and gory gameplay coupled with beautiful and colourful visuals. It is now available on PS4 and Xbox One and you can pick up a bundle with the first game if you haven’t played it yet.