When I started playing Shadow Warrior 2 I was a bit disoriented by absolutely everything this game had to offer. It is a first-person mix of hack and slash combat, as well as your traditional shooter.
You’ll be playing as returning protagonist Lo Wang, an extremely rude ninja who is currently possessed by a smart mouthed scientist at the beginning of the demo.
Throughout the demo my goal was to find a way to get this stuck up chick out of my head, by gathering ancient herbs and items that would help you bring the scientist’s soul back to her body.
This all takes place in a modern world with modern weapons like: shotguns, chainsaws, as well as beautiful cars. This combined with some kind of mysticism spouted by old kung-fu master complete with a Fu Manchu seems like a bullshit excuse to go fight some ninja bad guys.
While Wang flat out calls this out for the bullshit it seems to be, it’s important to understand that the world had been dramatically changed since the first game.
Their planet was, for lack of a better word, slammed into a world where demons, monsters, and magic-like teleportation actually exists-leading to a beautiful fusion of miniguns and magic. I can’t help it; the concept drew me in almost instantly.
Now with this goal in mind, I was more or less teleported by the condescending scientist towards the general area that these herbs, spices, and mystical items were hidden.
Unfortunately for Wang, these items were being guarded by some serious firepower. Demons, monster, robots, and exploding bombs were everywhere in the demo stage.
Some of these demons looked like hulking behemoths, but were quickly taken care of using precise sword slices that hacked limbs off. Others looked like near nude, almost grossly disfigured women with attacks that came extremely quick-forcing me to block or dodge their attacks and aim to take their legs away.
Using melee weapons wasn’t nearly as bad as I would have thought it would be in a first person shooter. The movements were smooth and logical, and took time to actually follow through.
I couldn’t just spam the slice button expecting instant damage like I reasonably could with a gun, but the amount of damage was considerably more. This balance between melee and ranged weaponry created an interesting dynamic that drove up the intensity in several of the battles that I fought.
Many of the weapons that I used had their own unique properties.
Some melee weapons are considerably slower than their counterparts, and both the swing and follow through can leave you open to attacks if you’re not careful. Others are quite weak, but can deal out a considerable amount of continuous damage, or be used as both melee or projectile.
These weapons can be found quite often on enemy demons or monsters that you will be fighting, as well as items to improve the weapons that you’ve found that you can’t live without. These weapons can have an elemental affinity, or increased damage, and in some cases unique status effects that will increase a weapons utility.
Which brings up one of the most important factors this game has to offer: “no two games will be the same.” While I was playing the game I would occasionally look out at the other players having a similar experience to my own. The same master telling the player to get their mystical items, the same smartass remarks by our main character.
When these other players got onto the field however, things were fairly different. Sometimes it was at night for them which made many enemies harder to notice, or it was raining, meaning you couldn’t necessarily hear them running up behind you. Even the enemy placements were different.
This game can absolutely be a fun experience for those looking for something different. It offers an interesting world with a protagonist that you’ll either love for his absurdity or absolutely hate for it. You’ll be audience to a multitude of puns, sexual innuendos, crass speech, and often juvenile humor that’s sure to make you laugh.
You’ll be able to play with friends and help each other through difficult battles. When you add these factors to a randomized weapon system and challenges from difficult enemies that just might show up, you’re left with an experience uniquely yours.
While this type of game doesn’t really appeal to everyone, for someone looking for a fun multiplayer experience that will leave you guessing, this will be just your thing for a long time.
Shadow Warrior 2 is set for an October 13th release on PC, followed by a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release sometime afterwards. You can pre-order the game here on Steam.