After a head start on PC, i can finally share my Shadow Warrior 2 console review. The sequel to the much loved cut hit to feature some insane first person action. The perfect title for developer Flying Wild Hog to bring to PS4 and Xbox One with the help of Devolver Digital.
The big question with sequel’s though is how much it takes the original forward. Especially when the first game was such a hit, you always expect more next time. That was my concern going into the review.
But I’m happy this is really looking a game fans of the original and new players will find a lot to love here. Say with me as I go though my experience with this one and be ready to get involved too. Does shooting up some bad guys and some really cheesy and rude jokes sound a good game to you? Let me know in the Disqus or Facebook Comments at the end of the article.
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Shadow of the Original
The first thing I have to address is that this review is for Shadow Warrior 2. The reason that is, or at least seems important, is because I never finished the original, I played it briefly from a rental service. But never got beyond the halfway point unfortunately since it never quite grasped me like it did others. Not that the game was bad, it just didn’t quite work for me.
The reason I note that specifically here is because I didn’t feel as though I had missed out by not playing the original, so if like me you hadn’t – don’t panic. It’s not that kind of game.
But this game takes everything further than the original title, adding in a ritcher and more engaging experience. The story, while always being a parody of action games, is really quite intriguing. Plus it’s a good 10-12 hours long with a lot of twists, turns and… well D**k jokes.
More on those later.
The point here is, you can have missed or not really got into the original and found something to really enjoy here in Shadow Warrior 2. And being on console you are certainly going to engage with the sharp action controls.
I’ve Got Skills
Shadow Warrior 2’s gameplay is fast, fluid and intuitive with a good balance of gore and spectacle on show. The enemies quickly become varied, with some weapons and perks/power-ups more effective against, and not effective against others.
Yes, this first person shooter/hack and slash hybrid is also part RPG, with skill trees to bump the skills you want, and give you replay value. Thanks to the choices you can make it really does lend itself to coming back for more just to experience a totally new skillset in your next playthrough.
However, this is where we find our first issue with Shadow Warrior 2. The action combat is outrageous to the point of being a little bit stupid. This will suit some and not others but, me personally, I really did enjoy the fast pace.
Controlling your Wang
I really liked Shadow Warrior 2’s interesting locations. There are plenty of different styles on show as you play. You’ll go from gardens to steampunk like cities and some really funky inner city areas too.
The maps are more expansive than the original too, going a much less linear direction. But they were never so convoluted that you could lose yourself. The same balance is in the combat as you progress through these areas. While things get crazy, I never felt overwhelmed by enemies, nor did I ever feel bored at a lack for challenge. Shadow Warrior is paced very well, even with it’s odd fetch quests, but again – it is part RPG, and I dig that it incorporates that gameplay.
The characters are quick to understand and, whilst most feel a little caricature like, they are all decent enough characters… well mostly. The protagonist is an unhinged, sexist, moronic, racial stereotype in the game. Now, I can get on board with obvious tongue in cheek, parody style because it suits the game. The thing for me is the fact they named him… Wang.
And to express what happens in the story as a simple mathematical formula: Wang = Penis jokes. Constant penis jokes!
Kill an enemy, penis joke. Talk to a female NPC, penis joke. Complete a mission, penis joke. Go make a coffee, penis joke… oh wait, that was my other half. But you get the point here. It all starts out rather funny but soon becomes overly predictable and tedious.
The game is funny outside of this however, and no doubt will make you laugh at times. If you are into penis jokes then it will make you laugh a lot! The issue is, again, the game will not work for everyone.
So where does that leave Shadow Warrior 2? Well in truth I really enjoyed the gam, and if you ignore all the repetitive gags, the game is actually very good.
The fact is my only real criticism of it is its blatant overuse of penis metaphors but it is a fun, visceral and frenetic experience that hack/slash/shoot action junkies will love.
It also has those RPG elements and what is, a fairly easy to grasp skill/upgrade system, over all it is a good game, and worthy of some of you time, but maybe pick it up whilst on sale or something if you aren’t a fan of the Wang.
Check out my scores below and don’t forget to let me know in the comments how the jokes and action in Shadow Warrior 2 works for you.