Straight off the bat Shadow Warrior 2, the highly anticipated new title from Flying Wild Hog, makes it obvious that it’s probably going to be the most bizarre game you’ve played in a long time. It features a heavy mix of melee and ranged combat weapons to disembowel your foes with and a healthy dose of comedy thrown in to match. Oh, and a lot……a lot of dick jokes.
The gameplay in Shadow Warrior 2 is quick…..very quick. Speed is your friend as I found myself constantly dashing out of the way of incoming attacks from hoards of mutant-like monsters, robots, and venomous scorpions, both in the organic and robotic forms. The Zill forces have created a number of the natural world’s creations that you have to fight in robotic forms, along with the super annoying drones that scan the area and launch missiles just to make things even harder. This meant I had to take a different approach to executing them compared to the monsters found in the hill and mountain-based missions. This I felt was a good tactic to keeping the game feeling new, as I was constantly thinking of new and faster ways to kill the enemy. One of my favourite features in the game was the skills and upgrades menu; this allowed me to pick from a load of runes that I had collected throughout the missions. You can find these in boxes that are dotted about the missions; sometimes they are dropped from defeated foes or after boss fights, and in this instance they are usually of better quality granting more powerful items or upgrades to the weapons system.
Skill points are earned through completing missions as mission rewards and can be used to extend skill duration including weapon rate of fire, healing times, invisibility duration, and any other skills that you unlock whilst working through the campaign. This was a vital addition, because as the missions went on the enemies became harder to defeat, and I seemed to be fighting a lot more of them in one go than in the earlier missions, so I feel as if the collecting of runes is an important and much needed part of Shadow Warrior 2. Within these runes are certain ones that have elemental effects that can be used to defeat the more difficult bosses and monsters including fire, toxic, and electricity, although some enemies are invulnerable to certain elements, and even worse, invulnerable to all powers. These powers are again learnt through completing missions and enabled me to be invisible or summon giant spikes from the ground, impaling my foes for a short period of time whilst I whittled down their numbers. Again, this is another example of how Shadow Warrior 2 kept the gameplay engaging, making me want to complete missions to constantly make my character, “Wang”, more powerful.
Some of the main aspects that made Shadow Warrior 2 such an enjoyable game were the constant dick jokes and stupid childlike puns that had been woven through the entire storyline. This was a good way to actually keep me watching the cutscenes that I would usually skip during other titles. The entire playthrough was hilarious in fact, I mean even your character’s hideaway is called “The Wang Cave”. You also constantly find fortune cookies filled with utter nonsense and the odd piece of graffiti which, again, is usually something to do with wang and dick jokes. Alongside these little humorous tokens are collectible totems. Carefully hidden around the missions, these were not easy to find, sometimes seeming invisible. I also happened to come across a small Easter egg, shall we say, in the early stages of the game; a nice little touch I always like which should be included more often in games. Shadow Warrior 2 has a lot to deliver and offers the possibility to play the game through again in up to 4 player co-op. This is further merited by the fact that the mission maps are randomly generated to some extent, making a second playthrough different from the first. Shadows Warrior 2 also offers up many different and interesting boss battles, a variety of attacks and strategies that are even detailed whilst in the mission loading screens to help you out, and there are over 70 awesome and unique flesh shredding weapons to be found or unlocked throughout the story mode.
Developer: Flying Wild Hog
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Release Date: 13th October 2016