Shadow Warrior 2 is a first person shooter sequel to a reboot made by Flying Wild Hog. You play as Lo Wang, a wise cracking modern ninja who fights against demons and an evil corporation five years after the events of the first new game. This fast paced, non stop game includes a single player story with procedurally generated, open world maps, and the ability to play those missions with up to three other friends. Before Lo Wang says any jokes or lines to boost his self esteem, let's get right into the review.
Getting deeper into the story, you play as Lo Wang, a modern ninja who 5 years ago, shattered an alliance between your former employer and super powerful enterprise owner Zilla and the ancient gods of the shadow realm. Because of that, demons now live side by side with humans. Now, Lo Wang is a hired sword for the Yakuza, but one of his missions goes wrong and he ends up with the Yakuza boss's granddaughter's soul stuck into your head. You then do jobs for various people and go throughout the wildlands and the neo metropolis of Zilla city killing demons and zilla soldiers.
Shadow Warrior reboot was a pretty fast game, but this new game really kicks it up a notch. It's like playing new Doom, but in an open environment, and it's a lot of fun. Add to this the nonstop spawning of enemies, and you'll never stop moving. Speaking of which, the environments of this game are large, beautiful, open, and procedurally generated. You can find yourself on a cliff side village one second, and then a holographic, futuristic city the next. Add on top of that the ability to explore these lands and the different aspect of the maps like enemy spawn, weather, terrain, and buildings being procedurally generated, and you got yourself one heck of a time exploring the dystopian/utopian world Lo Wang lives in. But what really helps with exploring is parkour. Luckily, Shadow Warrior 2 has parkour, that is really fluid, easy, and fun to use. But with the fast parkour comes fast combat, and this game also does well with the combat. The large variety of weapons with cool reload animations gave me many ways to fight enemies and bosses. Even after 17 hours of play, I still don't have all the weapons yet because their are so many. This game also have many unique characters: from you, Lo Wang, with constant humor and ego-boosting lines, to a demon named Larry who sells you guns, to the half demon, half human Kamiko who is stuck in your head, constantly hating everything you say. The characters all had their own personalities that made sense to the characters. But Lo Wang in particular is the one you hear the most, as for you play as him. And you hear him a lot. Constant jokes after kills or in dialogue is about 95% of his voice lines, but they are all pretty hilarious and never get old. Now the last thing I had to say that is positive about this game is the final boss fight. The song used for the boss fight was actually an original song made by Stan Bush, and the song was fantastic. I wanted to add this final note in here because the song really tied up the series well and was the final nail in the coffin when it came to the fact that their was a pretty heavy 80's influence to this game. A great song to a great game.
Now of course, every game has a negative side. And of course, Shadow Warrior 2 is no exception. Despite the open maps, the whole area wasn't one map, but rather a bunch of mini maps. Having these mini maps also hampered how long I stayed in these maps. It was fun to explore, but the maps were small, so I didn't spend a lot of time in them, and travelling to each map was a pain. If the map was one large map, then I think it would have been more fun to explore. Another problem I faced was that the boss fights were way too easy. Every boss fight consisted of me running and jumping around the boss and shooting at them. Their attacks were not deadly, and constant ammo and health packs were dropped all around, giving me no challenge at all to defeat the bosses. But the biggest problem I had in the game was the loot drop system. In the game, killing an enemy or opening a chest would throw loot at you. One of those loot items are weapon upgrades, like a boost in a certain stat on the weapon or even elemental upgrades. The problem I have with this is that these weapon upgrades are everywhere. They are dropped just as commonly as ammo and money. It didn't take long for me to eventually give up on trying to sort which upgrade is better than the other, because these upgrades were constantly being found. By the end of the game, if you don't clear out all of those upgrades, then you could end up with hundreds of them in your inventory. And the best part is that the weapons can only old three upgrades, so you would be left with a ton of upgrades not being used.
The Verdict: Despite some negative aspects, Shadow Warrior 2 is a ton of fun to play with it's fast action, witty humor, and procedurally generated areas. A game that is a sequel to a reboot was probably going to be terrible, but Flying Wild Hog not only made a great game, but the best game in the Shadow Warrior franchise yet in my opinion. If you finished playing the new Doom and want something similar, or are just looking for a fun fps, then Shadow Warrior 2 is the game to play.
Here is a link to Stan Bush's 'Warrior', which was made for this game and used in the final boss fight: