When I tried to play an old game with a sequel, I finally played Shadow Warrior 2. The first thing I thought was, “Why haven’t you played this game before? It’s great!” It’s not perfect, but it’s funny, cruel, and the feel of a great action movie that you don’t take too seriously. I have.
The story follows a former corporate mercenary, Lo Won, trying to find a way to pull the girl’s soul out of her body and stop the apocalypse. I didn’t play the first game, so the twist of the story and part of the character’s history was lost. From my point of view, I didn’t care. I have enough reference material so that I can get a hint and not spoil my enjoyment.
Between missions, there is a hub area that serves as Rowan’s base. There are shops, characters that provide missions, bounty hunters, and forges. There are several other places to explore, and there are some challenges to unlocking, but it’s just a pit stop.
After teleporting to your mission, the combat is partly melee, partly shooter, and everything is great. You can blow it up with a gun or cut down enemies with a sword or claws. There are many weapons to find and buy, some from the monsters you killed. Weapons all start with standard ideas and turn into something a little crazy. Weapon Wheels can be combined with different weapon types to accommodate different monsters and situations.
You can also improve your weapons and yourself. Each weapon has a slot for inserting the small gems you find. They can improve rate of fire, damage, ammo capacity, and add elemental effects. Hitting a new level will give you points that can improve your health and improve your skills. Skills can be improved by using the power of energy and adding the new points to the skill card. They vary, but can improve areas such as overall health and increase the ammo found.
The goal of a mission is usually to go here and kill everything or kill everything and pick up this. It’s easy, but the battle is fierce. When I ran out of ammunition or the enemy got too close, I used a fire-effective shotgun to blow it up and switch to a sword. Enemies range from ugly monsters to yakuza to future floating death orbs.
The environmental arena also looks great. Each is a large open area to explore, including a lawn area, a traditional village, and a neon-soaked city. It’s no wonder it’s intriguing because of the scattered collections and resources. The parts were a little fragile and I enjoyed seeing the damage. The only downside is that you will return to the same environment over and over again on other missions. I wish I had more diversity.
The Shadow Warrior 2 dialog is shining and surprisingly interesting. The conversation may be a bit crude, but the jokes land very well. Ironically and witty, Lo Wang drops one liner with other characters and fights, the game is always looking for ways to make you laugh and feel great while playing. Stories and characters are more action movie fares, but they are still well-performed and well-written.
Technically, the game is a little upset. When you cross a certain line of levels during play, it appears to break regularly while loading or streaming assets. It’s jarring to see it when it happens. There are some other common problems, but they are minor.
There’s one more thing I didn’t like. The game was over, but it was very sudden without explanation. It may be the next game, but I want the game to be self-contained, even if the parts are taken over by the sequel.
For those who overlook this gem, Shadow Warrior 2 is often on sale and is a great game. It’s not that long, but the time I spent it really laughed and brought a lot of shooting and slicing action. After spending time there, I can’t wait to make the next installment.
Shadow Warrior 2 PS4 Review
- Overall-great- 8/10
Shadow Warrior 2 is a great ride filled with really interesting actions and dialogs. There are some technical issues and some consequences that need to be materialized, but the combat is great even if later missions show the same level.
- Great battle
- Abundant weapon choices
- Interesting dialog
- Technical problem
- The ending is very sudden
- It gets old when you return to the same environment
Review Disclaimer: This review was performed using a copy of the game purchased at the reviewer’s expense. Read the review policy for more information.
I reviewed it using PS4 Pro.
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Jason was eventually addicted to video games after receiving a NES at an early age. This addiction has grown to include PC games and has been enhanced with the launch of the PS2. Since then, he’s been plagued by epic RPGs, tense shooters, and deep strategy games, never getting better, but he couldn’t stop. He keeps playing the game (poorly) and shares his passion for them with those who listen.