trending / - - - - - - - - -

trending / playstation 4 - ni no kuni - halo - wii u - bungie interview - ces top picks - radeon hd 7850 - woods pga tour

Shadow Warrior 2 Preview: Magic & Chainsaws

/ Oct 4th, 2016 No Comments

Shadow Warrior 2 Preview

Shadow Warrior 2 is a radically different game from its predecessor. Flying Hogs went into the development of the game with a mind to improve upon the flaws in Shadow Warrior.

The result is a new philosophy on level design and story, and a more robust approach to combat.

Like Gory Confetti

Battling demons from another dimension one time is a coincidence, but every time after that is a habit. Five years after the last encounter with dimensional demons, Lo Wang is once again tasked with saving the land from an army of demons under Zilla’s command.

Shadow Warrior 2’s old-school shooter gameplay is once again be driven by story. Unlike Shadow Warrior, the sequel will leave how story missions are approached to the player. There will be more freedom and less hand holding.

In the demo I checked out at PAX West, I went through two maps, fought a load of demons, and tied out the new weapons Shadow Warrior 2 has to offer.

Shadow Warrior 2 Preview

The chainsaw is an awesome weapon that can slice up enemies in any direction.

First off, the combat was fun as hell. There is a good mix of modern techniques with an old-school shooter feel that make the combat satisfying. Much of the satisfaction comes from a wide arsenal of weapons.

There are plenty of weapons to choose from, including a new chainsaw that can slice in any direction, allowing unprecedented freedom in how players disassemble demons. The neat thing about the chainsaw is how the gore reacts to the angle of the cut.

Lo Wang also has access to plenty of different guns and swords. Melee sword combat is exceptional.

Weapons now have charge attacks that change depending on the direction you move when you initiate them. If you move backwards, forward or stand still, the charge attack will change as a result. This means you’ll have plenty of ways to use charge attacks to decimate demons.

Shadow Warrior 2 Preview

Lo Wang’s non-gun weapons have a variety of charge attacks that change depending on direction.

One major change from the first game is now dodge is infinite and there is no fall damage. Infinite dodge helps add to the mobility of the game. It allows Lo Wang to flit across the battlefield and move quickly out of the way of an enemy attack. It can also be combined with jump and double jump for added maneuverability.

Lo Wang’s ninjutsu, or magic, is a helpful way to manage enemies. It helps level the playing field. A ninjutsu that launches spikes from the ground trapping enemies in their tracks while you pick them off is especially helpful when a lot of enemies are on screen.

He also has a healing spell that can either be used in short bursts to get a quick boost of health or used continually to heal up completely at the expense of continuing the fight.

Everything about the combat feels comfortable and easy to pick up. There is added depth with RPG elements and new elemental buffs.

Shadow Warrior 2 Preview

Shadow Warrior 2 has some gorgeous gore.

Certain enemies have natural resistances, such as tech enemies being resistant to poison damage but weak to lightning. Higher class enemies and bosses require specific types of weapons to be bested.

While there was a lot of exciting stuff about the demo, the mission variety seemed a little lacking. Most of the missions were fetch-and-grab quests, which weren’t novel. As a vertical slice, that may just be what was shown off in the demo to highlight the combat.

Don’t Call it Procedural

A big change for Shadow Warrior 2 is its approach to level design. Levels are less linear than Shadow Warrior, and now are far more open.

Both maps on display in the demo featured large open areas with plenty of different paths to explore. One was a giant mountainous area with wooden bridges connecting large areas and nooks to explore.

The other map was a futuristic-looking business district. This map was open, but also focused on verticality. There were portals scattered around that allow Lo Wang to ascend to higher areas of the map and fight more enemies. The verticality could also be used to change the flow of combat.

Shadow Warrior 2 Preview

Enemies now have their own resistances and weaknesses, and levels have more verticality.

While open levels aren’t novel, what is novel about the approach to level design is the game’s randomized construction of levels. Every level in the game, including enemy placement and upgrades, will be randomly selected when the player enters it.

This isn’t to be confused with procedural generation based on an algorithms. All of the elements and possibilities in a level have been hand crafted with a purpose. Each of those elements can simply be combined randomly and in new ways every time you play a level.

The Element of Surprise

Shadow Warrior 2’s combat is a lot of fun and there are a crazy amount of weapons to choose from and different ways to upgrade them. The game also looks absolutely gorgeous.

The best thing Shadow Warrior 2 has going for it is its ability to surprise you. Even if you didn’t play or didn’t care for Shadow Warrior, its sequel definitely is worth a look.

Shadow Warrior 2 releases for PC, Mac and Linux on Oct. 13.


Kalvin Martinez

Kalvin Martinez

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Kalvin Martinez studied Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He writes reviews, prose and filthy limericks. Currently, he lives in Tustin, California. He is still wondering what it would be like to work at a real police department. Follow Kalvin on Twitter @freepartysubs
Kalvin Martinez

Latest posts by Kalvin Martinez (see all)

tags: , , , , ,

Related Posts

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands

Going Wild in Ghost Recon Wildlands’ Massive Sandbox of Co-op Chaos

Jan 25th, 2017No Comments

For Honor

For Honor’s Combat is a Needed Change After a Shooter-Dominated Season

Dec 15th, 2016No Comments


Steep Beta Impressions: Winter Wonderland

Nov 16th, 2016No Comments

Watch Dogs 2 Hands-On Preview

Watch Dogs 2 Hands-On Preview: Function

Oct 26th, 2016No Comments

Top Articles

My Arcade Gamepad Classic Review Feb 21st, 2017 at 8:00

Rise & Shine Review: Bullet, Hell Feb 15th, 2017 at 12:00

Tower Defense Generals Review Feb 6th, 2017 at 12:00

FIFA 17 Review: The Journey Forward Feb 3rd, 2017 at 12:00

Toby: The Secret Mine Review: Outside of Limbo Jan 27th, 2017 at 10:30

Yakuza 0 Review: Sub-Prime Gangsters Jan 25th, 2017 at 10:00

Defense Zone 3 HD Review Jan 17th, 2017 at 10:00

Orconoid Review Jan 2nd, 2017 at 10:00

Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 5 – City of Light Review Dec 20th, 2016 at 11:00

Portal Router Review: The Future of WiFi Dec 16th, 2016 at 12:30

bestjett buyeww 2477265578 link

besttrew buyhfgh 2477265578 link

bestavbe buydfgss 2477265578 link

bestjett buyeww 235177371 link

besttrew buyhfgh 235177371 link

bestavbe buydfgss 235177371 link

bestjett buyeww 3908545938 link

besttrew buyhfgh 3908545938 link

bestavbe buydfgss 3908545938 link

bestjett buyeww 7572329487 link

besttrew buyhfgh 7572329487 link

bestavbe buydfgss 7572329487 link

bestjett buyeww 1811997655 link

besttrew buyhfgh 1811997655 link

bestavbe buydfgss 1811997655 link