The House of Samurai Dropouts – Shadow Warrior 2 Review

The behavior of well-known gaming lineups increasingly resembles a beloved grandmother who is futilely trying to master Instagram. Growing older, they fear that they will fall out of time, become unnecessary, and become objects of ridicule for young and beautiful series with revolutionary ideas. They are so afraid that they start mindlessly clinging to any manifestation of fashion, just to always be in the know everywhere.

It so happened that her latest and unbearably long squeak – freedom of action, is, frankly, not universal. It cannot be attached as easily as health regeneration, and if executed poorly, it plunges into melancholy comparable to watching new seasons of “The Big Bang Theory”.

Unleashing the power of the katana in Shadow Warrior 2

Nevertheless, former linear production experts are eagerly venturing into open worlds, acquiring upgrades and enhancements, even if they don’t always know what to do with them. Metal Gear Solid V, recent Mirror’s Edge, even more recent third Mafia – Everyone, to some extent, suffered because of this and now they are lying in neighboring beds to recover. Bold Lo Wang joins them with the same symptoms, who unsuccessfully jumped above his head, making a couple of somersaults in the process.

Shadow Warrior 2 wants to be everything in the world. It now has a non-linear structure, self-building decorations, side quests have appeared, loot drops no less frequently than in those “torchlights” of yours, and there’s this and that… In short, it has everything except for the reason why Shadow Warrior was originally revived.

Confronting a formidable boss

Procedural level generation is not too extravagant and cannot radically change the environment, making it almost impossible to notice any catch. Maybe once a tree will grow through a bridge or something. Otherwise, it is purely handcrafted. Whether it’s eastern landscapes with sunbeams playing in the branches of cherry blossoms, or a fantastic metropolis whose entire budget is spent on neon lighting, the decorations are enchanting and intriguing.

However, when you take a closer look at the locations from an explorer’s perspective rather than a contemplator’s, problems arise. It is expected, but disappointing: there is not the same meticulousness in the design of corridor levels. From a general perspective, yes, there is grandeur, beauty, and awe. In reality, though, a large part of the generated space is completely sterile and does not carry any functional load. Except for the occasional gathering of additional cannon fodder in remote corners, where you can test out a new katana.

Exploring the game's detailed photo mode

The sudden presence of a detailed photo mode comes in handy in some places.

All that concerns direct slicing and ringing “tra-ta-ta” seems to have been improved. The animation has become smoother, the enemy dismemberment system more detailed, and character control has come closer. to the last “Duma” In terms of pleasure. From the very beginning, we are taught how to make leaps, double jumps, climb ledges, and fall from any height, landing in a cool pose – parkour is still far away, but all the skills combine well and allow you to jump around arenas as you please. After these specific adjustments, the original seems clumsy and restricted in movement.

To be cool and deadly, you no longer need to type out multi-story solos on the keyboard. The ritual of performing special moves has been shortened, and magical acrobatics have been assigned separate buttons, which, on the one hand, is good. On the other hand, without any “right-right-strike” in the heat of battle, the game has become slightly more bland – there was some old-school charm in this strange twist.

However, everything would be fine if some talented people hadn’t decided to cross Shadow Warrior 2 with an RPG. Not like in the first part – there were only sprinkles of role-playing elements. It seems that the sequel has been given a lethal injection.

Dominating with the shotgun in Shadow Warrior 2

Well, tell me, how is it possible to give opponents health bars, levels, and elemental “resists” in a meat shooter? Shouldn’t they have to make an effort to kill us, rather than the other way around, right? Of course, not every creature used to fall apart at the first touch, but a bloody slaughter still prevailed in the overall picture. And now, having experienced the delights of a foreign genre, the game has simply drowned in absurd dances around mobs and the extraction of big and boring numbers from them.

By the way, they abolished the assessment of the player’s combat style after each clash. It’s understandable: the dominant part of the gameplay now is stupid pounding on the life bar, and no one is interested in the means by which you accomplish it.

As a result, fighting can be entertaining at times, but you still avoid unnecessary conflicts very soon after the start. They have become too soulless: not only do enemies spawn completely randomly, but they also level up synchronously with the hero – so there is no point in farming experience.

For the same reason, side quests are not enticing either. When you want to gallop through the main tasks and back, the prospect of going to clear out a whole extra location doesn’t seem particularly appealing. Especially since they might give some reward for it. Oh.

Joining forces with a trusty sidekick

Wolfenstein? There will be many more such moments in Shadow Warrior 2. Every new weapon or upgrade is an opportunity to feel like a real demon slayer. But don’t forget that the amount of loot can be a curse. You will have to spend a lot of time sorting and choosing the best equipment. But trust me, it’s worth it. Wolfenstein: The New Order Ah, the wonderful moment of acquiring a new deadly toy, a moment of happiness and astonishment caused by its insane design…

Well, it’s not here. The entire arsenal consists of impersonal barrels and blades, the effects of which you come up with and activate yourself. At first, digging through the “gems” and creating your dream weapon is somewhat interesting, but the realization of the dullness and replaceability of every specimen comes faster than one would like.

Fighting mobs in Shadow Warrior 2

Moreover, such fuss takes an insanely, extremely long time. Both the predecessor and DOOM organized upgrade systems so that the player wouldn’t have to linger on static screens for more than a few seconds: slapped on a tattoo, gave the robot an iron face – and back into battle. Shadow Warrior 2, on the other hand, is more about “wait, we need to figure out what dropped” than about slaughtering demons.

And ignoring inventory matters is not an option. Without additions of 0.004% to attack speed and a string of talismans, the action game completely descends into torture, especially at higher difficulty levels. Bullets, despite making juicy holes, seem to stop dealing damage, spells don’t help, katanas dull – all according to the teachings of some Hellgate: London.

So you have to sit there, calculating the potential effectiveness of each gun with each relic, comparing DPS, rate of fire, and other things that the game least needs with an emphasis on dynamism. Try not to lose your rhythm when you have things like this in your pockets:

Unlocking powerful upgrades in the game

By the overall feeling, the game has strayed infinitely far from the original palette and has become more like Borderlands or, let’s say, Dead Island. Not that these are bad associations – it’s just that you don’t expect either of them in this case. It should be a classic mindless shooter, not an exhibition of game design trends, vulgar and inappropriate. You see, there are reasons why no one thinks of adding base building to Hexen, Turok doesn’t acquire tactical pauses, and Duke Nukem doesn’t flirt with survival elements. Although the last one sounds interesting, let’s admit it.

Flying Wild Hog seemed to be afraid that the formula of the previous game had become outdated and lost its relevance over the years, so they stuffed it with as many different mechanics as possible as a counterbalance to its age. But classics, like the infamous grandma with “Instagram,” become less loved over time, so their efforts turned out to be in vain and only spoiled everything that was already good.

Although cooperative play can be considered a successful innovation. The storyline here is even more senseless than before, and there are far fewer cutscenes, so there are no problems when playing with friends. The main thing is to have fun and catch silly jokes from Lo and the gang.

* * *

Shadow Warrior worked thanks to its straightforwardness and simplicity, and the sequel confirmed that. Giant levels, inventory management, and an elaborate role-playing system simply do not fit with the values of the series, there’s nothing to be done about it.

Shadow Warrior 2
PC, PS4, Xbox One
Action, RPG, Co-op
Devolver Digital
Flying Wild Hog
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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