Dallas, TX, wasn’t the place you’d want to be if you were wanting to hang outside. Sure the Hilton Anatole had a water park to enjoy, but the real fun was inside; hiding behind air conditioned walls that barely kept the exhibit hall of QuakeCon 2016 below a rough 83 degrees. Among the crowds, fans were going hands-on with titles such as The Elder Scrolls: Legends, DOOM VR, Fallout 4 VR, Dusk, Strafe, Dropzone (Want a beta key? Stay tuned), and even the upcoming Shadow Warrior 2.
In this new demo, Lo Wang, our protagonist of choice – goes swirling into a storm of viscera at QuakeCon 2016. His prowess with a sword is unmatched as he sends Oni and ancient spirits back to where they came from. In 2016, Devolver Digital published one of the biggest sleeper hits of 2014 under the title Shadow Warrior. For those unfamiliar with the title, Shadow Warrior was a 1997 release title that was originally developed by 3D Realms (Duke Nukem, Bombshell), which told the story of protagonist Lo Wang. Our heroe of choice isn’t shy about his job as a “gun for hire” by Zilla Industries.
In his first part of the story, he took on a demonic invasion, wiping every entity he had to out to continue on, and in doing so he took out the demonic Zilla, whom had been possessed by the swords he wielded. Left for dead by those whom he knew, Lo Wang went on a hellbent path to make everyone involved, and he did so with all the Wang puns he could make in the process. Expanding upon the title it derived from, the 1997 Duke Nukem style shooter grew up quickly thanks to Flying Wild Hog; it grew in areas of vulgar and often quirky one-liners while pushing forth with its rather unique take on precision-based sword action.
Picking up roughly five years later, Shadow Warrior 2 picks up right where one would expect it to do so. Due to the happenings within Shadow Warrior this rather beautiful sequel picks up where humans have somehow come to coexist with the savage and deadly demons. This was shown off quite a bit at QuakeCon 2016 in a massive way. It wasn’t just shown off at the Devolver Digital booth. It was also making appearances at the Alienware truck/booth as well as Nvidia’s booth where it was being demonstrated on a rather nice Samsung Curve T.V. on the exhibitor floor.
It was there I was finding myself at home playing the game for several hours over the course of three days. The demo features a few new changes to the game. The environments and even the enemies within the game play a rather large role into Lo Wang’s life. Here he has a new spiritual partner to replace the new laid-to-rest Hoji. She doesn’t just assist Lo Wang in his adventure, but she is a part of him that shares his body, grants him magical powers – she also is tasked with keeping our penis punning jokester on the right track. In the demo, I found myself exploring an area that could have been taken straight from a garden from the Orient. Here I found an area sprawling with demons, some of which minded their own business – wait, no they didn’t, they were hacked to pieces – Lo Wang loved every second of it too.
The area was alive with a rather out-of-place winter themed area, one that was themed around the game’s inter-dimensional tearing. Doing so helped drive the games theme even further drive the current state of the world around Lo Wang as well as humanity. One of the largest changes is the game has managed to garnish some RPG elements such as conversations, quests, and even returning to the quest giver in order to proceed further within the games rich story and environment.
One of the largest changes our protagonist saw is the fact he can now heal without having his sword out, but he’s also gotten a much larger array of melee weapons to wield. Weapons varied from swords to a chainsaw that allowed me to dismember each of my enemies in a fashion that fit however I pleased. While the new mechanics were a big portion of the game, one of the biggest is the truly overhauled graphics engine.
Let alone did the game get a more diverse casting of weapons, it also got a loving touch with an all new graphical appeal, which puts it right up there with titles like DOOM (2016) as well as Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. While there is plenty to be said about the games overhaul graphically, it leaves only a inkling of what the full game will entail when it launches this year on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
About the Writer:
Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter, Google+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.