Also available on Xbox One and Windows
Shadow Warrior 2 is the sequel to the 2013 Shadow Warrior which was a reboot of a 1997 game. I played the first Shadow Warrior reboot a few years ago, but when I saw that Special Reserve Games was doing a physical print of Shadow Warrior 2 (with the original Shadow Run included, too), I had to jump on that. Needless to say, I was not disappointed in the slightest once I finally got around to playing the game.
The basic plot of Shadow Warrior 2 without spoiling much is that you're an extremely skilled (and extremely crude) mercenary/assassin who has someone else's soul stuck in your body with you and who has to prevent an immortal goddess from opening the gates to some void and destroying the world. It takes a lot of Chinese mythology as its inspiration and strings the most gloriously ridiculous story and dialogue out of it.
At the end of the day, Shadow Warrior 2 is a first person shooter, but it's not a first person shooter like most others. The best way I can think of to describe it is Red Steel 2's gameplay with Duke Nukem's humor and Doom 2016's feel. You're using a triple barrel shotgun to blast demons in the face then finish them off with a sword all while making dick jokes. It definitely doesn't take itself seriously but still has rock solid gameplay and pretty dang good controls, and the dialogue and humor are absolutely the best parts of the game. Granted, you have to have a fairly immature sense of humor, but given that my sense of humor never developed past middle school, I loved every second of the game. There's some pretty decent character development over the course of the game as well, but that's honestly the weakest aspect of the writing.
The game's visuals, while not AAA level, are very good. The guns especially have had a lot of care and detail put into their models, and the enemy designs look great. While it's not exactly precise based on where you attack each time, enemies will have chunks blown or cut out of them if, say, you've shot them with a shotgun or cut them with a sword. You'll occasionally have ninja using one arm to attack you because you've cut off the other arm. When you blast an enemy point blank with a shotgun (especially if it's a triple barrel shotgun that fires all three barrels at once), their bodies explode in a cloud of red mist and viscera. Extremely reminiscent of Doom and exceptionally satisfying.
Shadow Warrior 2 isn't going to appeal to everyone. It's MUCH more goofy than serious, and it's almost as over-the-top with crude humor as Shadows of the Damned, but if you're into sex jokes and ridiculous weapons, it's a FANTASTIC game. There are side missions to complete and a ton of weapons to collect and try, so it's not lacking in content. I had an absolute ball with it, and whether you picked up the Special Reserve Games release or have it digitally, it is definitely worth a playthrough.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.