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Shadow Warrior 2 hands-on: Lo Wang gets even more wild with fast, furious 4-way action

Hayden Dingman | June 17, 2016
More Wang, more weapons, more d*ck jokes, more fun.

After two minutes of Shadow Warrior 2, I was growing restless. “There aren’t nearly enough Wang jokes in this demo,” I said with a laugh. “Oh just wait,” my Flying Wild Hog handler replied.

And that’s when I came upon my objective, the Demonic Rod—a wood and metal figurine in the shape of...well, I’m sure you can guess.

Shadow Warrior 2 is shaping up nicely.

Hanging with Wang

If you didn’t play Shadow Warrior 2’s predecessor, you missed out. Flying Wild Hog’s reimagining of the 1990s classic perfected the whole “over-the-top reboot” thing way before Doom’s recent reboot did. Big guns, bigger bosses—except Shadow Warrior took itself a hell of a lot less seriously.

It’s a game I remember fondly, despite some pacing issues. After finishing Doom I even went back to Shadow Warrior because I felt like I needed to keep the adrenaline pumping.

So suffice it to say I was looking forward to a sequel, to more of boneheaded protagonist Lo Wang and his demon-wrecking arsenal. And maybe even, if we’re lucky, an encore of Wang’s beautiful singing voice.

The last bit didn’t come true (yet), but the rest of Shadow Warrior is looking like it’ll give Doom some stiff competition for best shooter of 2016. I played a single mission, for which I have literally zero context because the developer looking over my shoulder said something along the lines of “This conversation is like, three minutes long. Skip it.”

Shadow Warrior 2

Straight to the guns, then. I unleashed Wang on a placid city street. Wang and his cohorts actually, as the game features the industry’s latest obsession: Four-player co-op.

It’s not my preferred way to play, but credit to Shadow Warrior 2 for a pretty clever method of implementation. Every party member plays as Lo Wang in their own game, but shows up as a generic henchman in the others. Everyone gets the Wang jokes.

So we stormed the city streets, and thanks to the magic of “Game Demos” we were playing as a fully-armed and dangerous Wang. A machine gun that shot ice, a chainsaw that carved demons apart, and of course Wang’s trusty sword, along with about a dozen other weapons—each fully customizable.

It was a ton of firepower. Way more than necessary, in fact, especially when combined with Wang’s various powers and abilities. The best? The ability to summon spikes out of the ground and impale enemies. Then, while they’re stuck, you slice into them with the chainsaw. This is some good ol’ fashioned demon murder.

Shadow Warrior 2


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