VIDEO GAMES -- In 2013, Flying Wild Hog (FWH) rebooted the classic first-person shooter Shadow Warrior; combining guns, swords, and a demon apocalypse. On May. 19, after months of wondering when the console version of the sequel would be released (PC version of Shadow Warrior 2 came out on Oct. 13, 2016) Lo Wang was back. But this game falls flat as one of the worst of the year.
The game has so many issues, it would probably be easier just to start with what’s good about it. If you enjoy hack and slash video games with a first-person shooter twist then you’ll like this game. In fact, the mayhem of demon killing with tons of fancy swords, guns, and magic is really the only reason to keep playing the game (although spending the non-refundable launch day price of $40 makes a compelling reason too). The game starts off in almost exactly the same way as the first with Lo Wang driving down the road blaring classic rock music. If you played the first Shadow Warrior and noticed that they basically just tweaked the script for the intro, then you’re in for a few hours of exactly the same game that you played before. FWH shows from the beginning just how weak their game is, and it doesn’t get any better from there. The rest of the story plays out like a cheesy telenovela mixed with ninjas and monsters; you have to save a girl who becomes “corrupted” and in order to save her, a magician has to place her soul in you. Yes, in order to replicate the demon that was inside Wang during the first game they put a spoiled little girl inside your head to banter back and forth. The game doesn’t get any better and you’ll be disappointed by the end, not because it’s over but because you spent the time, money, and effort into playing Shadow Warrior 2. One massive problem the game has that the developers don’t seem to be trying to correct is an issue with scaling to fit the screen. Before you even get to the main menu on most games today, you have to set the borders for where you want everything on screen to be contained. This normally allows you to fit everything into your screen perfectly. On Shadow Warrior 2, FWH decided to forego letting each user set the border and hoped for the best. We tried contacting FWH for comment but they were unavailable, and it makes sense considering the monumental mess they released. This is not only frustrating for playing the game, but trying to access menus and reading on screen information is almost impossible as everything is off the screen to the point where its illegible. This wouldn’t be an issue if you could correct this under the options menu, but FWH decided to leave that out as well, and users who experience this are stuck playing the game the way it is. The final problem that some might find problematic is the controller setup. Normally first-person shooters stick to a basic scheme and mix it up depending on skills and items that are available in each game. Shadow Warrior throws some strange commands in there, and a hard to access when you need it dash button that makes fighting absolutely maddening. Unless you have an Elite Controller which allows for complete button mapping and paddles on the back, you’ll feel the same about the dash sooner or later in the middle of a big fight.
The problems of this game are just too many to count, we’d be here all day explaining to you exactly why this game isn’t good, but the technical issues that plague this game are the beginning and the end of the road. If they come out with a fix for the screen issues soon they might be able to salvage this game, but they have to do it very quickly. They launched this game for consoles very quietly (you couldn’t see it on the Xbox or PlayStation stores until the day it came out) and the problems it has must be why. If you don’t mind the issues, and you just want to play as the Wang one more time then you’ll probably like Shadow Warrior 2. But this latest FWH release is definitely not worth the time of people who enjoy a good quality video game. For the next few days this game is on sale cutting the price almost in half. But paying $40 for a game that’s going to cost double in a week is still $40 more than it’s ever going to be worth.
Sean Heeger is a journalist, photographer, and editor-in-chief of the Torch Online Media. Visit his personal Twitter account at www.twitter.com/fa1coneri.