The Shadow Warrior reboot was one of the most pleasant surprises I’ve had since I started writing about games. It’s a superb action game that does first-person melee combat well, has gorgeous environments, and managed not to feel like a throwback to the skeevier parts of the Build Engine days while capturing so much that I loved about the era. I can’t wait for the sequel [official site], and these twelve minutes of blood, bickering and burning demons make it all the more attractive.
One thing that developers Flying Wild Hog showed a clear understanding of was the importance of movement – their first stab at Shadow Warrior had a conventional level-based structure with occasional corridors and gardens, but it was at its best when it used the environment as an arena, pumping in more and more demons and beasties, and having the player dart about the place, slicing and shooting. The sequel adds new ways to navigate, allowing Lo Wang to ping-pong around the arenas and explore levels more thoroughly.
It’s also incredibly bloody. Limbs will fly.
There’s no release date yet but it should be out this year. If you’d told me a new Shadow Warrior game would be one of my most anticipated in the year 2016 – ahead of a new Doom game by quite some distance – I’d have scoffed. Scoffed. That’s the world we live in though and I think I like it.