Picture this scene. Its 13th of May, 2016, and after 12 years, the rightful sequel to Doom 2 has been released, in form of Doom (2016). However, in my opinion, despite being ”good”, it missed that something. Doom‘s weapons felt floaty, and didn’t pack a big enough of a punch, in order to give justice to the gore which was happening on the screen. And after all was said and done, it has quickly disappeared into obscurity, and has reached the discount bin, £25 price mark seeming within a couple of weeks of its launch.

After Doom (2016) has been violently pushed out of the limelight, which some know it as the NDP charts, many assumed that a true Doom, or in the very least a Doom like title may never see the light of day. But thankfully, such assumptions turned out to be false, as Flying Wild Hog’s, and Devolver’s Shadow Warrior 2, at least to me, is the sequel to Doom 2 for which we’ve all been waiting all these years.

From the very beginning, all the way until the very end, Shadow Warrior 2, is a violent, gory, and visceral thrill ride, but one that is paced so well, that it never feels boring, or exhausting to play. The title itself follows a rather contemporary structure, which is composed of main missions, and side-quests. And every single one of those provides the player with experience, skill points, skills, and a wide array of firearms, and other weapons. And oh boy, the said weapons are absolutely tremendous. From katanas, chainsaws, and claws, to demonic desert eagles, triple barrelled shotguns, slingshots, and gauss rifles, Shadow Warrior 2 has it all.

Shadow Warrior 2‘s weapons are not only varied, but also possess traits which make them extremely fun to use. Assault rifles, and SMG’s are smooth, and deal an adequate amount of damage over the size of their respective clips, whereas shotguns, such as the previously mentioned triple barrelled demon, pack a tremendous punch, which you can feel for yourself, as every single shot is devastating, and is adequately represented within the game.

The variety of weapons, is both satisfying and exciting, however, weapons are only a single part of the three part combat system, which has been implemented within Shadow Warrior 2. As in addition to the physical weapons, the player also has access to a wide array of skills and abilities, such as force push, invisibility, and impalement. And once one starts combining skills with physical weapons, Shadow Warrior 2 turns into a true work of art, which has been created with blood and guts. A work of art which can be interpreted in any way which one desire, as the third and final component of the combat system, which is the player movement, is what ultimately allows one to create his or her personal play style.

Shadow Warrior 2‘s player movement has no boundaries, and can be altered in any way which one desires. Throughout the eternity of the campaign, you can choose to be a long range sharpshooter, who uses the unlimited ability to dash, only to strafe while firing carefully placed gauss rifle shots. Or like me, you can turn into a homicidal, ninja maniac, who dashes around the entirety of the level, slashing enemies with a katana, which upon every kill further boosts player movement speed, allowing me to dodge nearly every single bullet and strike, while whipping out my shotgun, and dispatching enemies with a single blow.

Shadow Warrior 2‘s combat is truly a masterpiece, which never feels sloppy, or clunky, not even for a moment. And what makes it even better is the fact that every level, and even every single battle can be approached in a unique way, and you are never forced to respect your character, or to commit to a single play style. Your character can be customised on the fly, and one second you can be dashing through the air firing off rockets, and the next, you can jump onto a roof and spray your enemies with a mini-gun, while impaling them with your spike.

When discussing Shadow Warrior 2‘s combat, some could say that it is borderline perfect, due to the abovementioned reasons. However, nobody can say that the title itself is without any flaws. During my 16 hour playthrough, I have come across a handful of mechanical issues such as drop in framerate, or items spawning within a solid object, and becoming inaccessible. However, not a single glitch was as bad as the soft locking, which in my case, has resulted in a loss of two or more hours of progress, on two different locations. The soft-lock itself, always followed the same action, which was auto equipping a weapon straight from the ground. And for some peculiar reason, on both occasions, title’s reset resulted in a loss of significant amount of progress. And while such repercussion to a soft-lock is severe, it is more than likely to get patched, since it is a glitch which can be easily replicated.

To conclude it has to be stated that Shadow Warrior 2, is a truly incredible title, and in fact, it is my favourite singleplayer FPS of this generation, this is because it is overwhelmingly fun to play. Even the technical gremlins couldn’t ruin the experience which Shadow Warrior 2 has to offer to all who decide to pick it up. And yes – unlike other titles of the genre, the plot of Shadow Warrior 2, plays a second fiddle to the combat, and at times feels just like a throw away filler. But if the ”masterpiece”, which some define Doom (2016) as, could get away with a inconsequential story, then in my eyes, so can Shadow Warrior 2. As even if you take the story out of the equation, Shadow Warrior 2 is simply incredible, and should be experienced by everybody who just wants to have some satisfying fun, while playing games.

Last year we reviewed Shadow Warrior 2 on PC, you can read that very review here.