We’ve had hands-on time with Shadow Warrior 2 at a number of events. Each previous demo has taken place in a lush forest with cherry blossoms in bloom, perfectly juxtaposed with piles of demon giblets created with the game’s precision cutting system.
This time out, we had the chance to visit the second of three different environments. The cyber city is a glossy, pristine metropolis of the future. Just like all of the game’s mission areas, the city is procedurally generated.
The reason for showing us the new setting was to give us a chance to play around with new weapons. Each of the three areas features guns and swords themed for that area. So far, we’ve only seen the countryside versions: embossed in gold and decorated with dragons.
The cyber city weapons have a decidedly futuristic flare. They aren’t just reskinned versions; each of the weapon classes functions differently in cyber form, with altered damage profiles.
For instance, the city version of the katana is a dual-wielded version that fires a slicing beam with every swing. These swords do significantly less damage than the default, garden version but the beam penetrates enemies, making them great in a crowd.
For those that want a melee weapon with a bit more meat, there’s a Warhammer 40K-style chainsword that replaces the chainsaw. Not only does this look and sound cool, but because it’s a sword, you can use all of the melee special moves, like charging and a spin attack.
We also got to play with the gem system, which allows you to customize weapon special attributes. Upon encountering a fire enemy, we dumped two ice gems into a shotgun. This had the expected effect of tearing through the hulking, inflamed beast.
Enemies feature Diablo III-style descriptions, so you can tell at a glance what abilities they have. Some are immune to magic powers, others have elemental affinities, and so on. Shadow Warrior 2 continues to deviate severely from the 2013 reboot, but it still retains the humor and fantastic combat.
You won’t have long to wait for Lo Wang to handle things in bloody style. Shadow Warrior 2 will be out in September for PC on Steam and GOG. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are coming next year.