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NEWS

Shadow Warrior 2 review

12/1/16
There’s this thing some people have called a penis, and Shadow Warrior 2 wants to make sure you know it. There are so many dick jokes that the supporting characters ask, 'What's up with the dick jokes?' But without pause, Shadow Warrior 2 takes every opportunity to elevate aimless, crass humor above its acrobatic first person shooting, wildly diverse weapons, hilarious precision gore system, RPG-lite loot hooks, procedurally generated levels, and open ended four-player co-op capable campaign. It's a shame really, because systemically, Shadow Warrior 2 is one of the most joyful and expressive FPS games of the year. But thematically, I wish I could kick it in the teeth.
Bad words

In a rare moment of silence from Wang, the chatty protagonist, I swing a chainsaw skyward and grind a cybernetic ninja into two long vertical pieces. The halves fly upward from the chainsaw’s momentum, so I swing horizontally, quartering the poor cyborg. For fun, I whip out an automatic shotgun (called the Boner) and shoot the pieces out of the air like meat pigeons. My head swings back and I cackle. This physical comedy, the procedural gore that slices and explodes enemies exactly where they’re hit, is Shadow Warrior 2’s best joke. Shotguns leave gaping holes in enemies, katanas can disarm gun-wielding demons (literally), and nail guns do exactly what they’re designed to. It’s grotesque slapstick shooter comedy better than it’s ever been, undermined by an irritating desire to be clever and edgy.