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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>
But which Shadow Warrior do I mean? Despite my love of the magnificent Build Engine, not the 1997 original which never worked its way into my heart in the way that Blood did. Gotta have some Blood in your heart. But, no, I’m talking about the distant year of 2013, when Hard Reset developers Flying Wild Hog released a game that surprised me by being one of my favourites of the year.
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.
The games that fly under publisher Devolver Digital‘s banner are often funny, sometimes silly, and always quirky. Frantic shooter Not A Hero revels in its messy, hedonistic chaos; Dropsy tells the tale of sad, social misfitting clown; and The Talos Principle is a wonderful game about philosophy and mind-boggling puzzles, to name but a few. The Humble Devolver Bundle has them all and more and is live right now.
When I think of gaming in the mid 90s, I think of a unique kind of grunginess. It s like my mind s got its finger on the Shift key with its left hand, and the Up arrow with its right, gliding swiftly through the sordid corridors of crematoriums, porn cinemas, hillbilly backwaters and dojos. But despite their muted tones of muddy browns and tombstone greys, these spaces were anything but dreary, brimming with richly-animated sprites, the promise of gory violence around every corner, and a tongue-in-cheek energy that felt clandestine, fresh, and fiendishly fun.
When I think of gaming in the mid 90s, I think of Build Engine games.
It's getting harder and harder to think of new ways to incorporate the word "Wang" into the opening paragraph of news stories about Shadow Warrior 2 trailers—in this case, a full 15 minutes of footage. I guess I could ask if you want to stick some Wang in your eyes and ears? No, that'd be weird. Stare fixated at more Wang? Hmm, possibly. Drool insatiably at the prospect of getting your hands on Wang? Yeah, that'll do.
Shadow Warrior 2 is out next year, so that's how long you'll have to wait before your grubby mitts are back on that Wang.
Four-player co-op and missions into procedurally-generated lands are the two biggest shiny new things Shadow Warrior 2 [official site] will bring, publishers Devolver Digital announced this afternoon following a teasingly short teaser campaign.
Lo Wang will return in 2016 as a mercenary murdering folks and swiping loot while trying not to be murdered by demons. This time he’ll have friends to help with that. Also guns, a sword, and magic powers, same as ever. Come have a look in the first trailer.
Less than a day after Shadow Warrior 2's teaser announcement, a full trailer has arrived.
I can honestly say that it surprised me. At no point was I asked if I wanted some more Wang, which seemed like the obvious joke to make. I was, however, asked the less sequel-specific question, "Who wants some Wang?" So let's not go praising its restraint just yet.
Shadow Warrior, of course, was not a game known for its restraint. Judging from this CGI depiction of a demon samurai slicing a car in two, the sequel will be similarly over-the-top.
As hinted in the trailer, Shadow Warrior 2 will feature four-player co-op. It also promises "daring missions" across procedurally-generated environments, plus "new weapons, armor, and arcane relics of legend."
You'll be able to see the first Shadow Warrior 2 game footage at E3, on June 15 at 8.30pm BST, through Twitch.tv/twitch.
Shadow Warrior 2: Wang Harder. 2 Wang 2 Warrior. Shadow Warrior: The Secret of the Wang. Shadow Warrior And The Last Wang/Raiders of the Lost Wang/Kingdom of the Crystal Wang/Wang of Doom. Judgement Wang. Shadow Warrior VII: The Wang Awakens. Shadow Warrior: The Wang of Ultron.
Evidence points toward an official Shadow Warrior 2 [official site] announcement in the near future (and, hey, isn’t E3 in the near future?). I have collected the evidence in a small pile, along with some lint and pistachio shells.