Shadow Warrior 2 (XB1) Review

Ken McKown

Return of the Wang.

It feels like forever, but Shadow Warrior 2 is finally hitting consoles. The arcade-style loot shooter has arrived on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and it’s mostly intact. Console players finally get a chance to see what all the fuss is about. Also Wang.

Those familiar with the franchise will no doubt be happy to see that Lo Wang has returned. With his trusty katana and arsenal of bad jokes, Wang once again returns to slice and dice his enemies into snack-sized bits. While some things remain the same, the second game also adds randomized levels and plenty of loot to collect. It is a mash-up of styles that work surprisingly well together.

MSRP: $39.99
Platforms: XB1 (reviewed), PS4, PC
Price I’d Pay: $39.99

Now I am not going to dive too deep into the core parts of the game. Readers can check out our PC review for the details, instead I am going to focus this review entirely on how the game holds up on consoles.

First off, this is still one of the best-looking FPS games out there. The environments are simply gorgeous. From foliage rustling in the wind to soaked city streets, everything looks amazing. The console versions carry over most of that with only a few low-resolution textures cropping up from time to time. There are also a host of graphical options available including field of view, motion blur, and more.

Next up is the frame rate, and this becomes the biggest change. Shadow Warrior 2 ran at a rock solid 60fps on PCs. On console the game caps out at 30fps. This is a massive change and quite honestly makes it feel like a different game at times. It is worth noting that both machines hit that 30fps mark with few issues though. The game is smooth and if players never experienced it on PC, it feels perfectly fine.

The final sore spot is the complete lack of PS4 Pro support. While base Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are perfectly fine, the lack of any support for PS4 Pro is disheartening. The PC version included one of the best implementations of HDR so far, and none of the versions here support it. Also there are zero resolution or frame rate bumps on Sony’s more powerful hardware. This is an odd choice coming from a developer known for their technical prowess. We can hope a patch is on the horizon.

Even with these issues Shadow Warrior 2 is still incredibly fun and endlessly entertaining. Add in the fact that it supports 4-player co-op online and it is a no-brainer. The console versions turned out well, just not as good as they should have been. For those without massive gaming PCs though it is not really an issue. This is a technically sound port of an incredibly great game. Don’t miss it.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Game play is still super smooth
  • Humor hits
  • Playing co-op is a blast

Bad

  • FPS downgrade
  • No HDR support
8

Great

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.
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