The retro first-person shooter boom continues, and with titles like Project Warlock 2, it’s easy to see why.
Currently in early access, Project Warlock 2 builds on its predecessor, offering up three protagonists for you to play as, each with their own chapter. Though only one is currently available, hence the early access. Jump in right now and you get to take control of Palmer, a warrior who balances firearms with magic. And you’ll need to make effective use of both to overcome the hoards of enemies you find yourself up against and survive this first portion of levels.
Inspired by the like of DOOM, Project Warlock 2 drops players into a 3D world occupied by vicious sprite enemies. There’s a varied range of them, too; everything from shotgun-toting skeletons to giant pig-featured demons. It’s the levels that are the real highlight here though, being large and labyrinthine in nature.
You’ll need a keen sense of direction as you hunt down the keys and buttons required to progress. And every once in a while you’ll come across a more open area where you can stretch your legs, often as you face off against an increased number of enemies.
The action here is fast and frenetic, with your character moving at a decent pace. When it comes to sticking it to your enemies, you can swing a large claymore at them when up close and personal, but your stamina dictates liberal use. And on the firearm front, there’s a shotgun, rifle, and even a canon. Even better, all of these weapons can be upgraded, allowing you to make them even more powerful and tweak them to your preferences.
It’s the special magic abilities that make Project Warlock 2 stand out, though. One spell allows you create a magical clone of the weapon you’re currently using, for example, enabling you to dual wield for a short while, while another allows you to freeze all enemies around you. Their use is limited by cooldowns, but by killing enemies while they’re active you can create pickups that will reduce them. Needless to say, you’re coerced to play aggressively.
As Project Warlock 2 moves through early access, the two additional playable characters will be made available along with their respective chapters. The first chapter will be tweaked and improved, too, taking into account player feedback. There’s already hours of fun to be had, then, and it’s only going to get better an more expansive. The only real issue we’ve had with Project Warlock 2 is that while it has controller support, using some menus can be fiddly and there’s no button mapped to reload for some reason.
With the price of Project Warlock 2 set to increase as it gets more content-rich, those with a love for retro-inspired first-person shooters might want to jump in while it’s available at a reduced price. The core of the game is already quite impressive, and providing the next two characters and chapters are as entertaining as the first, this could turn out to be one of the most action-packed examples of the genre yet.