Project Warlock II – Preview
Follow Genre: Shooter, Action
Developer: Buckshot Software
Publisher: Retrovibe
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC

Project Warlock II – Preview

Good: Improved itself on many levels
Bad: Still has a few Early Access bugs
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

While we did not review Project Warlock on this site, some of us played the game in our own time. It’s probably one of the best retro shooters out there which is why we played it for hours on end. Some of us might even have *cough boast incoming cough* unlocked all achievements for that game. This is why, when we got a chance to preview Project Warlock II, we were very excited to check it out. 

Project Warlock as a series breathes professionalism. The games took a simple DOOM-styled concept and made them into something interesting and original. The level design, the unique graphics, and the overall depth of the gameplay with upgradeable weapons make it so much more. That the developers work hard and don’t simply repeat what has already been done is also made clear with Project Warlock II. Compared to the first game, they clearly tried to step up their game even more and give you something that feels like more than “part 2”.

While there is an indication you can play with multiple characters (who will have different strengths), at the beginning we started with Palmer, a young warlock. Palmer’s castle is under attack, his master warlock went missing, and we need to escape by blasting our way through a whole bunch of monsters. Immediately we notice that Project Warlock II feels more intense and harder to beat. The first levels are larger and are filled with different, non-linear paths to take, secrets to uncover, and most of all, hundreds of enemies to defeat. The difficulty upgrade feels very natural for some reason and adds a fun challenge, even though the first game already provided a tough challenge.

Aside from the ingenuity seen by such a rework compared to the first game, it still very much feels like a Project Warlock game. The visuals changed in a way that they are now looking insanely crisp and polished. The original had some good visuals with pixel art in a 3D environment, but we feel Project Warlock II doubled the effort to give everything better shading and make it pixel perfect. Here we see the passion from the developers and artists too. They found an almost perfect balance between 2D and 3D, sometimes making us unsure which model is what. While we encountered some expected Early Access bugs such as the first boss being stuck and unwilling to attack us, it was mostly smooth sailing. We also didn’t get troubled by long loading times or anything along these lines. If anything, the game runs very fast.

The doubled effort to make the best game is also noticeable in the sound design. While we miss the heavier music from the first game that’s been replaced by more moody synth music, every bit of sound is high quality and therefore highly enjoyable. For most enemies, the voice acting is limited to their respective grunts, but there is one foe that has a few voiced lines. This is a fun combination, and this blends very well into the gameplay. The way that the voice acting is handled, reminded us very much of classics such as Halo.

At its core, Project Warlock II is an adventurous shooter with a level design that is not too linear. The levels are rather long, and the gameplay is very solid. Like in any shooter with an old-school approach, you will find new weapons on your way to the end of the game. The Project Warlock series then allows you to upgrade these weapons with multiple options, though where the first game required you to level up or get XP in order to upgrade, the second game simply uses upgrading stations scattered throughout the levels, much like we have seen in games such as Bioshock. That such core mechanics have been changed (for the better) really tells us the developers have been carefully looking into the best options to redesign Project Warlock for the best, and it shows. During our preview, we were having fun, got surprised a few times, were curious to see what came next and we felt that the creators clearly made all the right choices.

Conclusion

Project Warlock II will be a gem, no doubt about it. The creators used what was good about the first game and turned a diamond in the rough into a brilliantly shining gem thanks to a lot of polish, effort, and patience. While there is still quite a bit of work to do, we really look forward to the release of the full game. If you love a good old-school shooter, keep your eyes on this one and don’t look back.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Project Warlock II - Preview, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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