Early Access tends to be a toss-up. Sometimes you get a product that is worth the price tag and is functionally playable. Other times, you get a dumpster fire that may as well not exist until launch – if launch ever happens. Project Warlock 2 easily falls into the former.
Project Warlock 2 is quite excellent in fact. It is visually stunning, it runs near-flawlessly, it has a fair amount of content, and it has some truly outstanding gunplay. In short, it’s an absolute blast to play. That being said, there are some things we’d love to see changed or tweaked before the full release.
5 Difficulty Balancing
Project Warlock 2 comes with two difficulty levels – Normal and Hard. This by itself is totally fine. It gives players the option to play the intended way, and it ramps up the challenge on a second or third playthrough. The thing is, the game doesn’t seem to be entirely balanced for either.
Normal is where most players will first spend time. You will face hundreds of enemies, and you will die plenty of times along the way, but it isn’t too hard. It’s a satisfying romp. The thing is, the levels don’t seem to be made for this enemy count. By this we mean there aren’t enough enemies – despite there being hundreds. Sometimes it just feels a bit empty.
On Hard, things ramp up in every way. Enemies deal more damage, they attack faster, and their projectiles move quicker. Not only that, but the enemy count increases drastically. This makes the levels feel full – it makes you feel constantly engaged. The kicker is, Hard is darn hard. The best experience would be an enemy count of Hard, but the difficulty of Normal. Probably.
4 Tweak Shotgunner Reaction Times
Of all the enemies in Project Warlock 2, the Shotgunner is by far the worst enemy to face. This harkens back to Doom and Duke Nukem, where the Shotgunners there would riddle you with bullets before you could blink. It’s nice to see the trend return. It’s not nice to play with it, however.
Shotgunners deal high damage, their attacks are almost impossible to dodge, they move that fast, and their reaction times are inhuman. It’s not uncommon for you to walk into a room and instantly get blasted by multiple shotgunners. This gets even worse on hard.
Finally, they are also surprisingly tanky and have the tightest spread you have ever seen. These guys can snipe you from across the map, and they can often survive a shotgun blast themselves. They can be a nightmare to deal with – and even one can mess your day up if you can’t find him quick enough.
3 More Weapon Upgrades
One of the coolest aspects of Project Warlock is the weapon upgrades. You can turn your already deadly weapons into super-powered variants that drastically change how you use them. We cannot gush over The Harvester enough – it’s just that much fun to use.
The thing is, there are only five weapons, and each weapon only has two upgrade paths. We’d love to see more upgrade paths or more upgrades per path. Expand the weapons even further. Maybe even allow for mixing and matching of upgrades.
More upgrades simply mean more replayability. It would give players a reason to back over and over again to try out different combinations. Heck, we’d be happy with an eight-barrelled shotgun. Four is great and all, but we are itching for more.
2 Spell Upgrades
Spells in Project Warlock 2 are vastly improved over Project Warlock. They are useful for one, and they are integral to the gameplay loop. Even using Akimbo is enough to get the creative juices flowing, but combining all three with the weapon arsenal? Heaven.
Unfortunately, there is no way to upgrade these spells. Weapons have such a good progression curve, it’s a shame to see Spells not having something similar. Being able to have Akimbo last a bit longer, or however granting infinite ammo whilst active? Increase the radius of Freeze? The possibilities are endless.
As it stands, they feel great to use, but they feel like a side bit instead of a full-blown feature like, say weapons. It would also give players interesting decision-making opportunities, as it would increase how many things they can upgrade with the limited number of upgrade stations.
1 Improved Level Pacing
Our biggest gripe with Project Warlock 2 is the size of the levels. It’s not even the size, it’s the pacing. Once the first level has ended, which is admittedly fantastic, the game takes a bit of a dip in level quality. The levels are too large, they aren’t signposted, and it’s quite easy to get lost.
Because of that, the game can start to feel like a bit of a drag. We know the game has hand-crafted levels, but Project Warlock 2 often feels like a game with procedurally generated levels. Each stage is so sprawling, and sometimes visually inconsistent.
It’s not a game-breaker of course – the game’s strength outshines this negative, but a focus on tight level design would improve the moment-to-moment gameplay. Whether they cut some sections out and focus on set pieces, or improve the signposting – it doesn’t matter. The game just needs a tweak here and there.
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