Project Warlock II is a shooter game. It’s the sequel to the first Project Warlock game that came out in 2018. Both games have the same goal: to recreate the atmosphere of older FPS titles such as Doom, Wolfenstein 3D, or Quake. Like its prequel, a Kickstarter campaign is funding Project Warlock II.
The game looks like an older game with its pixelated environments and enemies. The graphics look nice and mix 3D backgrounds with 2D sprites. The game can be gory, with some weapons so powerful that they blow enemies out.
As of now, there isn’t much of a storyline. This early access version only has one chapter, split into different levels called “missions.” The final game is supposed to feature three chapters, each set in distinct worlds with different protagonists.
Every level has a similar progression system. Most of the gameplay revolves around players killing waves of enemies. But they also have to collect keys to open doors and advance in the map. At the end of every level, there’s always a boss fight. Each boss has a particular pattern. The fights aren’t very complex, especially after understanding when to dodge their attacks. Still, they are harder to beat than regular enemies.
The levels are huge and feel distinct from one another, thanks to varied environments and diverse map layouts. In every level, secret items can be discovered adding another small challenge for players looking to fully complete Project Warlock II.
The gameplay is fast, nervous, and fluid. This fluidity mostly comes from how quick changing from one weapon to another is. The movement, such as jumping or running across the map, is very energetic. The game is a good way to let off steam, thanks to its aggressive nature. The gameplay is easy to understand but can be hard to master, especially at the highest difficulty level. As of now, two difficulty levels are available.
During each level, a combo score is calculated after multiple enemies are killed in a row. This is a way to encourage players to kill enemies quickly. At the end of every level, a recap with statistics is shown. These statistics include the number of enemies killed, how much damage the player took, how long it took the player to finish the level, and other similar numbers. This recap increases the replayability because it creates an incentive to play the level again and have better stats at the end.
Many weapons are available in the game. Some of them can be found in the levels themselves, and others can be exchanged in shops that are spread throughout the maps. Almost all of the weapons are firearms. In this early build, I found the few hand weapons to be quite useless compared to the guns. I didn’t use them a lot, especially since there was enough ammo for me to never run out of it.
On top of the weapons, the game has abilities that can be unlocked as players progress through the levels. There are three abilities: the first is the ability to have two weapons on hand instead of one, the second is being able to freeze enemies, and the last is the ability to throw fire. The abilities are time-limited and can only be used for a few seconds. After use, there’s always a cooldown of about one minute. Thankfully, this cooldown can be decreased by using a special cooldown reduction item, sometimes found after killing enemies. These abilities are mostly useful against big waves of enemies and bosses.
There are different types of enemies, from skeletons and spiders to demons and giant robots throwing rockets. The enemies have various designs, but they also feel different by the way they behave. They don’t all attack the same way some have short range attacks while others have long range attacks. They also don’t have the same speed with some being faster than others. With each level, new enemies are always introduced. During the fighting phases, which constitute most of the game, there are a lot of enemies on screen. Unfortunately, when there are many enemies, and they are close to the camera, it often looks like pixelated chaos, making it hard to distinguish things.
The music is what one would expect in this type of game. It’s up-beat and nervous heavy metal. It goes well with the gameplay. An effort was made to make a soundtrack that fits every single level’s atmosphere. The enemies make distinct sounds, and the main character has some voice lines. These are all in low quality on purpose once again to bring back the feeling of classic shooters.
Recommended: Project Warlock II is a polished and fun-to-play homage to classic FPS titles.