Review – Deathspank

Deathspank
Publisher: EA
Developer: Hothead Games
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: Out Now

Deathspank is a very unique game. Not only does it feature addictive action RPG elements, it delivers some of the funniest scripting you’ll experience. Deathspank has been in the works for over 2 years and that hard work really shines through. Did I mention it was made by people who had a helping hand in Monkey Island? Interested now? Ready to find out if its worth your money? Read on to find out …

As you can most likely guess, Deathspank follows a hero by the name of … Deathspank, as he does heroic things like any hero should. Deathspank has been on a life long goal to find “The Artifact”, an ancient ruin with unimaginable power. As Deathspank, you’ll be travelling across the land helping people in need of a hero as you track down the artifact. It’s your standard not-very-important RPG story but it’s the scripting that makes it worthwhile. Wouldn’t be the same without it really.

The gameplay featured in Deathspank is simply addicting. You have an extremely wide selection of weapons and items to hack and slash away with. Swords, Axes, Crossbows, Hammers, the list goes on. You can hold up to four weapons at a time, each assigned to the 4 main buttons. Items also work in the same way, assigned to the d-pad. As you defeat enemies and chain up attacks, you begin to fill your “Justice Meter” which allows you to perform an extremely powerful move, assuming you have the correct weapon equipped. The battle system includes a combo chain, which racks up to a x7 hit combo if you alternate between weapons. Using the same weapon twice in a row breaks the chain, making you start over again. A successful x7 chain will knock the foe back, doing extra damage. Extremely handy for the later sections of the game.

For a downloadable game, Deathspank has an astonishing amount of content. For only 1200MSP/£9.99 you’re getting roughly 15-20 hours of solid gameplay. I struggle to get that much out of most retail games nowadays. Your missions are split into two seperate catagories. The main story missions and side missions. Both amusingly titled “Important things I need to do” and “Unimportant things I need to do”. Side missions range from simple tasks as delivering packages to downright stupid requests such as killing Swamp Donkeys in order to build a golf course. Expect plenty of missions like that throughout the game. Heck, one of the main missions is shoving Orphans into a bag. If that’s not stupid then I don’t know what is.

Whilst i’ve not had the chance to try it, Deathspank features a local co-op mode. The second player takes control of Deathspank’s wizard friend. You can attack enemies and provide healing support to player 1 but that’s about it. I guess the option is there incase you have a friend round and need help. Online co-op gameplay was a missed oppertunity, this sort of game would have been a blast online. Regardless, its nice to see a decent single player game once in a while.

As I keep mentioning, the game is absolutely side-splittingly hilarious. The scripting, along with some fantastic voicing work, makes for the funniest experience of the year so far. It’s not just the fact it can be silly, some of the jokes used are really surprising. Such as the little running gag about poking holes in an orphan bag. The whole experience is one giant laugh, even the inventory item descriptions will have you chuckling away. We need to see more of this in RPG games. They’re too serious nowadays, we need something to make us laugh. If a game can make you laugh then it’s a game worth purchasing.

I really can’t praise Deathspank enough. I went in not knowing what to expect and came out very pleased. If you have to buy one game this year, make it Deathspank. Ok so I stole that line from the demo, what does it matter? Go and buy it already!

Final Score – 10/10

A flawless and entertaining experience that gives you your money’s worth. Fun, addicting and hilarious. A game that everyone needs to play. No questions asked.

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