Review: Shank

Publisher: EA
Developer: Klei Entertainment
Genre: Side Scrolling Beat Em Up
Release Date: Out Now

Amongst the legion of amusingly named games comes Shank (Oh my I see what I did there), a game with a visual flair that will definitely catch your eye. We’re being treated to some nice beat em up games this year aren’t we? Scott Pilgrim, now Shank, and Splatterhouse sometime in Q4 2010. Ready to see if you should put your money down for Shank, or even bother with the 2gb demo size? Hit the jump to find out!

Albeit very vague, Shank actually has a story! Our titular hero has had a bit of a dramatic past. His girlfriend was stolen from him and murdered as he was left to die. Feeling very much alive, Shank is out to seek revenge on the people who took his life away. Apparently there’s a back story too but unfortunately i’m lonely enough not to have a friend to go through it with. Maybe online would have worked guys?

The visual style is pretty much what you’ll be paying for. Shank boasts some lovely graphics, with a gritty cartoon style and fluid cutscenes. If it weren’t for the cinematic setting to it, you wouldn’t know that it’s a cutscene. The graphics stay very close throughout the game. The game offers a nice variety of different locations to beat your way through. With the likes of western style bars, a butcher factory and a classic runaway train scenario. Looks very, very nice.

Gameplay modes? Not much to offer sadly. There’s the main campaign and then there’s the co-op campaign which, as I mentioned, is offline only. So unless you have a friend nearby who would love to sit through the game with you, you’re out of luck on learning the back story to Shank. Online co-op was a missed opportunity and it seems to be frequent lately. I’m looking at you Mr.Pilgrim!

Shank isn’t a game for everyone. It’s very unforgiving to those who aren’t familiar with beat em ups and still a challenge for veterans. Normal difficulty will face you with some cheap deaths and you’ll constantly find yourself ganged up by enemies and taking quite a beating. It doesn’t stop there though. If you’re feeling suicidal, there’s hard mode. Believe me, hard mode does exactly what it says on the tin. If you die, you go all the way back to the start of the level, Ghost n Goblins style. The game is hard enough but this packs a punch. Sadly, I got a bit through on hard mode then the game decided to crash on the loading screen. Quite upsetting really, considering how annoying it was to get through even one level.

So, should you buy Shank? The answer is … no. If you have £10/1200 MSP to waste then sure go ahead but I would wait for a price drop first. It just isn’t worth that much money. The main campaign will only take you a little over 3 hours to finish and there certainly isn’t much to make you go back and play it again. Some form of collectables might have added a nice bit of flavour.

Final Score – 7/10

A fun beat em up with some lovely visuals. Some minor flaws and lack of online play makes the price tag feel a bit too much.


One Response to “Review: Shank”

  1. I just stumbleupon your blog and i must say what a fantastic website and great posts, I will bookmark your blog.Best Regards! Mark

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