Never having played the original Shank game
before, I didn't know what to expect when I downloaded this game via the PSN
and from the screenshots, the game looked rather interesting. It was
like a comic book come to life... but with excessive violence! Developed
by Klei Entertainment, Shank 2 is a stylised arcade game that requires
you to play as Shank, an ex-hitman type character who has waged war against the
criminal underworld in this side scrolling 2D fighter/brawler.
Unlike the standard 2D
side scroller, Shank is probably the most violent of protagonists ever
who seems to enjoy killing his foes. Unlike stabbing them with knife or
just shooting them, Shank will perform an elaborate attack and even a
finishing move to dispatch them. It's gloriously bloody and messy.
Add in a variety of weapons from throwing knifes to meat clever to guns
to chainsaws and whatever Shank picks up, he uses as a weapon... this
also includes humans.
Shank 2 is also an arcade
game that can be quite unforgiving to the player at times, especially in
terms of combat. Fortunately there are a few health bonuses lying around
in the gaming environment that when sculled by your character, it
replenishes their health. Add in a few puzzles to help liven up the
combat and you have everything you need to keep your entertained for
hours upon hours.
Combat is where the fun
is found in Shank 2 and there a variety of sickening melee weapons to
choose from to engage your enemies with. As you move through the
environments fighting enemies and dodging, you also have the option of
performing some truly impressive combos with some almost spraying the
entire screen with blood. It's also great that the game warns you when
an enemy is about to do a move on you as you can sometimes counter these
Although the weapons
were fun, one of the most eye wrenching part of the game was performing
leaps on your enemies and then smashing their skulls into the ground
which was quite violent and sickening at the same time. If it wasn't for
the cartoon violence, this game would be SICK!
The game even supports a multiplayer mode
which is similar to a hoard mode that requires you to team up with
another person in order to stop being overrun by the enemies. I would
have preferred a co-op mode as hoard is very repetitive. Even so, it's
fun slicing and dicing your enemies up with a friend, especially when
you start throwing enemies at each other. All in all, Shank 2 is a fun
game but can become rather repetitive when you read the mid stage of
this game. Even so, it's quite original and works on most levels as a
retro arcade game.
Graphically, Shank 2
looks brilliant on the PS3. The animation techniques and art style
creates this modern retro feel with an emphasis on exaggeration. It's
almost like a cartoon gone wild but bare in mind that this game is quite
violent. To compliment this style
of graphics, Shank 2 has a pumping soundtrack and some very very
disturbing sound effects. With every stab or use of the chainsaw, it's
eerily real and definitely borders on sickening.
In the end, Shank 2 is a fun yet ultimately forgettable game which uses
its over the top violence and retro presentation to create something
different yet not that original either. Don't get me, Shank 2 is fun but
unfortunately it does become a little repetitive and fortunately the
developers spice up the gameplay with the various enemies and the very
cool boss battles which require you to use the environment like dropping
cars or pushing them into deadly spikes.
On higher difficulties the game is
almost impossible and this is only for those hardcore gamers. It works
as a single-player game but fails on the multiplayer front. If you're
looking for a retro fix of a side scrolling fighter than Shank will give
some entertaining moments, especially for those that are craving
something a little bloodthirsty.