Friday, October 29, 2010

Shank Demo Review

"Short and sweet" sums up the Shank demo up on Steam.

Shank is a grisly 2d platforming game, from independent game developer Klei Entertainment.  The Shank demo just recently came, so I gave it a shot.

It's impressive.  2d platformer games have gotten rarer and rarer this millennium, but titles like this and Braid might be indicating a comeback.  I hope so, I've missed these types of games.  Here's what I can say about the short (roughly 15 minute) demo.

Gameplay:  Great action sequences with lightweight platforming.  This isn't a deep, strategic title.  Shank is about reaction time and killing bad guys with guns and chainsaws.

Graphics:  Bright, beautiful levels and stylized characters.  The action sequences look like they were ripped from Samurai Jack or Cowboy Beebop.  The design motto here might have been "let them play a cartoon."

Controls:  The game defaults to an intuitive keyboard control scheme, and you don't need a mouse for anything.  Shank also recommends you use a control pad.  So do I.

Sound:  Good.

Story:  It looks like the player's character used to be a pro wrestler.  Another pro wrestler kidnapped his girlfriend, and probably raped her.  It's a revenge story, told through the games Adult Swim worthy cut scenes.

Audience:  Recommended for mature audiences.  There's cartoon gore and "adult subject matter."

Score: 4/5

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