Shank 2 Review: Welcome Back To The Grindhouse

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Now Playing (Video Game Reviews)
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Pros:
Still just as fun as the original game
Survival mode will have you addicted

Cons:
Game can be difficult at times with multiple enemies

Back at PAX 2009, I was amazed by Klei Entertainment’s action game Shank. The game based upon a tale of revenge played out like a Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse style action flick and it was awesome. Nothing said brutality better than sticking a grenade down an enemy’s throat and watching him blow up. Of course there was the chainsaw, but then again almost every game has a character wielding one. With the original game being as good as it is, I wondered if Klei can top it with a sequel. Well they did, and he result is brutally satisfying.

Shank 2 features the badass Shank who once again goes on a pissed off rampage against a variety of enemies big and small, male and female alike. Nobody is safe. Not even the bartender. Not even the…animals? Like the original game, the storyline is displayed in various cutscenes that feels like your watching a cartoon except this is more for us “mature” people. Kids, make sure you get your parents permission before dishing out gory violence.

As for the gameplay, everyone won’t have much of a problem getting right into the action because not much has changed. Shank’s attacks are based off of both melee and guns along with some grenades, chainsaws, and the familiar pouncing maneuver with slow-mo for that extra coolness before the bloodletting. You can also take a weapon from a dead enemy and use it. Sweet! Shank also loves to combo up his attacks so make sure you chain up those combos. Utilizing both gun and melee attacks together lead to some cool animations. Some of them look a little familiar to some guy named Dante in the Devil May Cry series. That is a compliment might I add because i don’t know anyone who doesn’t love stylish grindhouse action. Other than killing, Shank also does some platforming as he climbs and descends walls, swings on skulls, crashes through windows, and even runs sideways over gaps.

Co-op play is also back, but don’t expect much of it in the main campaign like the original game. Ok, so it was only one level at the time Let’s not go off the deep end on that one. Co-op play is mostly reserved for the game’s multiplayer. The mode is Survival and your mission is to stay alive as long as possible. This is pretty self explanatory. Survival mode is pretty cool either alone or with a friend as your doing all the same things as you do in the campaign. The good part is that Survival is quite addictive as you try to stay alive longer and longer. Plan to spend plenty of time here.

If there is anything negative that I need to bring up with Shank 2 it would have to do with he difficulty. I would have to compare Shank 2 to a roller coaster. There are times where the game is quite easy to run through. Then comes the pain in the ass parts where you’ll take on hordes of enemies big and small which can really crowd the screen. Be prepared for moments of absolute frustration screaming out a few four letter words and maybe throw a controller or two around the room. I don’t care how much of an expert you might be. Shank 2 at times will really test your patience so  my advice to you would be to just take the occasional bumps and continue to trudge through the campaign, because the game is fun.

There’s not much I can say about Shank 2 that hasn’t already been displayed from the first game. Klei is going with the approach of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” which is fine with me. With everyone else…well that might be a different story. Either way, Shank 2 is the type of game where there is fun at every corner filled with plenty of grindhouse style gory fun. This is a game that’s worth the download so give it a shot.

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