Last week we saw the release of Shank 2, the sequel to their hardcore non-stop 2D side scrolling brawler. The Shank series was first introduced 2 years ago and it’s unique style of art and gruesome violence quickly grabbed the attention of the masses. The one big thing that pushed them away was the difficulty level of the game, with Shank 2 they take the formula and critique it to a more fine polished game compared to it’s predecessor.
Shank 2 is the story of the retired mob boss hit man and his return home that is on the brink of civil war. The Militia, ran by a tyrant known as Magnus, is taking over the drug cartel, even though their leader Magnus preaches promises of peace and to get rid of the cartels. These transactions against the people by Magnus has the country in an uproar. Upon arriving home he runs into some trouble with the Militia and next thing Shank knows, his village he grew up in is being burnt to the ground, and the woman who raised him as a child has been kidnapped. This leaves Shank one option in his eyes, get his trusty chainsaw ready for some good old revenge and rescue.
The gameplay in Shank 2 is extremely smooth and visually unique. You are able tear people apart, counter, and lunge into an enemy, chainsaw first. One way Klei Entertainment battles the plague of generic 2D side scrollers is with it’s unique level design and randomized characters. They also throw in seemingly out of place levels, for example you could be at the docks and the next level is in a jungle with Cannibals. Another fun thing that Klei introduced were short cut scenes in boss fights where you daze and get them into a grapple. Klei took their formula from the first Shank and improve on it.
The multiplayer mode for Shank 2 is an extremely fun mode that you can play local or online with another person. The name of the game is survivor mode where you fight of the waves of enemies as they increase in strength and number, while stopping them from planting bombs on the resistance cargo spread across the map. The massive variety of weapons grows depending on how far you get in survival mode. The more waves you complete the more weapons there are for purchase and some of them are just flat out cool like the boar, or Gatling gun.
The audio for this game is actually really catchy and is on par with that of the soundtracks used for Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill and Grindhouse) movies. The heavy flamingo music mixed in with heavy metal tracks, or Spanish songs leading into long guitar solo’s makes it a perfect blend between gameplay and visuals. Plus hearing a the sound fx of a chainsaw ripping through flesh is always ear candy to gamers.
The controls for the game are really smooth with seemingly no problems at all. Though you may have a hic up when it comes to the jumping and shooting mechanics, it just takes a little getting use to the way Shank deals with his gun play. Klei also added in a dodge feature that makes things a lot easier this time around than the previous game did.
Shank 2, although wrapped up in a cloth of awesomeness, felt very boring with the only things picking it up were random levels that had nothing to do with the progression of the story. With it’s smooth game play and combo system mixed in with the artistic grace it was sad for the game to be brought back a bit by a story that could have been a bit stronger to match the rest of the game. The plus side, Survivor mode, offers more than enough hours of replay that will keep you and whoever you play with at home, or online, killing wave after wave trying to becoming the best survivor out of your friends.
- Awesome Character Design
- Stabbing people in the face with a Chainsaw, Scythe, etc
- Very smooth controls
- Story feels a little weak when compared to the rest of the game
- Enemies feel to similar, unless in themed level (i.e the cannibal stage, amazon stage)
- Jumping can be annoying in the very beginning