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Shank 2 Review (XBLA)

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Review by : Tom Shirey

Do you remember the old 2D side scrollers for the original Nintendo consoles and the PlayStation? If you do you’re going to be excited. Shank 2 reminds me of some of the old 2D games I used to play all the time, but on steroids. The graphics are good and the gameplay is pretty smooth. The campaign is intriguing and hilarious at moments. The game is very interactive allowing you to drink booze, climb walls, leap across gears that would crush you, and many other things. One thing that kept me interested was the different ways you could kill people from leaping onto enemies and slitting their throats, to throwing grenades and blowing their limbs off. If you like swearing and gore this is the perfect game for you. Also if you have a friend that likes Shank, you can team up with them in survival. Survival is a multiplayer game mode that makes players think strategically and protect their crates.

Shank 2 is an action adventure 2D side scrolling beat’em up. What makes Shank 2 different from most of the games in its genre, is that it has a rather interactive environment and adds humor to it. This game combines 2D graphics and action together perfectly. The story of Shank 2 takes place after the first one. The story felt quite bland to be honest. I didn’t quite understand why there was militia attacking Shank and where most of the boss’ fit in.

Shank 2’s gameplay is pretty cool at moments but can get very repetitive. It gets repetitive after you have killed your enemies in every way possible and when the same enemies are recycled. The game keeps you on your toes though. By putting enemies against you that can only be killed quickly by using the environment to your advantage it can be quite fun at moments. You can also select your load-out from the different weapons you get after beating a level in the campaign. There are three different types of weapons in your load-out. The load-out consists of melee, thrown/shot, and explosives. Each weapon adds a percentage of damage to different enemies which makes it somewhat of a strategy game also. For example the sledgehammer does 50% more damage to shielded enemies so that could definitely be of use. Like I said before the game is very interactive. From picking up tequila, to pulling a switch to crush your enemies with a car. I found the game quite amusing with all the possible ways to kill people.

The graphics of Shank 2 are pretty good. From the explosions and fire to the limbs and blood, it definitely adds a good visual experience. Every kill and explosion that I made looked very smooth and felt like I had control over it. The sounds are pretty good and can add for some great humor. For example the player can stand above a couple of enemies and listen to their conversations which can bring a laugh to you. The voice acting is good but it does have some pretty cheesy one liners, but its Shank what else could you want?

I felt that this was a pretty fun game but it did not live up to my expectations. The story was pretty hard to understand and sometimes it felt like I was just doing the same thing over and over to get nowhere. I became bored after about an hour of playing it due to having so much repetitive gameplay. Tequila was pretty hard to come by which is your health and this made it pretty difficult but I like difficult games so it was in my favor. The graphics were pretty good, the voice acting was fair, and the sounds of the explosions and enemies were pretty smooth. There is only so much that this game really offers to keep me intrigued.
Story: 5

Gameplay: 7.5

Graphics: 8

Sound: 8.5

Score 7.25


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