Deathspank has been available few days now on Xbox Live and PSN and thus Endless Bag of Games has many hours already spent on the game. This satirical action RPG from the creator of Monkey Island and gives you quite a unique gaming experience with few laughs. Here is why:
Hero is always willing to do the bidding for the others. Our hero: Deathspank, is one those heroes. Deathspank’s goal is to find “The Artifact”, only known as “The Artifact” but finding it requires him to help others along the way. So there is plenty of stereotypical RPG tasks available from killing nasty monsters (like chickens) to leveling up and gaining better equipment to wreak more havoc.
First things to notice is DeathSpank’s unique visuals. The world and characters are three dimensional but the actual scenery is not. In addition, DeathSpank uses a lot of pastel colors so you will be seeing some wacky scenery with wacky monsters. The results are vibrant and whimsical. Personally, I liked what I saw.
Deathspank is not only hacking and slashing unicorns, but instead you might be surprised when you learn that the dialogue takes a big part of the spotlight. With this, I mean that there is some good humor in the game, just what to expect if you have played Monkey Island series. The dialogue menu works similarly to Monkey Island as you see a list of conversation options to choose from. I cannot deny the fact, that some of the dialogues are really hilarious.
In Monkey Island games, there are some tough puzzles to solve, but here the puzzle-centric quests are somewhat absent (allthough there are some) and side missions more or less fetching ingredients or items by slaying some monsters. In fact, even in the menu, these missions are named “Unimportant Things I Need to Do”. The main quests follow the same pattern so there isn’t so much of a depth that you might be looking for if you compare it to the Monkey Island games. The game however is not, and is not indented to be a comparison to Monkey Island, but instead it is a satirical roleplaying-hack’n'slash experience which does its job well.
Now to the actual hack ‘n slashing part. I usually get bored if I’m forced to use the same weapons for a long time or the combat system is too simple. In DeathSpank, the combat system is easy enough by different weapons assigned to the controller’s face buttons. This means that you can equip like four different swords at the time or a combination of crossbows, hammers and swords etc. Whatever suits you best and leaves the minions dead. As you brutally make your way through the levels, the Justice Meter fills up and you can unleash a more powerful special attack to wreak more havoc. With enough customization options and combinations there is pretty much to do and the battle stays interesting through the game. One more thing: There are quite massive repertoire of loot in form of weapons, armor and items to choose from and each of them have their specialties (and funny names). In fact, getting new weapons and armors becomes quite a thrill because of this.
All this can be shared with a friend and you can have your friend to join your game locally at any time as Sparkles the Wizard. Sparkles has few rechargeable spells to choose from (like healing, self-cloning and fire). However, you cannot deny the fact that Sparkles is a sidekick, in the co-op mode both characters share the same health bar and Sparkles actually isn’t customizable like Deathspank is so that might not appeal to everyone. There is no online possibility to play with a friend, but I wonder who would even bother to play online as a sidekick… *shrug. Two customizable heroes would have been too awesome, but we’ll have to cope with this for now.
All in all, if you enjoy some good loot, good humor and hacking things to a pulp, you might want to try DeathSpank. The game has its pros and cons, but it does offer you fun time adventuring and exploring with few bursts of laughter. Check out the trailer below.