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Review: DeathSpank

Posted by on July 28th, 2010 | 2 Comments | Tags: ,

Developer: Hothead Games
Publisher: EA
Release Date: July 12th 2010
Availability:
Price: $14.99 | £9.99 | €12.99 | HK$ 117.00
Demo: Yes
Players: 2 (Local Co-op)
Rating: Teen

What I liked:

  • “Pop-up book” graphics
  • Nerdy self aware sense of humor
  • Voice acting

What I disliked:

  • Animation can get sloppy, leading to lame deaths
  • Nothing really to do after you beat it

After reading about the reaction to the demo in our forums, I was slightly worried about how DeathSpank turned out. 
Then I installed the game and of course sat and played it for 3 hours straight. Yeah, you could say I enjoyed it. The game follows the titular hero on his adventure to recover an ancient artifact and thwart the arch villain Lord Von Prong. The game doesn’t take itself seriously, setting the tone for one helluva fun and funny outing.

The graphics are bright and unique. While it’s a 3d game, the game makes use of 2d set pieces to give it a “pop-up book” look to it.  For the most part, it worked. One of my few problems with it was that sometimes the camera would zoom out too far and it was difficult to see who was hitting me. Sometimes this happened a little too often… usually in the graveyard.

Gameplay starts out as essentially a button masher; reminding me of a simplified dynasty warriors. As you deal damage and block attacks you fill up your “justice meter” which gives you a super attack depending on which weapon you use to activate it. Oh yeah, Deathspank equips four weapons at a time, so this certainly mixes up the gameplay at times. Some offer physical damage, some AOE (Editors note: area of effect for you non-nerds), and others have elemental powers. As the game progresses, you’ll have to learn to block and choose your attacks more wisely than you had when you started.

Chris K had a worry about the item management system, but I found it easy enough to get used to, though things did get cluttered. It seems like you’re constantly upgrading to bigger and better weapons and armors, and besides clutter, it certainly helps to keep things fresh. Quests consist of the run of the mill fetch variety. Not terrible, but certainly not groundbreaking stuff.  There is also a simple local coop mode where your friend can play as Sparkles the wizard. Sparkles has a few uncustomizable spells and attacks, but while limited, it certainly adds to the enjoyment of the experience.

I trudged through Deathspank in under 10 hours, and though I ran into some frustration, I still found myself enjoying it (and sometimes laughing my ass off).

This game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.