The Baconing is funny romp that finds you looking forward to the punchlines, not the gameplay.
Hothead promised us this time around would be different. They even left the titular hero out of the title. It has to be different this time around right? Right?! I’ve had fun with the previous two titles in this series, but didn’t originally want to play this one. Then DeathSpank made a CSI Miami reference and I was committed.
The Baconing begins with the evil Anti-Spank arising as the result of DeathSpank wearing all of the Thongs of Virtue at once. Your quest is to deposit each of them in the sacred Bacon Fires scattered across the map to weaken the Anti-Spank and finally strike him down. Throughout the 8 or so hour play through DeathSpank encounters NPCs from the previous games, all shoehorned into the story in bizarre ways. They’re nice little touches of continuity bringing up old quests.
The Baconing is largely linear, a trudge from one area to the next ending with throwing away one of the Thongs of Virtue. There is almost zero backtracking, unless it is for a second and third trip to the arena. Some of the locales you’ll visit include the retirement community of the gods, an ancient computer, and a nuclear family themed fun park. Hothead promised changes this time around. What they delivered was more of the same. Same character models, same annoying inventory system, same food system, same graphics. Combat is also largely unchanged. Guns are gone from the previous game, but crossbows are back with the ability to charge now. DeathSpank still gets a new set of armor each level or so. They are just as hilarious as ever with my favorite being the ones made entirely out of goggles.
One thing they did change up for the Baconing is a lesser focus on puzzles. This was a step back, leaving the player with more of the same old and fewer moments of satisfaction. The quests you undertake are just like the last two times too. Go kill this, return to quest giver. Go deliver this, return to quest giver. Some of them are darker than what I remember though, with DeathSpank ignorantly poisoning tribal water supplies with mind controlling barnacle spores, evicting retired gods from their retirement palaces on Valhalla, and deflowering a princess’ garden.
I was hoping this title was going to be an evolution in the DeathSpank series, but alas, all I got was more of the same. You can still find all of the trademark humor and excellent voice acting, and that is where the value in this title is. The Baconing is funny romp that finds you looking forward to the punchlines, not the gameplay. After watching what Hothead promised about the “evolution” of their IP, its obvious they meant “if it ain’t (too) broke, don’t fix it.”
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
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Release Date:August 2011