Developer: Klei Entertainment Inc.
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360] Arcade, Playstation Network, PC
Genre: 2D Brawler, Action, Platformer.
Price: 800 Microsoft Points
Rated: M for Mature
Shank 2 is a 2D brawler developed by Klei Entertainment Inc. and published by EA. Shank 2 brings new weapons, better
animation and better use of the environment to bring death to your enemies. Showing it has improved beyond its predecessor. As the player you take control of Shank who goes to an unnamed South American country to find the women who cared for him as a child. Things do not go well for Shank becausee when he shows up the country is in revolt.
When the game starts you get to control Shank. The controls are easy enough to get the hang of, but some depth is hidden behind them. You have a strong attack, weak attack and a ranged attack all which are mapped to their own button and over the course of the game you can choose different weapons for both your strong and ranged attack. You may feel the urge to button mash your way through
Shank 2, but that will lead to you dying a lot. In order to survive you must time your attacks with the dodge in order to get the best of your enemies.
Throughout the game I found myself dying a lot and this was due somewhat to me spamming but it was also due to the cheap attacks some of the bosses and later enemies get on you. Later into the game you will lose yourself in the amount of enemies they throw at you and if you are lucky you may get out alive. Some of the later bosses will spam attacks and throw regular enemies at you to make life hard. This made me extremely frustrated with the controls at times especially when what I wanted to do didn’t happen. This didn’t happen all the time but sometimes it would and others it wouldn’t even though I did the same exact thing.
You will fight your way throughout eight levels most of which come out around the 30 minute mark and end with a boss that you will likely die a couple times from. Besides the story mode there is a co-op survival mode, which can also be played solo. In this mode there are three levels where you fight off waves of enemies and stop them from destroying your weapons cache. Around every six or so levels there will be a boss fight similar to the ones in the single player game mode. If all of your caches get destroyed or
you die it is game over.
The animation is slightly better than the first Shank. The animation and art style is great; it has the look and feel of a graphic novel or comic book. They had only five voice actors, none of which I recognized, and this was fine as there is not much spoken dialogue throughout the game and when there is it does the trick.
Overall Shank 2 is a pretty good experience for those who like 2D brawlers. There are not many new games available on PSN, PC
and XBLA for only 10$. There is plenty of replay ability if you want to get high scores or complete all the challenges. Shank 2 is without a doubt worth the price of admission. If you aren’t one for going back and getting high scores I would suggest maybe waiting for a sale before picking up this title.
Embedded below is a play through of the first level.
Overall Rating: 3/5