More Reviews
REVIEWS Dokuro (PC) Review
Dokuro makes the jump from handheld to PC, but does it help or hinder this unusual platformer?

About Love, Hate, and the other Review
Simple feelings. Complex puzzles.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Evolve Preview
With multiplayer action set as its focus, Evolve surprised us earlier this month by introducing a single-player campaign mode where you can switch between mercenaries.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Kalimba
Release date: Out Now

Persona 5
Release date: 12/31/14

Motorcycle Club
Release date: 01/01/15

Saints Row: Gat out of Hell
Release date: 01/20/15


LATEST FEATURES Downloadable Content Walks the Line Between Fun and Frenzied in Middle-earth
I don’t even care all that much for the Lords of the Rings brand, which makes the content falling under Shadow of Mordor’s Season Pass a pleasant surprise.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters for Gamers
If this awful trend is going to persist, you may as well do it your way.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Black Friday 2014 Video Game Deals Buyer's Guide
Looking to score the most bang for your buck the day after Thanksgiving? Well look no further! Our Black Friday guide is just the tool you need.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP ryanbates
Gamer Love
By ryanbates
Posted on 12/19/14
When a player one meets his or her player two, it's a beautiful thing. Check out this cake my friend and GameRevolution reader Lindsey L. gave her sweetums on their two-year anniversary!   ...

DeathSpank Review

Duke_Ferris By:
Duke_Ferris
07/13/10
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Action RPG 
PLAYERS 1- 2 
PUBLISHER Electronic Arts 
DEVELOPER Hothead Games 
RELEASE DATE  
T Contains Blood, Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Themes

What do these ratings mean?

Who names their child DeathSpank?


When I told my wife I was reviewing a game called DeathSpank, she looked mildly alarmed. Frankly, I had no idea what I was going to play, because all I knew was the title myself. Visions of killing and S&M, outside of that hidden folder on my hard drive, suggested themselves. However, what I did not expect was to be so vastly entertained by this hilarious Action RPG.

click to enlargeDeathSpank is in fact the name of our hero, as he makes obvious by clearly announcing “I am DeathSpank!” to nearly everyone he meets. Equal parts MediEvil, Monkey Island, and The Tick, DeathSpank is a game with a hero who dispensens Justice on his epic quest to retrieve The Artifact. In his way is a variety of nasties to slay, some sent by his arch-enemy Lord Von Prong, who wishes to slay DeathSpank and take his purple thong.

All of this Justicing is achieved though a surprisingly robust loot-based RPG – don't let the cartoony look fool you. There is a huge variety of armor and weapons, from swords to crossbows, to a gun that shoots chickens at your foes. In a Diablo-like system, they all have names and stats, and if you check the box for “equip best armor” it all stays quite easy to manage, with you only having to choose your weapons.

Using those weapons is a simple matter: Just hit something until it stops moving, collect your loot, and onward!, to the next quest or side-quest. Most missions are pretty straightforward, “deliver this” or “slay 20 of this other thing”. Some, however, are a bit more inventive and have multiple solutions, often using some inventory puzzles a la Monkey Island – Ron Gilbert, the creator, showing his roots.

click to enlargeThe land of... I'm not sure, it has a name, but the main town is called Pluckmuckel, which is a brightly colored, silly place. The game's cartoony graphics fit perfectly with the humorous vein in which it was written.

And that's really the great part of DeathSpank: It's genuinely funny. One mission has you literally knocking the poop out of some demons with a special Poop Hammer. Another has you placating a bratty orphan who, after rescue, just won't get into your Orphan Bag. A talking tree will send you on a quest for a Black Light, a trippy poster with the words “Keep On Truckin”, and the album Live at Budokan. When the taco lady informs you she's working to pay off her student loans, DeathSpank's Tick-like response is “Egads! They're lending out students now?”. I half expected him to shout “Spooooooon!”.

click to enlargeThere are tons of optional dialog choices, and you'll want to hear them all. I've played plenty of full-priced games that didn't have this much (or such talented) voice work.

But wait, there's more! At any point, a friend can join in the fun locally by playing as DeathSpank's partner, the mighty wizard Sparkles. Sparkles helps out by shooting and burning things, and also healing DeathSpank.

Plus, there's even more than that, because DeathSpank isn't some weenie little diversion; it's a full-blown, long RPG with a huge overland map. Which at 1200 MS Points (or $15) is more bang for your buck than just about any other title out there. I find it very easy to recommend - a clear bargain and a great blow for gamer justice!


A- Revolution report card
  • Surprisingly deep RPG
  • Genuinely funny
  • Vivid colors
  • Great voice acting
  • A gaming bargain
  • Justice!

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about DeathSpank
Also known as: DeathSpank, Death Spank