Friday, February 17, 2012

Shank 2 - Demo Impressions

Shank 2 BoxshotShank 2 is the sequel to the 2D arcade action beat-'em-up Shank. Shank is the main protagonist who is a former mob hitman who also carries a Rambo-like persona. Shank 2 was developed by Klei Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts for download on PC, PSN and Xbox 360. Shank 2 released February 8, 2012. For this particular Videogames4Gamerz article i played the demo of Shank 2 on my Xbox 360.

The title screen featured many menu options including Campaign Mode, Achievements, Medals, Rebel Intel, Leaderboards, Player Stats, Help & Options, Unlock Game, Quit Game. The Medals section shows in-game medals you can earn like Zombie Killer. Rebel Intel are collectible profiles of people, places and events. Achievements section shows what achievements are in-game and how to attain them. The controls via the Xbox 360 gamepad: LS & D-pad-move/aim, LB-grenades, LT-pounce, RS-roll, X-shanks, A-jump, B-guns, Y-heavy attack, RB-pick-up/drop, RT-grab. The controls are good except jumping. Jumping just felt weird and awkward. Climbing, pouncing, shooting and throwing grenades all felt good.

I started up Campaign Mode where you had to get Shank outfitted with gear before playing. You can select Heavy Weapons for Shank like the machete or his famous chainsaw. Ranged Weapons include throwing knives or pistols (not in demo). Munitions include grenades and molotovs. Most of the weapons are graded on speed, damage and stun. Some weapons are graded on other aspects such as tactics and splash. After you pick Shank's weapons of destruction you have a option to switch his look. I left it default and a nice looking cutscene featuring Shank on a bus in what looks like South America.
Shank 2
It doesn't take long before a group of Militia enter the bus and piss Shank off. Next thing you know Shank cuts off a Militia guy's arm and gameplay immediately ensues. Before i knew it i was kicking some serious ass with Shank in a beautiful 2D jungle setting. I was pouncing Militia troops, throwing grenades and slicing them with my machete. Much of the level featured minor platforming and a area with a big meat grinder where you can throw enemies into. Militia enemies ranged from normal grunts to big fat guys and the final bossfight with Razor which was pretty entertaining. I collected a "Primo" Bio which was 1 of 24 collectible intel in Shank 2.

The gameplay was decent but what really stood out to me regarding Shank 2 was the visuals and animations. Let me just say they are top-notch stuff for a arcade 2D game. The visual and art pops out of the screen. Shank and his animations were really impressive. The jungle setting look visually stunning. Every Militia member featured nice texture work and detail. The comicbook style cutscenes which tells Shank 2's story also popped out of the screen. The sound design and music while not as good as the graphics was decent.

Shank 2 was a good demo. Its not a groundbreaking 2D brawler by any means. However its sure is a sight for sore eyes. Thanks for reading.
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