Summary: Shank 2 continues the tale of a man named Shank by providing more killing, more death, and more over-the-top gore that was a staple of the original title. At its core, however, is a side-scrolling brawler reminiscent of old arcade classics in which addictive gameplay is seasoned liberally with brutal difficulty to keep kids feeding quarters into the machines. This is no longer the age of arcades, yet punishing challenge remains a main ingredient in this type of game.
Excerpt: Shank returns in another chainsaw wielding gore fest that fixes some minor annoyances of the original game with smoother gameplay and a smarter control layout. But, Shank 2 still has a few wrinkles to iron out with inconsistent difficulty spikes that quickly turn the fun into frustration. The meat of the game lies in the campaign mode where Shank can dispatch literally hundreds of enemies with a variety of weapons.
Pros: Improved control layout, Fast-paced, gory action, Art style
Cons: Difficulty spikes, Slice, dice and repeat, Nonexistent story
Conclusion: With the additions and improvements, you can actually enjoy slicing up a few of the enemies for a while and attempt to enjoy the story line. The user controls are a lot smoother and allow you to pick up a weapon or melee with separate buttons. Shank’s movements seem more fluid and you can quickly find yourself getting trophies or achievements for combos. I enjoyed the gameplay rather than the actual story.
Excerpt: Shank 2 can be described as “A sequel… with characters that… are in the game.” It can also be said that, “ Shank 2 will… remind your… mom why she despises… video games.” More memorably, critics have hailed Shank 2 as “… developed…” and scorned it for “… blood…” It must be frustrating to read dialogue so out of context, to know that whole chunks of content have been intentionally omitted, and to find “blood” the most descriptive element of an aged, repetitious entity.
Pros: Gut-spilling, swift combat, Beautifully brutal comic art
Excerpt: was oodles of over-the-top challenging fun. It had a few mechanical issues that could result in countless maddening deaths, but it remained a decent accomplishment. The sequel sees developer Klei Entertainment making a few appreciated changes and upgrades, while mysteriously ditching the co-op feature that made the original title more entertaining. Overall, though, it’s a slash ‘n bash blast.
Excerpt: Klei Entertainment takes another crack at the side-scrolling brawler with the sequel to 2010’s Shank. Rather than going back to the drawing board and reinventing the experience, Shank 2 addresses nearly all of the original game’s flaws. The end result is a more polished experience as a whole, even with its few lingering shortcomings. If you’re not familiar with the original Shank, then it might take a moment to see past the shock value.
Summary: The original Shank was released during mid-2010, much to the delight of 2D side-scrolling, brawler fans that longed for a game similar to Streets of Rage . While the first title in the series was limited by local co-op as well as a handful of gameplay balance and control issues, the entertainment value of the game was extremely high and the visuals were uniquely stunning for a downloadable title.
Conclusion: As if saying, "Once more, with feeling" the team at Klei improved or addressed every one of Shank's deficiencies and belted out a classic in the 2D brawler space. Shank 2 isn't so much a sequel as it is a replacement for its slower, sloppier predecessor, and that seems to suit its style just fine.