Summary: The Baconing is the third DeathSpank game. I was tempted to end the review with that sentence, as it really contains all the information many would need to make an informed decision about it. It can be either a wholehearted recommendation or a vitriolic condemnation of the game, depending on who's listening. For those unfamiliar with the series, however, perhaps a deeper analysis is worthwhile. In that case...
Summary: The Baconing is a wonderful example of the old adage about squeezing blood from a stone. In roughly a year, Hothead Games has put out three Deathspank titles, all with the same engine, visuals and enemies. They all offer the same fetch quests and standard button mashing hack and slash bits. The only difference is that by now, the joke that was Deathspank has become worn out and dull. Is it really worth $14.99 to play what amounts to the same game for the third time?
Conclusion: If the game’s brand of humor were not present, chances are I would have shut it off after the first few hours. The writing and comedy are the game’s strongest suit and it delights in playfully skewering popular culture, making references to or poking fun at such things like Twitter, Doctor Who, and Back to the Future. There’s even a sequence lifted directly from The Curse of Monkey Island in which our hero must engage in rhyming, insult-based combat.
Excerpt: Bacon. Video games. Who doesn’t love both? Combine the two and you get the mostly entertaining and always funny action-RPG The Baconing . In the third installment of the DeathSpank series, players find out that instead of destroying all five thongs collected from the previous game, the hero, DeathSpank, has decided to wear all five, accidentally creating AntiSpank. It becomes your task to destroy all five thongs in The Bacon Fire to defeat your newly created nemesis.
Conclusion: The Baconing exposes DeathSpank's diminishing returns. It remains a solid, well built game, but Hothead Games doesn't seem to notice (or care) that they've essentially made the same game three times.
Conclusion: DeathSpank told us in an exclusive interview that this is his “finest hour”. He’s probably right, but when one has so many fine hours within 15 months, you stop appreciating the things that made those hours special. It’ll be interesting to see what newcomers think. They’ve never visited Spanktopia, indulged in the snappy dialogue of its inhabitants or whacked a leprechaun, and certainly haven’t lived until you’ve done that.
Conclusion: So if you’re a fan of the series I suppose you’ve already bought it, or are close to making up your mind. If you haven’t played either of the two games before this, there is no genuine reason you should start to care now. It’s purely for those who either like the dumb humour or have played the previous titles in the Deathspank trilogy. However if The Baconing does sound like your thing, check out the first game first and play through the series.
Pros: Great Inventory system. Combat is solid. World design and art style is fresh and unique.
Cons: Can be humorous, but bad jokes outweigh the good ones. Too much grinding through levels. Too much of the ‘samey’ fetch quests.
Conclusion: Tja, Hothead Games. Da habt ihr gedacht, dass ihr vielleicht Spieler mit dem geänderten Titel (In der Trophäenliste steht übrigens immer noch „Deathspank: The Baconing“!) vielleicht reinlegen könnt, dass es sich hierbei um ein völlig neues Spiel handelt. Stattdessen ist dies aber einfach dasselbe Spiel nur mit neuen Dialogen, neuer Grafik und neuen Aufgaben. „Deathspank“-Fans können bedenkenlos zugreifen, denn dies ist mehr „Deathspank“.