While I am not all the way though Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue, I feel I'm far enough along to see what the game has to offer. I'm to level 16, where the previous game capped at 20 and I haven't seen a new weapon or enemy type for hours. So what's up with the game?
All the stuff you know and love from Deathspank is back. The humor and goofy weapons are all back, as are the nonsensical NPCs and objectives. Every now and then, a quest comes out of left field, my favorite so far being the one where a guy simply tells you to screw off and the quest completes when you leave. I'll come back to this shortly, but if you liked the substance of the last game you should continue to like it here.
There are a few more visual effects on the weapons and, unless I'm mistaken, the game looks ever so slightly smoother. I could just be imagining it though.
I want to say more about the good points of Thongs, but it's just a list of everything that was also good about Deathspank.
On the down side, Thongs seems slightly less together than it's predecessor. Quests seem straight up harder to figure out, not in a complicated sense, but for lack of information. I have a short list of completed quests that I can't remember where to turn in, or where the NPC given in the description is actually located. It's not a fatal flaw, but it isn't a problem I remember from before and it smells slightly of the second half of a game lopped off for not being complete even after a bit of a rush job.
I really don't like the new reliance on limited-ammo ranged weapons. I'm up to level 16 and I have only had two infinite ranged options: the pistol which becomes shit with remarkable speed, and the ray gun which hurts you if fired too quickly. The whole system also clogs up my inventory with multiple flavors of grenades and bazookas that I can't justify blasting at any old peon enemy, but fail to impress with effect or usefulness in a dangerous situation. Grenades only blow up if they hit the enemy you're locked onto and will bounce harmlessly away if they hit another enemy in between. For all explosives, it it seems very easy to accidentally kill myself, given the lock on range and visual area covered by the screen. There was even one occasion I was firing at an enemy that ran off screen and the lock on must have switched to an also invisible explosive crate and killed me.
On the technical side of things, I've gotten stuck on the scenery a couple times and had to reload my game and lost a bit of progress.
The really unfortunate part of Thongs is that either they didn't learn a thing from the last iteration of this series, or they thought it would be good to keep everything the same. Some of the quests are copy pasted from the last game, and it appears some of the armor is as well. The spinning sword is now a spinning tomahawk with exactly the same properties. Most offensively, the food-as-healting-items returns in all it's pointlessly drawn out gobbling sound effect annoyance. I would swear that about 40% of combat is backpedaling while I hear the same sound effect repeat, and with more range-based enemies it's even more likely to get interrupted and waste a healing item. Sequels are supposed to improve on things, guys.
I'm still getting all the stuff I liked from Deathspank in Thongs, but I would really like some gameplay refinement next time, not just more of the same. It's a B- version of the A work they turned in last time.