Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Shank 2

Preview: Shank 2 makes killing joyful

12:00 PM on 01.25.2012 // Ryan Perez

Shank 2 is a lot nastier than I was expecting. That's the good kind of nasty ... the kind that makes you think, "I am so freaking glad I did that move." Anyone who has an odd attraction to exaggerated cartoon violence should probably keep an eye on this game, because its overemphasized gore had me giggling childishly quite a few times.

For those who aren't familiar with the original game, Shank 2 stars the blade-wielding brute named ... well, Shank, who shoots and stabs his way through a series of well-illustrated environments. With a variety of slick moves, deadly weapons, and the much-welcomed Survival Mode, Shank 2 looks like it could be well worth the download.

Shank 2 (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Developer: Klei Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release: Q1 2012 

While the world of digital downloads may be fairly crowded with hack 'n' slash games of the 2D variety, it's not difficult to spot the talent and effort that has been put into games like Shank 2.

Drawing first blood

The first thing I have to point out is that this game looks great. The color scheme lends itself wonderfully to what looks like its Southeast Asia-inspired setting. Enemies pop out from the background well, and even elemental effects like fire and smoke are graphically pleasing.

One thing that really stood out to me was the animation. In this age of 3D realism and motion capture, the idiosyncratic qualities of 2D animation have been lost with the times; even sprite animation, while still used to this day, is seen as somewhat novel. Shank 2 features countless examples of well-done animation fundamentals with exaggerated poses, squashing and stretching, and great secondary and tertiary actions within run cycles and attack animations.

I have an animation degree -- however, I'm terrible at 2D animation -- so I can better appreciate the skill involved to produce a game that looks like Shank 2. Nonetheless, any gamer that can step outside the perspective of his/her own limitations should be able to admire how fluid this game's art is.

The thrill of the kill

As stated before: Shank 2 is humorously violent. The carnage isn't presented in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, but rather with such unapologetic brutality that it ironically gains a bit of class in the process. It's just humbling to shove a baseball bat into someone's mouth and then stomp on it ... like watching the birth of a baby giraffe.

Every weapon provided in Shank 2 features its own blood-laden counter attack, which influences the desire to try them all. When an enemy swung his machete at me only to have his neck slashed open by Shank's crude blades, the result was a crimson mess that forced a smirk across my face.

As if that wasn't gratifying enough, once I got the chainsaw ... holy sh*t. Shank proceeded to jam it into attacker's mouths, and I proceeded to laugh out loud. Am I a messed up person, or is there something to shoving weapons into people's mouths? It's like some ultimate insult. Next stop: a nuclear bomb.

I didn't get to try out every weapon, unfortunately, but Shank 2 presented a variety of savage kills to satiate the sick f*ck inside of me. Certain stages even provided trap doors, which dropped enemies into some sort of grinder apparatus -- and then carried the bloody mess through its compilation of cogs and gears. All I could think was, "Yes, I agree with that result."

A natural selection

It seems like it's becoming standard to have a mode in action games where waves of enemies come at you. I usually skip over these modes because they've always seemed like filler to me, but Shank 2's Survival Mode was actually somewhat enjoyable.

Players start off by choosing a variety of Shank skins, each with its own unique set of attributes and weapons. Those who prefer brute force can choose the Shank skin that's high in strength, and comes equipped with a sledge hammer and sawed-off shotgun. I'm a gun person, myself, so I chose the model with high ranged skill and dual pistols. This particular skin was also black and had an afro, which I found peculiar. I can sense a great and inappropriate racist joke in here, somewhere.

The gameplay -- which can be enjoyed with a friend -- consists of timed waves of enemies that attack players, as they move between two different levels of platforms. The catch, though, is that enemy bombers will arrive at times to plant explosives on stockpiles of munitions, which players must protect at all costs.

The combination of fighting for your life and protecting objectives adds a nice degree of tension to the experience; this is especially true when large bosses make appearances. Thankfully, the game provides a currency system for you to buy health, finite specialty weapons, turrets, and even war boars (yes, you read that correctly). Another handy tool is the familiar trap door at the center of the stage. Just be wary of your partner before using it. I fell into the damned thing on more than one occasion.

You don't just turn it off

Shank 2 is shaping up to be a pretty addictive game. Once I witnessed the satisfying effect of a counter attack, I wanted to see more. Unfortunately, my time with the game was limited, so now I must wait for its release like everyone else. Here's hoping the whole experience is just as fun as the short amount of time I spent playing it.

Ryan Perez,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Shank 2

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

So I Got a 3DS

Negotiations are over. Rainbow Six Siege is a no buy from me as of now.

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 72: Sexy Dog

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
What? Wonderful 101 on eShop is $19? NO EXCUSES.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Robin secretly controls the boobs of Nintendo characters. She stole the Xenoblade boobs and took the Fatal Frame lingerie for herself. #DammitRobin [img][/img]
Matheus Railane avatarMatheus Railane
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I was just playing Skyrim and wondered if anyone has come up with Fallout 3/New Vegas weapon mods for Skyrim? Fighting dragons with assault weapons sounds almost necessary. [img][/img]
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Just bought Fallout: New Vegas. Throw me the best mods there are that AREN'T Total Conversion mods. So now Who Vegas - yet.
Parismio avatarParismio
Oh this Undertale summaration flipnote is so good:
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
For an early Christmas present I got my girlfriend Wooly World to go with our new Wii U. I've gotten more joy out of how adorable all the character designs are than I'd like to admit.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Hey Dtoiders ! Steam just destroyed my wallet ! Share here what you bought in this sale !
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
And so I purchased not just Hyper Dimension Neptunia, but also its sequel and Grim Fandango Remastered in the Steam Sale, and it isn't even the end of the first day. God damnit. At least refunds are thing a now.
Samsneeze avatarSamsneeze
I'm currently writing a review for a mobile game, but only because I'm enjoying the hell out it. I'm honestly enjoying it far more than Puzzles and Dragons.
Zer0t0nin avatarZer0t0nin
Damn, I think I'm Bruce Willis from Unbreakable. Just fell of a 12-foot ladder and all I got was a little scratch on my finger.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
After I finish Fallout 4 I'm thinking of 100%ing Skyrim and then installing a TON of dinosaur mods on it.
voex avatarvoex
4 hours into Hotline Miami 2 and I'm finding it just as fun as the original. So far it's a good balance between frustration and satisfaction. Still have no idea what the story is about.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
1. Start playing Ocarina of Time again. 2. Start having fun. 3. Discover fishing area. 4. Stop having fun.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
A 2-d hovercraft platforming exploration game just came out today. Have fun collecting the coins! My record so far is 140.
Occams avatarOccams
Holy shit the new David Bowie video/song is just lovely.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
So many people angry at Play-Asia right now. Totally not exactly the kind of backlash Tecmo were trying to avoid by not releasing the game here in the first place.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
If you're a UK kid there's a Wii U 32 GB Wind Waker Premium Pack on Amazon for £240. It says sale... I dunno how much of a saving that is. You tell me.
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: Not strictly speaking video game-related, but screw it. Team Captain America or Team Iron Man?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -