Shank 2 is a tough game to write about. When you preview games at events, you often get plenty of time to write your notes as a developer or someone blabs about all the cool features you’re about to see etc, before you actually play the game. For Shank 2, I managed to write six lines – and then I was playing.
Yeah, playing it. If we’re being picky, I was playing ‘Survival Mode’ – Shank 2’s local/online co-op mode, which sees you and a buddy blast your way through waves of enemies to clear the level. In the level I played, I and my helpful dev-buddy had to stop little Engineer dudes from setting bombs on three points throughout the level. If we lost all three, game over.
Within minutes I was leaping around, shooting and blatting stuff as if I’d been a Shank player since birth (which I’m not, obviously), and a few deaths were easily overcome as we helped each other up off the floor. To call this a fast, intense game would be understating it – the action is non-stop frantic, and my developer partner and I soon lapsed into target calls and assists, working together naturally to clear the level. I think we got to the ninth wave before being overcome – not bad for a noob.
Interactive level objects and lots of equipment to pick up mean that the Single Player experience should be just as much of a blast as the co-op, and my short SP playtest revealed exactly that - a fun storyline and plenty of non-stop cartoony action, with some cool bosses to beat. All manner of grapples, throws and crazy weapons (chainsaws, yay!) add spice to an already fruity mix, letting you cause destruction and chaos in your own unique way.
What about the technical stuff then? Well, developers Klei Entertainment are in discussion with Sony and Microsoft, and while no price has been set, we should see a release announcement in early 2012, no doubt across both platforms (and hopefully PC!). But enough of the bleary, blah blah tropes of forthcoming game releases – get down with the cartoon action and immerse yourself in this cool-as-all-hell co-op video, while simultaneously quaking with jealousy that I’ve had a go, and you haven’t.