Platforms and Pricing
DeathSpank is a ‘lite’ action/RPG downloadable game for both the Playstation Network and XBOX Live. I use the term ‘lite’ because as a downloadable game, you can’t go expecting a very lengthy or deep game, else it would be retail. As of this review, you can buy it for £9.99 on PSN or 1200MP on XBL – this price seems fair for such a game and you certainly get enough DeathSpank for a lifetime.
DeathSpank is primarily a single player game but it does support a co-op type mode if you have a friend handy. At any point during the game, your buddy can jump in to the game, playing as another character called ‘Sparkles’, who has his own unique abilities but ultimately feels a little flat and out of place. This character doesn’t gain experience, nor does he have his own inventory, but he does scale with the main player’s level – so he isn’t completely useless and certainly helps to make the game more entertaining.
First off, it’s probably a good point to state that (if you hadn’t guessed already) this game is very tongue and cheek. This story is no Final Fantasy, not at all, but it does have a certain charm that might keep you hooked. DeathSpank borrows greatly from other games such as Diablo and Monkey Island, almost without remorse, even namedropping specific games once in a while.
The story focuses on the hero, aptly named ‘DeathSpank’, who is on a quest to find the ambiguous ‘Artifact’, which as a bit of an anti-climax, you find at the end of the first chapter. For those who have read my previous reviews, you’ll know that I don’t usually include spoilers in my posts; however, this isn’t a true spoiler as the game really has two different storylines. After finding the ‘Artifact’ you’re then asked by, none other than the town mayor, to find some missing, pesky orphans. This is your main task for the rest of the game, although there are many, MANY side-quests to take on, if you so desire.Written by Ron Gilbert, the legendary man behind such classic games like Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion and Total Annihilation – you know that the writing should be top-notch and entertaining – but note the world ‘should’ – keep reading to find out why.
Have you ever played Torchlight? Or maybe Fate? If you have, then congratulations, you’ve pretty much played this game already! Okay, that was a little unfair. DeathSpank does have many unique quirks that really set it apart, unfortunately, not all the quirks are to its advantage.Let’s begin with how the game controls. DeathSpank, as in-the character, can be controlled directly by using your controller and each button can be assigned to a weapon or item. For example, on the Playstation you could assign the up directional button to a healing potion, or the (X) button to an axe. This is a superb little mechanic which is easily customizable depending on your playing style.
Weapons are for the most part melee based, although you do get plenty of ranged weapons such as crossbows and chicken cannons, which you should always keep assigned to a button to aid combat.