DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue Review

DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue Review

DeathSpank now has a second part: Thongs of Virtue. In a display of common sense on the developer’s part, DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue picks up where the first instalment left off – right in the middle of the game. There are reasons for that, though. Eventually the whole game became too big to be a single downloadable item, so it was split into two parts. This achieved two things.

Firstly, it was able to be released with little pain, as people would be spared having to download a two gigabyte  game (instead having to download two one gigabyte games, which I guess is marginally better.) Second, the developers got to rake in more cash-money. But does the second instalment warrant another purchase?

The next part of the series deliveres even more mind-bending, fourth-wall breaking humour. New weapons are also part of the deal. DeathSpank can now deliver justice both Roman gladiator and Rambo style, because this release adds guns and explosives to the Monkey Island/Diablo mix. It’s a nice addition, and at least mixes up the gameplay a little.

The story follows DeathSpank, the large-chinned, thong wearing bringer of justice and hero to the downtrodden. The kind of guy that will do quests for strangers because he’s just that nice. Also because it provides a reason for always having to help people gather parts, or gold, or poop. Seriously, you’ll have to collect poop on more than one occasion.

DeathSpank must journey far and wide, assisting downtrodden citizens and save the world from evil. The aim is to assist your lazy and rather mysterious friend Sandy in recovering the thongs of virtue, which have corrupted their wearers.

The Thongs of Virtue

This is what my wardrobe looks like

The addition of this new gameplay element adds a degree of variety to the mix. You aren’t simply mashing a button to whack ogres over the head with a humorously described object, you’re mashing a button to shoot them as well. Shoot them with bullets. As alluded to earlier, you can even throw grenades and shoot rocket launchers, which is especially useful against the bigger guys.

Because this is simply part two of the same game however, one must consider its limitations. Namely, the same ones that were present within the first part. There are the things that come down to what you’re looking for in a game, in this case bashing things over the head, completing a ton of quests and finding weapons, and there are things which were drawbacks in the first place. For example, recovering health is done by eating various tasty foods, but the repetitive sound of DeathSpank stuffing his gob gets old quickly. To be fair, when he’s knocking back beer he sounds more like Banjo (of the Banjo Kazooie variety) during a normal conversation.

When you level up, you are able to choose from a number of upgrades. Unfortunately these are, while still somewhat useful, limited in variety. Since the game is separated from the first, you can’t transfer all your spoils of war either. The quests more often than not usually boil down to killing a certain type of enemy to obtain X amount of their blood/skulls/pantihose and returning to the citizen to collect a moderately priced reward.

Sweet, golden justice

Still, the majority of the NPCs you’ll encounter in DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue are interesting, voiced well and have genuinely humorous dialogue. You’ll find that you want to carry out every possible conversation branch with people, even when you don’t have to.

With that said, many people say that DeathSpank as a game survives on humour alone, but I disagree. It’s surprisingly addictive, thanks to simplistic yet enjoyable gameplay mechanics. Despite having some limitations, it’s worth your time and hard-earned cash-money. Doubly so if you enjoyed the first game. On that note, if you plan to try and get into DeathSpank’s wacky exploits, it’s not really worth it to bypass the first. You’ll just miss out on the limited story without really getting any improvements on gameplay.


Article from Gamersyndrome.com

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avatar I'm an Australian freelance video game writer trying to find my place in the cosmos. Also, in the world of video game journalism. You can follow me on the twit-machine: http://twitter.com/#!/SteveRosenburg Or you can not. I won't know the difference.