PAX East – Shank

March 29, 2010

Snackbar Games contributor Joe Teed attended this year’s PAX East in Boston and is sharing his experiences at the event.

There’s probably not much I can add about Shank that you haven’t already seen in a video somewhere, but if you haven’t seen it, it’s a very solid side scrolling brawler with some nice comic-book inspired graphics.  It was nice to finally get my hands on it and see how it plays.

I was unsure about Shank when I saw other attendees taking a stab at it, but the end result once I got the controller in my hand was completely solid.  This is game that encourages you to rush on in and start hammering people with knives and guns and chainsaws.  Fights that seemed to take forever when in th hands of a hesitant player evaporate in a cloud of blood and violence when you just charge on in, and it really feels right.

The movement keeps pace with this, allowing you to run up the side of buildings without even hitting a button or thinking about it, jump and swing from skulls suspended in midair around town and finish it by flying down on your enemies with a pair of knives.  I probably finished the whole demo level in less than five minutes, but I don’t think that it would have been more satisfying if I hadn’t rushed it.  If I have any complaint, it’s that I’d be excited to see what more they have in store for this game, since all we have seen is the same demo level they first announced the game with, and a lack of variety in locations in enemies could really hold back a game this basic.