This weeks game of the week is something special, a game created by a living legend. It’s “DeathSpank” by game designer Ron Gilbert. You might remember this name from the legendary “Monkey Island” one and two, the good old “Maniac Mansion”, the ingenious “Zak McKracken” or the amazing “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade”. This man created so many great games why shouldn’t “DeathSpank” be as good as the previous games? Well, first of all, “DeathSpank” is obviously a great game, with the typcial sense of humor that you can expect from Ron Gilbert and the design is something really special, but it can’t follow in the footsteps of the previously mentioned games.
In “DeathSpank” you play the homonymous hero DeathSpank who is looking for an artifact simply called “The Artifact” for his entired life. DeathSpank finds the artifact during the game, but it gets stolen by the henchmen of a guy called “Lord von Prong”. You might have already guessed what comes next, yes, DeathSpank has to get the artifact back and has to defeat the evil Lord von Prong. The game itself is a simple hack and slash RPG with a focus on a good told story. The character customisation is mainly done by getting new items that improve your attributes and by chosing cards on each level increase that improve thing like melee/range damage or the speed of the character. You don’t have to think too much and that is good because this game is perfect after a long exhausting day when you feel like getting easy entertainment but you still want a nice story to be told.
I played this game with mouse and keyboard first but I personally find that playing with an Xbox 360 controller is much easier and faster to handle. You also don’t have to switch between two weapon sets when you play with the Xbox 360 controller and moving the character feels more ‘logical’. The combats are not too easy and not too tough and if you ever come to a situation where you find it too hard or easy you can chose a different combat difficulty. The co-op mode in this game is, let us say, okay but it’s not what you want to play the whole time because the second player soon starts to feel like the fifth wheel of the wagon. The second character can’t loot or improve his skills and equipment, he’s just walking beside DeathSpank, does some damage and heals from time to time. Besides these minor issues “DeathSpank” is a game where you can’t do anything wrong if you like hack and slash RPGs, loved games like “Diablo” or “Torchlight” and if you feel comfortable with the sense of humour from games like “On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness”. There’s a reason why this game is finally the “Game of the week”, so go and get it or you will be spanked.