Minutes with Shank

We’ve been quietly keeping an eye on Shank, waiting for it to hit the digital stores. Well, it’s finally here so I fired up the capture card and jumped in to the first level. The only thing I edited out was the opening cutscene, everything else is my unedited first experience with the game.


  1. How would you say this game is? From looking at the video it looks like a barrel of fun!

    • There’ll be a full review soon but yeah, it’s fun.

    • The co-op campaign – especially if you haven’t first unlocked some better weapons in single player – can be hard, and some of the boss battles will have you ready to throw the controller out of the window, but it’s worth sticking with. The SP campaign is good, but it can feel like a bit of a grind at times; picking up new weapons freshens it up a bit, and the combo system helps, but some sections just feel too similar.

  2. That looks scarily repetitive. :-\

    • I’ve only played a couple of hours so it might annoy me later but it’s not repetitive in a bad way yet. The combat is satisfying and fun so it’s not worn thin… yet. We’ll see. Review will be done ASAP, I’ve put everything else on hold ;)

    • I’ve often read the critic of it being repetitive, but that’s the nature of the genre, no? I mean Streets of Rage & Final Fight are repetitive as hell.

    • slash slash slash chainsaw slash slash slash… fast forward video 5 mins to see if I’m wrong… slash slash slash chainsaw slash slash

      Never understood the appeal and can’t be converted to games like this even though I’ve tried. And I’m lumping God of War into this genre – cue backlash.

      • video’s not working for me, so I don’t know how basic his combo’s are, but after a while you learn certain attacks go well after other certain attacks, and before you know it you’re pouncing on this and that mother humper, grabbin on foo’s and generally puttin dawg’s down like it aint no thing.
        playing through on hard learns you this good.

      • Every single game ever made is repetitive, else it would be a clusterf##k of a mashup

        Platformer, just jump around from platform to platform occasionally jumping on a bad guy
        FPS, move around a 3d space moving the centre of your screen over an enemy and hit fire
        rpg, wonder around a landscape doing menial tasks to upgrade your character to do more medial tasks

        and so on, and so on

        It all down to whether you like a particular brand of repetitiveness or not.

      • Are you speaking in tongues? *reaches for holy water*

      • My reply was aimed at wuntunzee!

        Although, cc, I’m with besidavi on this one. There are particular games which have very repetitive input on the controller. It’s something I’ve talked about before (and mentioned with GoW3). I think there must be a type of person that can embrace it. Another type who can’t. For me, I can’t.

        It quickly becomes a chore. Just personality differences.

      • I know what you’re saying, but that doesn’t really change the fact a;

        Platformer is pushing ‘right’ on the stick, hitting X repeatedly, and occasionally a double X
        Racer, holding down R2, moving the stick and occasionally hitting L2
        FPS, push the left stick ‘up’ and hit R1 every time you centre the screen on an enemy, once or twice a round you’ll use L1 or R3
        And of course hack n’ slashers are the same, press X to jump, and other buttons to attack

        I’ve got a particular hatred for the repetitiveness of open-world games, or mapmarker games as I call them, where you go endless from mapmarker to mapmarker doing remarkably similar tasks (however these tasks are dressed up, they seem the same to me)

        So whether its the genre you talking about or you reduce it to the base level of the controller input, you only notice its repetitive if you dislike the genre.

      • cc is of course right that gaming is repetitive by it’s very nature, but there’s this type of hack and slash gameplay that lacks any attempt to mask the tedium. I don’t know the answer but other genres come in shades of meh whilst hack and slash is marmite.

      • I think I’ve worked out what it is (for me, at least). It’s not the repetition. It’s the amount of repetition. When I was playing Heavenly Sword it was the same thing. God of War highlighted the problem. The number of button presses to put someone, or a group of bad guys down, was utterly ludicrous. It was something I couldn’t put up with.

        I recall saying that I’d only ever play the game on “easy” if I get it, so I can make it enjoyable. It sits outside of my usual tastes for gaming and the amount of repetition is a huge factor.

      • Yeah, understand.

        Its exactly how I feel about RPGs (except Y’s the Vanished Omens on the Master System for some reason) and FPSs (except for… QoS)

        Strange, but I suppose there’s no accounting for taste

      • Strange, but I suppose there’s no accounting for taste

        There is not, mate. Makes it interesting at least :-)

        Some genres make me want to kill mankind. Others want to make me spread peace and love… or something like that.

        I can take the edge off a genre by setting it to easy and/or drinking cider whilst playing.

      • to bunimomike I have wandering textual accent syndrome sometimes.

        I think you get out of these types of games what you put it in. People like me who like the aesthetics of violence will find the combo system fairly deep and satisfying, whereas someone who likes the aesthetics of adventure won’t necessarily put in the time to work out the intricacies of the combat, and will be put off.

        The reason the enemies in this type of game take so many button presses to kill is so that you can relish in the variety of combos you can inflict upon; it’s like giving a 1+1=? question to a math’s genius, you will want to flex your might.

        It boils down to your love of the art, basically, if you like something enough, you will find infinite variety in it.

  3. Ah.. nice to see the TSAtv logo used again :)
    I enjoyed the demo but i felt the controls weren’t always responding properly. I might pick it up later on but i’ve got Invincible Tiger to finish first.

    • the animations do tend to outstay their welcome, but as with any fighter, you learn to space your attacks, and becomes very rewarding.

  4. Played the first few levels last night, thought it was a good laugh at first, but by the time I reached the boss battle on the train it was all getting a little repetitive and annoying.

    • try mixing up your light and heavy attacks some more :) you can do some fun stuff.
      also, kill the big guys easily by grabbing them and doing 2 lights and a heavy.

  5. I love this game! Nothing’s more satisfying than shoving a grenade down someones throat >:D

  6. Yeah, I’m really enjoying it, couldn’t ask any more from a PSN game actually. Funny how much I disliked EA, now they are some of my favourite titles.

  7. Cc star ? All games say ps3 if you like are repetitive if you like in the fact there’s only 12 buttons and the 2 sticks and 2 stick buttons?

    But repetitiveness to me is the game play?? Walk walk shoot shoot walk walk shoot know where the story is going if there is 1. Walk walk shoot
    Rather thAn walk walk think shoot wAlk drive shoot walk talk buy sell walk level up save think drive enjoy storyline,repeat,online, ,main storyline, enjoy graphics repeat, wonder what’s next

    • I think this is how I feel about it too but it all becomes a bit of a circular argument in which cc_star can still be right too. This is why:

      I sometimes get a flash of reality when I’m playing games, a kind of disappointment that suddenly arises from nowhere; on screen you’ve just climbed a train on a cliff-edge, nearly falling several times and luckily avoiding debris, you’ve swung across twisted metal and made several leaps of faith to your fingertips. Great graphics, exciting stuff… but reality flash hits – you just pressed X a few times at the obvious moments. Really bland repetition in all honesty. Gotta turn it off at that point ‘cos it’s hard to play after that but it’s quickly forgotten luckily. Anyone else?

  8. Finished it now. Not the best, but it was okay. Rubbish bosses and climactic sequences, and the combat really did get stagnant well before the end.

    Still, I’ll give it that the story was enjoyable, if not nearly tongue in cheek enough to pull off the “Venture Bros does Kill Bill” bit the game makers seemed to be going for.

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