DeathSpank Co-Op Review
DeathSpank. Hero to the Downtrodden. Vanquisher of Evil. Includer of Co-op. Is the hack and slash title by Ron Gilbert (creator of the Monkey Island series) complete with peril, orphans, loot, thongs, quirky characters, and lots of poop. Is the co-op part of the fertile yet evil demon poop, or does it shine like magical unicorn manure?
DeathSpank takes players on a ride through the countryside, visiting various towns, and becoming a hero to many downtrodden folks along the way. DeathSpank is that hero, and he brings his silent little sidekick along on side quests around a main storyline that will have you rolling with every bit of quirky banter.
Your ultimate goal as DeathSpank is to find the fabled Artifact. This artifact is so mysterious that the only thing known about it is that it is "The Artifact." You actually get your hands on The Artifact fairly early in the game, and the story takes a turn for the strange, unusual, and particularly thong-filled - but I'll let you discover the full story for yourself. You’ll have to do a few chores to get to the final battle, though. As in most hack and slash titles, you complete tasks for a loot reward. DeathSpank fulfills that loot requirement, and adds a bit of experience to benefit the players that aren’t particularly loot-crazy.
DeathSpank is the ultimate casual hardcore title. There are options for hardcore players to play as they normally would. Figuring things out themselves, balancing their weapon effects with their strength, and armor with added benefits. For those that are more casual with this type of game, you have the option to automatically equip whichever armor is deemed "the best," and you get a lot of optional hints to complete your tasks.
In your quest log you’ll see a brief description of what you’ve been asked to do, as well as key locations that were revealed. If you’re having trouble with the clues, you can use the power of fortune cookies (like candy that tell the future) to reveal up to 3 hints about the task. This is great for getting stuck, or the casual player. Of course, having one advanced player play DeathSpank, and a less invested player as the sidekick Sparkles is the best policy.
In your player menu you have a few pages. Standard inventory, quest inventory, important and unimportant tasks (quest log), and your “Hero Cards.” Hero cards are your reward for leveling up. You get a series of 6 cards with percentage benefits (15% stronger melee, 10% stronger ranged weapons, 20% faster speed, etc). As you select cards, your stats change. You can view how powerful your DeathSpank is in his inventory menu.
DeathSpank’s journey takes him all over, from the Enchanted Forest full of rabid gnomes and vicious unicorns, to the Haunted Forest complete with ghouls, skeletons, and bitter ghosts, to lots of small towns in between. You’ll come across various strange characters including a hippie talking tree, a mad scientist of a Wizard, and a leprechaun running from the mob.
There is no end to the stuff to do, the people to meet, and the hilarity to be found. Well actually, the fun ends at about 10-20 hours depending on your specific play style.
Oh, and did we mention he can fast travel? Yea, it’s really impressive, too. He can travel from one outhouse to another. That’s right, (tele)port-o-potty. The outhouses are also DeathSpanks respawn point should he face an untimely death at the hands of vicious Orques.