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Review: DeathSpank - Xbox 360

by Steven Williamson on 30 July 2010, 09:24 4.0

Tags: Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), Xbox 360, Action/Adventure

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Bondage gone too far?

In this notoriously slow period in the video games calendar we’ve turned to the Xbox Live Marketplace this week in our quest for gaming kicks, and boy are we glad we did.

From Monkey Island designer Ron Gilbert, DeathSpank arrives on the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Store on a wave of positive previews, and despite costing just £9.99 has many of the qualities that you’d attribute to a full-priced retail game. Though the gameplay and humour are likely to be an acquired taste, it’s safe to say you won’t find anything like DeathSpank elsewhere on XBL or PSN, yet it’s still one of those games that you can’t help but like.

DeathSpank, contrary to the evil sounding title suggests, is a quirky, geeky and sometimes cutesy, fantasy, action role-playing game that never takes itself too seriously. If you’re at all familiar with Gilbert’s work then you’ll probably expect the childish humour, bad puns and one-liners that litter every NPC meeting in this crazy, colourful world. DeathSpank may be more Beavis And ButtHead than The Simpsons, but humour is a huge part of its appeal.

The storyline, however, is the game’s weakest point, for example, DeathSpank's arch-enemy, Lord Von Prong, wants to steal DeathSpank's purple thong, yet its script is one of the strongest points, with reams of branching dialogue and choices that affect the outcome of situations, open up new objectives and build the relationship between you and game by simply making you chuckle. As a result, it’s very easy to get drawn into its world of likeable characters.