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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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The influence of Monkey Island on DeathSpank, with regard to its sense of humour, surreal quests and its visual style, is apparent, but the development team also admits to gaining some of its direction from Blizzard’s much-cherished action role-playing game, Diablo. Like Diablo, Deathspank is also a class-based fantasy, full of hack ‘n slash monster slaying, boss battling, looting and customisation. And both these styles, though not offering anything new to the genre in terms of structure, offer a very nice blend of gameplay and humor that, well…just works.

Playing as DeathSpank, who goes by other proud names such as the “Vanquisher of Evil” and “Hero to the Downtrodden,” the defining mission is to search across fantasylands for a magical artefact, called “The Artefact.” Along the way you'll save orphans, pick up loot from fallen enemies and evolve your character via new weapons and skills, such as speed and ranged attacks, while boosting up your armour and attacks and learning spells- typically everything you’d expect to feature in any competent RPG.

The hack ‘n slash side of DeathSpank is extremely accessible thanks to the modifiable control scheme, but lacks the depth of other established RPGs. You can equip four weapons at a time, each with different powers and stats and switch between them effortlessly. You can also use your d-pad to map potions and magical items that you can unleash on enemies and you can build up justice metre through killing and racking together combos, enabling you to unleash more powerful attacks with certain weapons.