The Baconing review
Deathspank returns for his third outing in ‘The Baconing’. From his previous adventure, The Thongs of Virtue, Deathspank has grown bored and feels a hero of his calibre has nothing left to achieve. However soon after this musing something known as the Antispank attacks Spanktopia and it is up to Deathspank to end the carnage the Antispank has caused. Very shortly after the game begins though, you learn that the Antispank came into being by Deathspank’s own doing, by his wearing of all five Thongs of Virtue at the same time. And so is born a quest for redemption from being a complete idiot.
If you haven’t played a Deathspank game before this you will be lost on some of the starting humour and despite how lightly the game takes itself, there is a genuine challenge to be found in its combat. In the beginning you will be as weak as a wet piece of bread, but when you level up you will be able to select from one of three hero cards to aid in your quest. Each additional level grants a different choice or upgrade from a previous card as an example.
The visual style of Deathspank is very unique as it seems to take place on a multitude of cylindrical worlds, with 2D pop up environments as the world scrolls around you while enemies and NPC’s are 3D models. And with each zone having its own unique flavour, The Baconing is quite satisfying to observe as you play, and even when entering new zones there is always some form of destruction going on.
Possibly one of my favourite features from playing The Baconing was watching how my equipment would automatically update to combine the better pieces of armour I had collected. The inventory system gives you enough room to collect certain items, but you can ‘grind’ up old armour and weapons to replace as cash for potions, healing items or other vendor items you may come across.
There is a lot of stupid senseless humour to be had, however it can be quite grating if this isn’t your cup of tea. The inclusion of the occasional pop culture joke you can find on the internet shows the game is trying to keep its pulse on the times, but it’s like Deathspank is trying to be the dumb version of a Guybrush Threepwood who is trying too hard in his lines. NPC’s can deliver more humour, though admittedly this is usually made more funny due the set up Deathspank gives them on occasion.
Mastering the game’s combat style is most probably the hardest part. If you do die you will drop a percentage of your collected cash, respawn at the nearest outhouse and regain about 50% of your health bar as you most likely seek out the dropped cash and get revenge on the enemy that slew your moments before.
Some battles require you to be ready for a war of attrition, almost requiring a full set of instant health refill potions and maybe the occasional stat boost potion as well. These are rare moments but depending on if you care to backtrack you might find it somewhat slow to progress if you avoid the side quests you come by on your travels.
The Baconing is a good game which is very enjoyable and good for a quick laugh if this is what you are after. If you played and enjoyed the previous two games there is no reason you shouldn’t also like this one, as it will continue the shenanigans you’ve experienced and laughed through previously.
It all comes down to if you like a half dungeon crawler, half hack n slash game with poor Americanised humour. You just genuinely have to take your brain out of your head or ignore the dialogue to enjoy it, as the barebones gameplay is good and very enjoyable. Just don’t be expecting to buy this and know the Deathspank past, as in all honesty the developers didn’t think to give you any history if you’ve not played the previous games. You will simply need to put the scraps of info together, which can detract from the fun slightly.
So if you’re a fan of the series I suppose you’ve already bought it, or are close to making up your mind. If you haven’t played either of the two games before this, there is no genuine reason you should start to care now. It’s purely for those who either like the dumb humour or have played the previous titles in the Deathspank trilogy. However if The Baconing does sound like your thing, check out the first game first and play through the series.