Insert Credit endeavors to suss out where you should be allotting your video game allowance, sifting out a single title from many and crowning it as The One Game You Need to Get This Week. Don’t consider these reviews, gentle reader. Rather, think of Insert Credit as a mix of hands-on time, informed opinion and intuition.
For the week of August 23, 2010, you should insert credit into: “Shank”
People like to complain and clutch their pearls about video game violence. But when it’s stylized enough, the hacking-and-shooting can be a gorgeous and stunning choreography all its own. “Shank” embraces that idea and mashes it up with B-movie presentation that feels kindred to the oeuvres of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Check out my interview a few months ago to see how the game came about: An Indie and a Major Team to Crank Up “Shank”
It’s a simple game that calls back to the beat-em-ups of yesteryear while making the same basic controls feel more modern. You’ll wield knives, guns, chainsaws and machetes in the title character’s quest for vengeance against his former criminal colleagues. It’s extremely easy to pick and immediately gratfiying to play. “Shank” really shines in the art direction and animation departments, and the gore never feels egregious. Rather, the game feels the way it needs to and maiming and dismemberment are just the way that things happen in this world. Moreover, it’s the work of an indie developer that’s polished yet still feels idiosyncratic and unique.
“Shank” is out now for Xbox Live (1200 Microsoft points or $15) and the Playstation Network ($14.99)