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Shank 2 Gets A Rather Unexpected Release Date

Those who favor bloody side-scrolling action game should be happy to hear that Shank 2 will be released next month. The follow-up to the 2010 stylized action romp will be available on the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live on February 8th for the low price of $9.99/800 Microsoft Points.  So far we haven’t seen much of Shank 2 since the game was surprisingly announced at an EA event late last year, but in less than a month we’ll find out if Shank has the goods or if it should be given a swift death.

On the surface Shank 2 seems to be more of the same, perhaps in a slightly excruciating or gleefully terrific sort of way.  The first Shank game earned decent praise but issues were abound with the general controls and overall variety the game dished out, which I personally found to be lacking towards the halfway point.  But however similar Shank 2 may look, developer Klei Entertainment has promised a refined combat system and better controls - all the better to chainsaw a man before we shoot them point blank in the face with a shotgun.

The big draw of Shank 2 appears to be the inclusion of the Survival Mode, a co-op based mode that can be played both offline and online with a buddy.  The lack of online co-op was a big omission in the first Shank game so it’s nice to see that Klei is directly giving gamers what they want in the sequel.  

I didn’t exactly become a mega Shank fanboy after playing the game, but it is nice to see an indie developer get a second shot at a unique IP and in some respect improve upon the general product.  With that said, I do feel like Shank 2 is unjustly being sent to die since February is beyond crowded with marquee releases like Twisted Metal and the ensuing madness that will be the North American and European launch of the PlayStation Vita.  

The general audience that Shank appeals to, core gamers/sidescrolling enthusiasts may want to play Shank 2 either because they’re busy with other games or simply doesn’t have $9 to spend.  I’m not exactly putting my financial advisor hat on by saying that Shank 2 will underperform as I certainly don’t want such a thing to happen. But it would’ve been better if EA opted to release Shank 2 later in the year, perhaps in the Summer period in which gamers are in need of entertaining and engaging games to play.