There are a lot of great things about DeathSpank
but prime among them is that another generation of gamers is going to get exposed to Ron Gilbert (no, not like that you pervert). The guy writes a lot of funny stuff and DeathSpank looks like it's going to be another winner.
Like the Tick is to Superman, DeathSpank is to video game heroes. Originally conceived as a character for Ron Gilbert's blog
, the character is now getting is own game. The game is being billed as a mix of Diablo and Monkey's Island and from what we saw the description is fairly apt. The game's action sequences are sewn together with quest hubs where DeathSpank gains new quests and tries to track down a mythical artifact and rescue some orphans.
The game has a fantastic art style which looks a bit like a pop-up book come to life. Another interesting touch is that the game world revolves around DeathSpank as he's always in the center of the screen. The effect take a little bit of getting used to but it seems to work for the game. Also adding to the feel of the game is the music which wouldn't seem out of place in classic adventure games.
Combat is done using the facebuttons as you assign weapons and spells to each of the facebuttons on the Xbox 360. This makes it easy to combine attacks. For instance you can draw a group of enemies in and then launch a lightning attack which freezes them and then do a 360 degree melee attack to finish them off. Deathspank features the typical assortment of fantasy weapons but there are also a few Ron Gilbert touches like the spell which launches attack chickens on nearby enemies. Sure it's a fowl attack (see what I did there) but it really adds to the game.
The game looks like something most people should be adding to their watch list for next year. If you're at PAX you owe it to yourself to check the game out. If you can't make it you can at least check out the first trailer for the game below