DeathSpank First Impressions

Ron Gilbert walks us through a demo of his "Monkey Island meets Diablo" hybrid action adventure.

Described as Monkey Island meets Diablo, DeathSpank is Ron Gilbert's latest creation that blends two genres together in a game that incorporates best of both worlds. With the wacky humor that you'd expect from the Monkey Island creator, and the never-gets-old hack-and-slash gameplay from Diablo, DeathSpank looks to be a fun action adventure, where you can cleave through skeletons for coins and still take a moment to engage in a random conversation with a crazy old man who wants a spicy taco.

Who's Making This Game: Hothead Games is designing the game and has yet to announce a publisher or a platform that the game will be playable on.

What The Game Looks Like: In our meeting with Ron, he talked about how much he liked 2D art and that it had a certain charm that 3D art lacked. Because he also wanted the exploration element that a 3D world offers, DeathSpank is an interesting mix of the two. The world is in 3D, but all the objects within, like chicken coops, houses, trees, and fences, are all distinctly 2D. This gives the game a unique feel because it kind of looks like you are wandering through a watercolor pop-up book.

What There Is To Do: In terms of the story, we were told that we don't learn too much about DeathSpank initially, because he also doesn't really know who he is. He's a traveler who is a "vanquisher of evil." He's searching for a rare artifact known as "the Artifact," and once he has it, he manages to get mugged. His goal is to get it back, and while he's doing that, the larger story begins to unfold. Like in a traditional action role-playing game, you'll wander across the land, talk to locals, and pick up random quests to get more experience and track down your lost artifact.

How The Game Is Played: The Diablo portion of the game is very much a button masher. You can map anything to the D pad and face buttons of the controller to give yourself easy access to your arsenal of weapons. There's something for every occasion. In our demo we watched as DeathSpank used a lightning area attack, which stunned all the skeletons around him. Once they recovered, they went after him, and because he was armed with a cleaving weapon (which can attack multiple foes at a time), DeathSpank left nothing but a pile of bones in his wake. There are more than 100 weapons and armors to collect, and we were told that the adventure could take anywhere from 15 to 20 hours to complete.

The Monkey Island portion involves talking to quirky people and going through the dialogue choices to experience all the great lines. After talking to Eubrick, we got some flashbacks of Herman Toothrot, the crazy old hermit from Monkey Island. One of the quests involves helping the mayor find kidnapped orphans, but before the mayor would accept our help, we had to get a weapon from Eubrick. However, Eubrick is only willing to hand over the sword if he can trade it for a taco--an extra spicy one. Apparently a taco wagon a ways back would have solved this dilemma, but we would also need to find a way to add some heat to this Mexican dish.

Our demo took us through haunted forests, demon mines, catacombs, and even a pirate village. You can dress DeathSpank up as a pirate by breaking open the barrels found in Scurvyville. We watched as DeathSpank donned some heavy-duty shoulder pads with colorful parrots to top it off. We took a quick glance at the map of the entire world and it looked huge. We were told that you have to load only once and that as soon as you're in the game, you will never have to wait to enter another area. Outhouses scattered throughout the world act as checkpoints in case you die and need to come back. There is also a pirate ship, which you can board and sail off in to search for hidden islands and other good stuff.

What They Say: It's Monkey Island meets Diablo.

What We Say: We really liked the idea of marrying the action combat from Diablo and the adventure elements from Monkey Island and can't wait for an opportunity to play the game for ourselves. The charming art style and funny dialogue captured our attention, and if you're looking for something that is more than just a point-and-click adventure, then stay tuned for more information. There is no release date yet or an announced platform, but we were told to expect the game sometime in 2010.

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Discussion

33 comments
vigerfil
vigerfil

DeathSpank a Gothic 3 like situation ? It is really very unfortunate that many times developers and publishers (and myself do not care if blame one side or the other and what!, Moreover such situations reminiscent gothic 3) tend to ignore certain buying groups players! This reason alone is enough for me personally in order to give the minimum possible score (for the first time since I am a member of the community of gamespot!) And frankly is a shame to live, Socio phenomena of racism we computer users receive so that we were angry a truly irresponsible developers and publishers who say that the reason this title will be released for computers and eventually canceled (Warning: Not postponed) the movement of the game, this Mickey deserve such a miserable staff! PS If you are really interested developers and publishers for players (computer users) then the least you must do is to do everything possible so that finally released at least this title and for computers!

isaacyassar
isaacyassar

I will surely pay for this game, please make it on PC! My gold is ready :D

BlazeEagle
BlazeEagle

While 2D artwork does have a certain charm to it, 3D can, but doesn’t automatically, offer more immersion. Therefore, Why not have the best of both worlds. This game can have a 2D art style while being a fully 3D game. I’m not insinuating it should be insanely complex with it’s 3Dness, Just that 3D should be used appropriately. Regrettably, I never got a chance to play the Monkey Island series, but I can appreciate, understand & enjoy that type of humor. So, I hope this game turns out good.

Morc-MX
Morc-MX

What a great concept, nice graphics, etc. My thoughts about this game, is going to be in a nice rank, probably some years before could easy be a classic title of 3 sequels :P still good work, cheers!!

eyet00th
eyet00th

could be a sleeper hit...I've got it tagged to watch

darzentas
darzentas

what is this????.................................game since ps1..

blackie8
blackie8

beatles were playin in the background so couldnt focus

Da_Mini
Da_Mini

looks like a pretty solid game not too epic but something i could easily put a lot of hours into

randy_ronald_87
randy_ronald_87

DIalogue wasn't very funny although the gameplay could be good hungover fun. Exploration in a seamless world is always worth a look.

Marmus5692
Marmus5692

This game looks sweet, love the writing. I need to keep an eye on this :)

kretyn
kretyn

looks kinda cool just from the trailer alone.

rostam93
rostam93

pretty cool trailer. not expecting the laser gun or the automatic crossbow. also cool how its all black, but when the lasergun shoots there's a flash of green

Jhraxlin
Jhraxlin

That trailer cracked me up! Looks cool, Monkey Island has long been one of my favorite game series, I haven't touched Diablo, but I'm a fan of Blizzard's other works. I've heard that Diablo rocks, a hybrid of the games would probably turn out great.

AZE160
AZE160

Deathspank, more like a spank before death!

tat2pap
tat2pap

death spank , now come one - games ving such name , n different plot ..... ha ha , death spank , its like spanking ur a............................

Braddah_B
Braddah_B

eh... have to wait and see more.

Bakkoda24
Bakkoda24

Looks quirky. Maybe it will be a free-to-download game like Audiosurf ended up as, and that became a huge hit.

salman06p0020
salman06p0020

Looks interesting. Will get it if I like its gameplay vids.

Quinzark
Quinzark

if its XboxArchade count me in lol

ShammySham
ShammySham

Seems very interesting, can't wait to see more!

Toggy
Toggy

Too much blood for the Wii to handle ;)

naval
naval

Sounds pretty cool, just hope that Monkey Island parts means it will have some cool puzzles too

Lexxzilla
Lexxzilla

That trailer sold it for me.

einarabelc5
einarabelc5

I've been waiting for this since Monkey Island 3. Finally someone else Imagined what I had envisioned. Wouldn't it be awesome to go face to face with "El Pollo Diablo"?