DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue Hands-On

The follow-up to Ron Gilbert's DeathSpank has everything, from pirates and robots, to aliens and ninjas.

Even though DeathSpank hasn't been out that long and summer is about to wind down, Hothead Games recently announced a follow-up game, DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue, which picks up right where our hero left off in the first game. According to Hamish Millar, the producer of Thongs of Virtue, the game was being developed in parallel with the first DeathSpank and is a much larger game in terms of content. Millar came by our office today to show us some new areas, as well as DeathSpank's arsenal of fancy modern-day weapons.

A new array of modern weaponry should help you take care of those pesky aliens.

Without revealing too much from the previous game, let's just say that DeathSpank begins this game as a captive, locked in a POW camp. You'll be filled in on what the Thongs of Virtue mean, and it turns out that DeathSpank is the only thong bearer (out of six) who hasn't been corrupted by these magical undies. His goal is now to save the world from evil thong-wearing tyrants, each with a unique set of quirks. Our demo picks up right after he breaks free and is running around a battlefield, helping soldiers take down orque communication towers. We were told that there will be more variety to the quests now, including ones that require you to be quick on your feet. For example, in order to take down the tower, we were handed a pre-lit stick of dynamite, so we had to run toward the tower before it blew up in our face.

What stood out is that instead of wielding an assortment of swords and axes, you now have access to a ton of weapons, ranging from bazookas to ray guns. These new weapons don't come with unlimited ammo, though, and the ray gun overheats, but they're incredibly fun to use. For those who have been playing the Xbox Live Arcade title Shank, the chainsaw that the main character uses is also featured in this game, because Hothead Games is friends with the developers at Klei Entertainment. We were told that this time around there is more of a balance between ranged and melee weapons, which is a nice touch, given how hectic things can get onscreen.

The next area we checked out was a town that looked like the Wild West. Apparently the bacon rush didn't go as well as people had hoped, and now the residents are going a little crazy. We ran into Tina the taco vendor, as well as several new crazy characters that may or may not be very helpful during our quest. Lurking outside town were some ghosts donning cowboy hats. Here is where the new nature grenade--which can destroy multiple ghosts with one explosive--came in handy. There are TNT boxes littered throughout the areas, so use them wisely and carefully to your advantage. Another new weapon that we were shown was the monocle, which allowed DeathSpank to control the minds of the neighboring ghosts and force them to follow along dutifully. Cooperative play is once again included, even though that was not shown in our demo. However, we were told of a new playable character named Steve, a ninja who rides a unicorn while unleashing shurikens and rainbows. He also dual-wields katana blades and sings his own name--a huge step up from Sparkles the wizard, we must say.

For our last stop, we checked out Le Beaux Kuckelle, a town by the sea that gave us access to a pirate ship. This vessel allows you to sail the open seas (and shoot fireworks) and explore new islands to discover the world's secrets. Our demo ended with a cutscene to illustrate the vicious attack on the North Pole. We partnered with General Snugglewugglepants to storm the snowy land crawling with evil elves and to eventually confront Santa, the bearer of the Thong of Generosity.

Santa's little helpers aren't so helpful here.

DeathSpank: Thongs of Virtue looks to be a continuation of DeathSpank's adventure with plenty of new weapons and tons of quests. We were told that the story is longer this time around as well, and the campaign could take upward of 17 hours to complete. The game still looks great, with the same colorful art style that really pops out and plenty of loot to find and hoard. Gameplay-wise, everything is still the same, so those who have played through the original game can easily continue their adventure here.

Join DeathSpank on his quest for mythical undergarments when the game is released on the PlayStation Network on September 21 and on the Xbox Live Arcade on September 22.

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51 comments
jad206
jad206

@okaythenmate we were told of a new playable character named Steve, a ninja who rides a unicorn while unleashing shurikens and rainbows. He also dual-wields katana blades and sings his own name. I just hope it is online co-op.

Cptmcrofl
Cptmcrofl

This sounds nice, actually glad that its coming out so soon.

okaythenmate
okaythenmate

Can not wait to play this new one...hilarious fun the first one...hope its the same...Sparkles the Wizard was the best...hope theirs a new co-op character.

Kleins91
Kleins91

so pumped! just beat the first one yesterday with 100% achievements (not that difficult in this game). this game will kick major butt.

kris912
kris912

first one was dope! cant wait for the sequel!

Mik9445
Mik9445

I thought this part of the game was gonna be DLC, not a whole new game. Typical EA, still robbing people after all these years. I really liked the first one, but I'll be damned if I'm forking out full price again, this will be on my to-buy list on one of the DOTW bargains.

thenarkallaptar
thenarkallaptar

Haha "Thongs of Virtue hands on"... Ok, I'll take my immaturity someplace else. This looks pretty fun though!

Sonicmeed
Sonicmeed

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

rossguyy94
rossguyy94

Was Deathspank any good? Cause I might get this or DR case zero

Rasputin2011
Rasputin2011

This is the boot in the @$$ I need to start showing Deathspank some love again XD

Not_gulty
Not_gulty

hope its gona worth the money this time... cause not long enought

MKID232
MKID232

This has immature humor written all over it. And we will not have it any other way.

KoRniTo
KoRniTo

I need to finish the first game FAST!

MuffintopX
MuffintopX

Just get in the bag, future criminal.

shadow-crow
shadow-crow

its not an expansion pack its a sequel

SlickkWilly
SlickkWilly

ok, dlg...downloadable game/content...who cares what its called. It is downloaded from the store. I'm liking the first one.... 30 for the both is a lot of cool game for a low new game price. I'm all over it.

eiadrtr
eiadrtr

i didnt even get to finish the first one

MrOrmond
MrOrmond

Yes! Closure! And it's only just around the corner!

matt_hargett
matt_hargett

one other nit in the first DeathSpank I forgot about: 4. stilted dialogue between characters is so 1999. even indie developers have realized that recording even a few of your voice actors together helps tighten cadence and comedic/dramatic timing. all the ProTools edits in the world can't inject that.

XxNote_WorthyxX
XxNote_WorthyxX

Guys this is a GAME, not DLC, but anyways, yes this looks cool/ first one was very satisfying

matt_hargett
matt_hargett

loved pretty much everything about the first one, other than: 1. the bad MP3 audio quality. (why people don't just use AAC by default, since it sounds much better as the same bitrates, I have no idea.) I'd be willing to pay $5 for an HD audio add-on pack, but a dialogue-oriented game released on PSN or XBLA shouldn't sound like a 40MB-limit WiiWare game with lots of lispy and boomy artifacts. 2. the screen tearing. the awesome art style in 1080p was a joy to behold, when it wasn't marred by screen tearing. I really hope they fix this and patch the original. maybe the PixelJunk guys could help them with their optimizations. 3. what's with the XBox1-style particle effects? all it does it show the boundaries of the terrain tiles, throwing immersion out the window. this will be the fourth game with this engine on current-gen platforms, you'd think they'd have eliminated the effect or improved it by now. if it seems like some of these things have been improved on, the sequel is a day one purchase for me. I just hope they can get back to Penny Arcade Adventures at this point, as those games really deserve an iPad/iPhone4 release.

shadow-crow
shadow-crow

you guys are complaining about names and release date while i noticed a wizard guy helping death spank kill the aliens does this mean co op or even vs mode????

SlickkWilly
SlickkWilly

"is released on the PlayStation Network on September 21 and on the Xbox Live Arcade on September 22. " Where am I missing the not a dlc game from? I didn't read the whole article but that above is right at the end.

LeoGoBezerk
LeoGoBezerk

great! first one was amazing game! but it's bad that this one is not downloadable anymore.

kairikh
kairikh

this looks like 10 times the fun of DS 1 :D

chapnapprogamer
chapnapprogamer

CaptainAhab13 loool ... this isn't a DLC ...... it is a standalone game .... i hope Kevin Van Ord will review it :-D

snugglebear
snugglebear

Love the frst one. Can't wait to start handing out individually packaged portions of justice once again!

CaptainAhab13
CaptainAhab13

Woohoo, I loved Deathspank. Though short, it was awesome. Let's hope this DLC doesn't fail and isn't a rushed-out rehash.

Gorephanage64
Gorephanage64

I only got to play the "Deathspank" demo so far and I loved every second of it, my brother beat the first one and would not stop raving about how much fun he had. I will be picking up both of them on the 22nd for the 360.

metalkid9
metalkid9

@bakasora, no, they're both standalone titles.

bakasora
bakasora

Does this require the 1st part to play part 2?

LpcWarrior
LpcWarrior

what does the name matter? as long as the game is fun who cares? at least try to complain about something that somewhat matters.

MetalGearNaruto
MetalGearNaruto

People are complaining about the title? That's just sad. DeathSpank was awesome and fun. I expect better things from this sequel. Remember that whole L4D fiasco? An early sequel isn't automatically bad, folks.

green_dominator
green_dominator

@Fusco1980 It's just because of Ron Gilbert, like any big name when ideas come out everyone jumps on the bandwagon. the name Deathspank alone evokes a morbid pornographic image in my mind, Things Of Virtue isn't any better, It sounds like something a 13 year old might dream up....I only say that because when I was 13 I'm pretty sure I would have thought the name was funny. Actually at that age I was playing Castlevania and watching movies like Robocop and Terminator.

Fusco1980
Fusco1980

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

causticjones7
causticjones7

If only more full price games were as entertaining as the first Deathspank. Fun and funny. A third of the price and three times longer than Kane & Lynch 2. The best of lists at the end of this year could feature more arcade games than retail ones. Especally if value for money is considered. Even more so if you consider the expection against the actual game.

metalkid9
metalkid9

I'm literally counting days. This game deserves a launch centre.

Dracula68
Dracula68 moderator staff

Definitely gonna be grabbing this day 1. The original was a fun game and the way it ended was such a tease.

SocialAnXieTy
SocialAnXieTy

It seems a tad too quick for it to be landing a sequel so quick. I understand they were made at the same time, but if that were the case why not just combine them together into the same release? Oh well, hopefully this one has more content so maybe it'll be worth it.

payne6705
payne6705

Loved the 1st one I don't see why I won't love the sequel.

green_dominator
green_dominator

I swear this game definitely has the top spot for worst game name of the current generation.......

voodoomaster18
voodoomaster18

I'm buying the game regardless of whatever the case may be just because I thought the first was probably one of the best arcade games I've ever played. I could care less if they baked it all up at once and then cut it up into chewable segments.

Blueblaze02
Blueblaze02

@voodoomaster18 The game was developed at the same time as the first. It was finished before the release. It was planned for the game to be released in two parts.

voodoomaster18
voodoomaster18

I loved the first, but wow, this one was a little quick "out of the oven". I hope they aren't planning on pumping out half-assed sequels just to turn a revenue like so many other companies. Unfortunately, EA Partners is publishing it, so that may or may not be the case. I just hope for more great comedy and gameplay even if they (probably) did cut most of the material out of the original for the sequel to bear.

DaNubianPryns
DaNubianPryns

I need to hurry and finish the original then lol