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The Baconing Review

The Baconing Review

Deathspank is a character who is entirely defined by hilarity. In fact, it's fair to look at the entire game like a weapon specifically designed to fire jokes with as much precision as possible. Characters all naturally have weird quirks that are woven into the world, which boasts an art direction that reflects the overall quirkiness of Deathspank's character. Those new to the series may not be prepared for what The Baconing has to offer, but in a way those new to the series may also appreciate The Baconing more than veterans. That's because it's the third installment in the series, and though fans of the character will no doubt appreciate the return of the generally heroic Deathspank, the third time may not be as charming as the last.

The story picks up right where the last game left off, and though the developers have commented on how this title hopes to be as friendly as it can to new players, there's something most definitely missing from the very beginning. Bored from being simply too amazing a hero, Deathspank laments on how fantastic his accomplishments have been up until this point. That is, until being interrupted by an invading force who players soon find is his doppelganger, which was created by wearing every single one of the Thongs of Virtue.

Deathspank's inventory is filled with quest items from the last game, even if this is the first time playing the series, and characters that you encounter will be referenced as returning noteworthy individuals from the last game. Thankfully Hothead Games has made it so that newcomers can appreciate the world they've put together, and the jokes are still funny. But even still, you'd expect a stand alone title to be a little more forgiving to its audience.

This same feeling bleeds over into much of the game. Anyone familiar with the prior titles will be able to simply jump right into the action, but new players may find themselves doing a lot of guessing when it comes to learning all of the buttons. Attacks are assigned to each of the action buttons while items can be used by assigning each one to a direction on the d-pad. Movement is naturally taken over by the left stick, while the right analog controls the zoom of the camera. Most of the gameplay orients around switching between multiple weapons and every weapon generally comes with its own bonus stats. Ranged attacks work the same way, and players will have to change between weapons frequently in order to handle opponents that have various weaknesses.

The Baconing makes this fairly simple as up to four weapons can be used on the fly with almost no delay. Blocking and knockbacks will give the player room to breathe against the large groups of foes, and should anyone find they're trying to attack a specific kind of enemy with the wrong sort of weapon, they can simply push pause and adjust weapons on the fly. It keeps what could potentially be an equipment nightmare fairly simple, which means that while trying to get a handle on the various mechanics will take a few moments once they've been properly figured out coming to grips with the gameplay becomes easy enough.

Killing enemies and completing quests grants experience, which unlocks Hero Cards that players can select and equip for new bonuses that Deathspank can immediately benefit from. Other goods in the game naturally have level requirements as well, which means that as players continue to lay down a spanking on evil around the world they'll gain access to better equipment and weaponry. Unfortunately the entertainment revolving around levelling ends there, as killing enemies can be one of the more boring experiences in the game due to the simplicity of the combat. What fuels The Baconing isn't necessarily the action in game, but the humour.

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