User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 108 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 108
  2. Negative: 16 out of 108

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  1. Jul 23, 2011
    NOTE: This is a PC game intended to be played using a Controller. (Game Pad)

    Reviewers need to stop giving this game a low rating simply because they can't follow directions to use a Game Pad. This game is intended to be played using a Game controller which can be purchased for $15 bucks almost anyplace. This is a great hack and slash side scrolling game and the closet you can get to
    being in an action thrash and slash cartoon. Great if you want to let off steam and hack away, or enjoy long play times as well. The cartoon style graphics are a breath of fresh air and very pleasing, and features tons of combos, weapons and moves, but can also be played effectively using one or two moves. So pick your style and have fun!

    Remember, this game is intended for use with a Game PAD! GET ONE! The keyboard is not recommended by me or the developer.
  2. Apr 1, 2013
    I really love these new animated style 2D side-scrollers KLEI has put out. I would have liked to have seen more artistic detail in the backgrounds and some tweaks to the combat system that they learned from Mark of the Ninja would have bumped this game up a point from me.
  3. May 15, 2011
    Decent visual style, miserable controls and poor action. If it had a small selection of context-sensitive controls instead eight-different actions, almost all of which are required to avoid getting molested by split-second quick-time events, it might have been fun to play.

    Boss battles consist of dodging over and over and then delivering the same "trick" attack when the boss opens
    himself for it, intensely boring. Almost every fight after the earliest stages mixes in a frustrating selection of enemies that temporarily stun you or knock you over. Ultimately it's just not fun and I put it down before even getting halfway through it. Expand
  4. Apr 4, 2012
    As the game loads each time, you are instantly presented with a warning that you should be using a controller to play the game. This is unacceptable, as I've purchased it for PC, and I expect it to be played as such. Despite this misplaced excuse of a warning, Shank can be played and enjoyed with the keyboard. The controls and combinations aren't too pitiful, and you will be able to execute most of them as soon as you get used to how the mechanics work. The artwork is well done, in a comic book style setting. The voice acting is okay for what it is, but you should not expect them to be excellent. Even though the game is violent, the overall atmosphere is quite mild and cartoony. The story isn't very original nor is it interesting, but it does fit fine with the overall presentation and game play style. Even though Shank attempts to go back to the glory days of early to mid 90s Beat 'em ups, it comes off as unpolished and sometimes inadequate in some forced platforming elements. There is very little variety between the levels and enemies, and once you get acquainted with the moves, Shank gets increasingly repetitive in all aspects, and you will be hoping for a quick finish to the game. After a very short while, it all looks the same, feels the same, and plays the same. The unlocks don't add much at all, and there is very little to be gained with the weapons the game makes available to the player on a permanent basis as you progress through the story. The boss battles can often drag and do not offer any true challenge or difference in game play in comparison to the rest of the enemies. There is very little charm in Shank, in comparison to games of the same genre from earlier generations. It's button mashing without any skill or strategy whatsoever. The music and setting are akin to stereotypical Southwestern United States, and this provides the player with slight immersion to the theme, albeit a basic one. The general concept would have been better suited for a short animated film instead of a shallow and slightly subpar game. Tedious fight mechanics coupled with poorly designed boss battles makes for a forgettable and passable gaming experience. It took me about 5 hours to complete. Expand
  5. Nov 26, 2011
    THis is a great game, full of action, full of weapons and full of blood. Great Beat 'em up like the ones we had in the past, but with newer graphics.

    Sorry about my english.... i'm a spanish speaker
  6. Jun 4, 2012
    Shank presents well-developed, visceral, beat-em-up goodness in a crystal clear cartoon. A standard revenge story is blown completely out of proportion with a gritty, dark setting chalk full of ridiculously over-the-top muscle-bound brutes. It's awesome, especially since co-op mode doubles things up!

    Classic beat-em-up gameplay gets refined through simple, intuitive controls, multiple
    weapons and pickups and challenging boss battles. Acquiring the best weapon (katana) resulted in a drop in difficulty curve, as simply tapping the "leap" attack would guarantee a kill. Length is not a strong point either, as it took 7h to beat both co-op and normal single player. Hard-mode is still an available challenge, but proves to be too much of a hassle because checkpoints are removed.

    For an indie game, Shank is surprisingly a lot of fun to play. It shows that the extinct Beat-em-up genre can still be fun in modern times. Highly recommended if you like this basic type of arcade game, or simply want a good co-op game!
  7. May 8, 2012
    After I bought this game and saw the description about that the game is best with a controller, I went and bought one. While waiting for the controller to come via mail I tried to play the game with keyboard and it was horrible. The game felt so awkward, stiff and random. I actually liked the graphics a lot, I am a big fan of comic book style graphics, but playing the game was so... unnatural with keyboard. After the game pad I ordered (PS3 usb controller) arrived I tried to play the game again, but now I noticed that the horrible controls weren't because of the keyboard, it was the game which had so stiff and random control. I couldn't get some actions to happen even when pressing buttons, the character shot up in the air half of the time after smacking somebody with a melee weapon even I wanted to shoot somebody in front of me. Combos were nice, but those broke the game, since you could just repeatedly press 2 different buttons to achieve unlimited combo which no normal trash enemy could stand. The boss fights involved moving, which the game is not good at, and it frustrated me a lot. Boss fights were already very repeating, since there was only a single tactic which could seriously hurt the boss and after figuring those out it still took many tries to get the boss to leave himself vulnerable, since some of the triggering effects were totally random.

    Long story short, the game repeats itself after few minutes and has very serious issues of stiff controls and bad movement. Graphics are good and appealing, the storyline is meh, animations are nice, sounds are decent but the game play drags the game into Hell. Shank is like an old, dry crap covered with whipped cream: it looks nice but tastes totally ****
  8. Apr 13, 2013
    Nice way to spend 2 and a half hour of Your life when You don't have anything better to do. And that Tarantino climate is awesome. I had a really good time with this product.
  9. Jul 1, 2013
    I was barely able to muster the willpower to finish the first few levels. Shank is shallow, using violence to give it depth, but more importantly just dull. Combat is boring and spammy. The whole thing felt like a button mash-fest. To top it all off, they used some 2D Gears-Of-War ish art style that looks ridiculous and stupid.
  10. May 12, 2012
    I am genuinely impressed with Shank--a great old school action brawler with a story straight out of the Kill Bill movies. The action is very clean and fluid. It offers some basic combo moves, fitting weapons, and a few other pleasant surprises. On the downside, it only takes about 2-3 hours to complete the game on normal difficulty. Although it is an enjoyable 2-3 hours of non-stop action.
  11. Feb 25, 2011
    This game was interesting, Looks great, plays great. The violence is something strait out of a Quentin Tarantino Movie. The bad thing is the controls and the difficulty. This game is hard! The last boss fight is aggravating. Also using the key board is not the best way to play. If you like side scroller arcade styled combat defiantly a game to try a demo before you buy and from your own judgment.
  12. Apr 16, 2011
    If the 2010 grindhouse gorefest Machete and internet superstars Penny Arcade had a violent, sociopathic love child, Shank would be it. You take the role of Shank, an ex-hitman with a grudge against his old boss, standing toe to toe against an entire crime syndicate in a sidescrolling, 2D action stomp fest, that combines satisfying melee combat with smooth, crisp visuals and a south-of-the-boarder musical medley that fits together so nicely you can almost taste the sand and blood in your mouth. The combat is fluid, encouraging the player the mix things up. Mashing the shank button by itself without a heavy or range followup is a sure way to get yourself killed. Linking up deadly combos by virtue of a rampaging exploration of your grisly arsenal leads up to some pretty nasty combinations that bring a smile to anyone's face. There's a certain visceral thrill of pouncing on one guy, slicing him to ribbons with your shanks, while holding his buddies off with a few well placed shotgun blasts, before exposing your victim's internal organs to daylight with a few deft swings of your machetes.

    Shank is made by indie developer Klei Entertainment and, as such, bears the unjust stigma of many independent games. The controls are smooth as butter and the platforming feels tight and precise, allowing players to move forward, swinging and jumping around most pitfalls and traps with relative ease and grace. Many Indie games favor soul crushingly hard platforming to help add longevity to their titles. Shank steers away from this, opting instead for neat tricks and easy progression to help keep things moving.

    The music and art style are both wonderful and help the player to feel like they're actually a Mexican badass out for blood and revenge in the gritty, crime ridden underworld. The lion's share of the story itself is told by cut scenes presented in a Penny Arcade style of animation which some may find to be a little jarring. Shank is not without its flaws. Unless the player keeps things fresh by varying up weapons and combos, the combat can start to feel stale after a few hours. As a player, you have to want to explore the destructive potential of each weapon to find a wicked killing set to quickly dispatch large groups of enemies. If you're not careful, it's easy to get swamped by the large numbers of baddie, especially if half of them have guns and rifles. Also, the level designs tend to repeat themselves as the game progresses. If you've fought across one set of rooftops, you've fought across all of them.

    The bosses are a mixed bag as well. Each boss has a special trick that must be learned to defeat them and the game only drops hints as to what these tricks are after you die. Some of these hints are very non-specific which means that you'll have to try, and die, several times to discover how to annihilate said boss. The bosses themselves are varied, ranging from mexican wrestlers, meat packing men, a sword carrying version of the Bride from Kill Bill, and a Gimp. Nods to Tarantino films are present all over the place.

    The last few levels can be quite difficult, with a certain degree of frustration as you attempt to manage the waves of gun toting drug thugs, while the last boss will likely drive you bananas.

    Lastly, Shank is short and an experienced gamer will clear the normal difficulty in four or five hours. However, if the game were any longer it would become stale. Given the nature of the combat system, and the level progression, its length fits the bill perfectly.

    While imperfect, Shank is a blast. It is well crafted, smooth, clean fun, and did I mention the price point? At $10 on Steam, Shank is nothing to sneeze at. For 10 bucks you get a satisfying action sidescroller that lets you unleash the beast on waves of thugs, meatheads, hookers and canines, and still have enough money left aside for dinner.

    Shank is a superb value, giving you quite a bit for only little, and leaving you with the satisfaction of forcing a chainsaw down the brainstem of a luchador and ripping the nipples off a Gimp. Shank is great fun, for a great price.
  13. May 22, 2011
    Tremendously entertaining, complete with breathtaking cartoony visuals and a true love for the Tarantino/Rodriguez universe of sleazy revenge. A love letter to anyone who grew up on 80's goodness.
  14. Aug 11, 2013
    As dull as a game can be. It's not horribad either, but the game is not in any way worth the ten bucks it costs on Steam. It's the perfect example of a boring console game. It has nice aspects, like the atmosphere and the genre; but outside of that, everything is average at best.
  15. Jan 20, 2012
    I thoroughly enjoyed this game. I really love the cliche story and the combat. To really enjoy this game you should play it with a xbox 360 gamepad. I had a hard time quiting the game because I enjoyed playing it that much. I have never tried it on the keyboard but I would imagine it's not as much fun.
  16. Feb 13, 2012
    Immensely repetitive, and very short, but it's still a good evening's worth of entertainment. Buy it if it looks like your kind of game. Remember to play with a controller as directed; if you don't have one you really should go an buy one.
  17. Jan 22, 2012
    game play is fun, and i enjoyed the visual style, but it noticeably tries too hard to be an M-rated game. A lot of the mature content seems too forced. Also, the story is shallow and predictable, with a lot of lazy writing. So If you're interested in some fun, mindless game play, you might find a game worth playing here. otherwise, I'd let this one slide.
  18. Jan 14, 2013
    The game delivers mindless action in loads. But is that enough? Will the b-movie pastiche storyline keep you entertained? It works for a few hours, but you'll earn nothing from your investment.
  19. Jan 9, 2012
    Great game, well worth what I paid for it (I got in the humble indie bundle). It's a beat-em-up in the style of Streets of Rage with some interesting twists regarding combos and weapons. There's some platforming as well, but nothing that would deter too much from the action of the game. I didn't get a chance to play the local coop, but it looked fun. The graphics are excellent and the weapons are interesting. Some of the enemies are a bit annoying (dogs for example) but I guess you could say that about any game. All of the bosses were interesting, each of which had tricks to defeat. On normal it took me about 4 hours to complete and I enjoyed it the entire time. There are unlockable skins and a hard difficulty for those wanting a challenge akin to classic games. My only complaints are the controls felt a bit off at first (but I warmed up after awhile) and the music was really bad. I turned off the music halfway through and put on a more fitting heavy metal playlist which fixed that though. Overall one of the better indie titles out there. Expand
  20. May 23, 2012
    Incredible graphics with a final fight or double dragon old school mix. Its like quentin tarantino directed the game. I hear there is a sequel, looking that up. A controller makes this game.
  21. May 9, 2013
    While this game ain't no "Mark of the Ninja", it definetly is a game worth playing. I had so much fun with this, this should've been Devil May Cry! Some of the best combat i have ever seen in a game, great bosses, lovely graphics, and sound design (i think). However, the game is REALLY short (but there is a lot of challenge), and sometimes i feel like there are some odd difficulty spikes. But like Mark of the Ninja, you get the hang of it. The story is just stupid and the ending is even worse, but do you really buy a game for the story? Oh wait... The game is very addictive and time-consuming, so i recommend you try it! Expand
  22. Jul 14, 2013
    i really enjoyed this game it was really a great experience the story is not bad as well and the boss fights are well done in this game it also has amazing visuals although it is a bit short but you will enjoy every moment in it and after you finish it has coop story mode that will keep the fun going
  23. Jun 29, 2013
    Awesome 2d combat game! Much better than Metal Slug and his variants. The story is short but good, the combat is pretty much variable and you can cycle between guns, heavy weapons and your knifes. You collect more weapons for as much as you play. You can finish your enemies in multiple ways. I definitely recomend this game!
  24. Jul 23, 2011
    NOTE: This is a PC game intended to be played using a Controller. (Game Pad)

    Reviewers need to stop giving this game a low rating simply because they can't follow directions to use a Game Pad. This game is intended to be played using a Game controller which can be purchased for $15 bucks almost anyplace. This is a great hack and slash side scrolling game and the closet you can get to
    being in an action thrash and slash cartoon. Great if you want to let off steam and hack away, or enjoy long play times as well. The cartoon style graphics are a breath of fresh air and very pleasing, and features tons of combos, weapons and moves, but can also be played effectively using one or two moves. So pick your style and have fun!

    Remember, this game is intended for use with a Game PAD! GET ONE! The keyboard is not recommended by me or the developer.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Jan 31, 2011
    Shank may sound like the best game in the world, but in reality all its virtues are undermined by a fatal flaw – it's way too simple.
  2. Jan 20, 2011
    Shank is a visually attractive but completely shallow excuse for a 2D brawler game. Frustrating combat doesn't help.
  3. Dec 30, 2010
    Shank - like the hero - is a pleasure to watch, but there's not much going on inside. [Jan 2010, p.64]