Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
  1. 100
    Shank is the freshest, most unequivocally rewarding beat-em-up game to come along in almost a decade.
  2. Brilliant hack'n'slash game picks the core elements of this specific genre and serves them with style. You won't stop until the last enemy is on the floor bleeding. [Issue#195]
  3. 90
    What I'm saying to you is that Shank is so fun that it's actually a cure for murder, and if that's not worth 4.5 stars, what is?
  4. 86
    Brilliantly structured levels. [Issue#197, p.103]
  5. Its main features are the high frame rate and the massive amount of brutality. Nevertheless, Shank is worth the low price and fun for at least some evenings.
  6. Its sometimes aggravating difficulty might not be for everyone, but anyone looking to bring back that warm, pit of your stomach feeling of playing Double Dragon for the first time needn't look any further
  7. If you're looking for a deep, meaningful commentary on life and man's inhumanity to man, then you're looking in the wrong place. Shank may be a cliché story, but it's a cliché story that's executed exceedingly well and should be appreciated as such.
  8. Shank's unassuming style and blatant old-school influence make it a must-have for fans of games like Gunstar Heroes, Double Dragon, and Contra. No matter what, vengeance must be yours.
  9. This is the Saturday morning cartoon your parents wouldn't dare let you watch, the closest thing to Venture Bros. becoming a video game, and one of the highlights of this year's downloadable titles. The only thing it's missing is a lot of limbs falling off and decapitation, but that's what sequels are for, right?
  10. It's not for everybody, but you won't regret spending $15 on this gruesome Xbox Live Arcade release!
  11. Jan 20, 2011
    81
    "Quotation Forthcoming"
  12. "Quotation Forthcoming"
  13. Shank is one of those games that sums itself up in its own title. It's also a game wears its influences proudly on its arm like a 'mum' tattoo. You're looking at a 2D brawler that nods at classic beat 'em ups and pretty much every arcade game released in the late '80s. Aesthetically it's a beautifully animated homage to the greatest graphic novels and golden-age comics. [Oct 2010 p.75]
  14. Shank suffers from too much repetition, even for a brawling fighter, but it gets high points for style and its gritty, dark subject matter. This is a game you can sink your teeth into and bask in its wild aggression.
  15. Shank is good, but it could have been a classic with a little fine-tuning.
  16. Co-op is undeniably fun, though. I enthusiastically recommend the game provided one takes the following caveat into account: it's gonna piss you off. You might bust a controller. If you're good with that, and you still want to partake of the aforementioned pluses, be my guest.
  17. 80
    Shank is one of those games that will either be loved or hated by the masses. I for one think it is a steal at fifteen bucks, and if you enjoy classic action titles like Contra or Ninja Gaiden (NES style) then you should not hesitate picking it up.
  18. At just under twenty bucks, Shank is great value for money. The look and score is sex on legs, the gameplay is solid and racking up combos is painfully addictive.
  19. While there is certainly an argument for style over substance here, it is hard to see any fans of the genre being disappointed with Shank's enticing gameplay.
  20. Shank is absolutely worth the time, money, and effort, though perhaps it's not the paragon of innovation I expected.
  21. Dressing up classic gameplay with gorgeous graphics is sometimes enough. [Oct 2010, p.83]
  22. Occasionally frustrating moments and hugely disappointing boss fights aside, Shank is a treat for anyone who likes chainsawing bad guys in the face. Repeatedly.
  23. Style over substance. [Oct 2010, p.97]
  24. 79
    Shank is a cool 2D platform game with a nice story, gameplay and visual style. Most of the important parts of the game are made really well, but there are some complications: the game is pretty short, doesn't work in coop and sometimes the gameplay is a bit confusing. A lot of questionable points, but overall the game is still good and nice to play.
  25. Shank is a 2D beat'em up with a great style and gameplay; on the other hand, a poor replay value and a short main story don't make it one of the tops.
  26. Shank pays proper honor to the action games of the past with simple controls, a variety of weapons and just enough gameplay to keep any action gaming fan occupied properly.
  27. Most of the game is actually pretty fun, although the loading times are damned long for a downloadable title. It's a colorful, violent cartoon with some of the best music of any game this year. It's simply that any time a boss shows up, I want to go play something else.
  28. In a form as creaky as the side-scrolling brawler, a vibrant work like Shank is a success.
  29. Shank succeeds at what it sets out to do, giving you funny action, foolish humor and great visuals.
  30. The best 1200 Microsoft Points you can invest right now. Shank plays on the same league as Limbo, Trials HD or Braid: it's short and simple, but fun and refreshing.
  31. The top notch 2D visuals help bring the game to life with movie-inspired characters and storyline. The lack of an online co-op mode holds Shank back from being a real enjoyable co-op title, and it really should have been included in the package.
  32. 70
    The fundamental level design issues later in the game, combined with the eventual tedium of the combat it relies on, makes Shank a good game for a particular audience rather than a great game worthy of everyone's attention.
  33. Shank's main problem is that all the game's positives (and there are quite a few) are either undone or over-shadowed by the lasting impression that it's too short and just too tedious.
  34. Shank sure sizzles, but it isn't much more than a flash in the pan.
  35. Striking visuals aren't enough to save this shallow brawler from being monotonous and frustrating.
  36. With no online play, replay value is a reverse skyrocket, burrowing deep into the Earth's crust.
  37. While Shank can be fun, it is also repetitive, inconsistent, and over far too quickly.
  38. Like the movies that doubtless inspired it, Shank ultimately has more style than substance. It looks fantastic but it's hardly a lengthy game, and it does little to trouble your brain. As throwaway entertainment goes, though, it's solid popcorn stuff.
  39. If you can overlook the control issues and often totally uneven difficulty (the second boss should under no circumstances be way easier than the first, in any game, ever), and turn a blind eye to the asinine plot and characters, Shank does have its moments.
  40. Mindless entertainment is all well and good but, at its worst, Shank's gameplay is as ugly as the underworld of thugs, drunks and violence that make up the game's universe.
  41. Sadly, Shank is a nice but short action game. The combat system is well studied but doesn't have the right balance, and the entire experience ends in three hours only. The offline only multiplayer game is also a crazy choice.
  42. It seems like the developers spent too much time on fine tuning the combat system and not enough on balancing and level design. As a result, what starts out as a well paced and challenging game soon becomes repetitive. Once in a while a new weapon is introduced to mix things up, but at that point it is too little and too late. The co-op is pretty good, though.
  43. There are some incredible peaks in Shank that I think are entirely worth experiencing, and it can be a pleasure to play, at least for a while. There are far worse ways to spend $15 for three hours, but it's those very highs that really make Shank's shortcomings that much more disappointing.
  44. Oct 24, 2010
    50
    Shank is an old school side scrolling beat 'em up with a new lick of paint. The main character seems to have stepped out of a comic book. Shank has enough style, but unfortunately comes up short with substance. The game is short and doesn't offer any replayability next to the hard modus.
  45. Shank is shallow, repetitive, and short. Enough said.
User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Dec 18, 2013
    9
    Really fun game. Controls are awesome and fluid. Graphical style is amazing. Even the plot is surprisingly good. There's a seperate 2 player co-op campaign to! Full Review »
  2. Nov 22, 2011
    8
    Yes, the gameplay gets repetitive. But Shank is a really enjoyable little game with a nice art design that deserves positive reviews. The length is little bit short (4-6 hours), but the coop-mode works well and invites to come back for more. Full Review »
  3. Sep 9, 2010
    8
    Another game that excels with it's unique art style, but suffers a bit with hit detection issues and a bit of repetitive game play. Still the boss battles,cartoon violence and the many unlockable costumes make the game worth it's price tag. Full Review »