Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Feb 7, 2012
    The combat and visuals -- which are what Shank has always been about -- have taken big steps forward to the point that I'm not sure the original Shank even needs to exist at this point. Except for historical value, perhaps.
  2. Feb 13, 2012
    If something works, why change that? Shank 2 is very conservative, but the changes in gameplay are enough to significantly improve the results obtained with the original. Much more intense and varied, after playing this sequel is very hard to return to the past; and this is something that shows the good work carried out by Klei Entertainment.
  3. Feb 17, 2012
    This new interpretation of old-school brawling action works well and doesn't rely just on its sheer amount of blood on the screen or the well executed comic-design.
  4. 78
    If you are wondering whether or not you should buy Shank 2, first ask yourself whether or not you liked the original Shank. If the answer is yes, then Shank 2 is an automatic buy. Its cooler, smoother, has a seriously dark sense of style, and the Survival Mode will probably keep you occupied for longer than you would think. If the answer is no, then let me say that Shank 2 is an improvement over the original in every way. The controls are tighter, the gameplay is more fun, and the game feels far less cheap.
  5. Feb 8, 2012
    Shank 2 takes the old-school, side-scrolling brawler and infuses it with a hefty dose of blood and gore. Crisp graphics, smooth controls, and ballet-like action will give action fans a reason to take a break from Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3.
  6. Feb 13, 2012
    Shank 2 has simply improved every aspect of the first chapter that there was to improve. Visuals, combat system... everything looks great and better, but it's still a bit too short and a bit too repetitive.
  7. Feb 15, 2012
    Although far from excellence, Shank 2 is able to improve every aspect of the prequel. Recommended to fans of the genre, despite a few hours are sufficient to complete the main adventure.
  8. Feb 15, 2012
    I've loved every minute I've spent with Shank 2 since I downloaded it, and I can't wait to replay and revisit my favorite levels whenever I need to blow off some steam. The game is just so much fun and so outrageously over-the-top that you can't help but become addicted. I'm taken back to my early arcade days of Double Dragon or Street Fighter, only now I get much cooler weapons, lots more blood, stunning visuals and sound, and a whole lot of attitude. Shank is the ultimate badass and that's how I feel every time I play Shank 2.
  9. Feb 10, 2012
    While I continue to respect Klei Entertainment's art style and devotion to bloody fantasy above all else, it needs to design less frustrating levels and encounters before its games truly click for me. The upgrades in Shank 2 are a lot like the act of revenge: It feels satisfying in the short term, but in the end you're left with the empty feeling that maybe it didn't improve that much at all.
  10. Feb 14, 2012
    Shank 2 features tighter gameplay than the first, but also more glitches and slowdown, and graphics that have pretty much stayed the same with a soundtrack that isn't as good as the first. At $10, it isn't a terrible use of money and does offer a few hours of fun, but my gut tells me it's best to wait for a price drop - there will probably be one for both the PS3 and 360 versions at some point, and there will definitely be one for the PC/Steam version. If you didn't really love the first game, you can skip this one, but if you did, definitely give it a shot when it drops in price.
  11. Feb 14, 2012
    The trouble with Shank 2 is that this co-op multiplayer only lasts for a little while. Eventually your couch co-op partner has to go home, or you stop finding people to play with online. Then it's back to single player... stab... go right... stab some more... go right... jump over the flames... stab... latter, rinse, repeat.
  12. Feb 28, 2012
    Shank 2 is a sequel worth looking at, especially for those of you who've already spent some quality time with the former hitman.
  13. Feb 22, 2012
    The new adventure of Shank manages to fix and greatly improve some of the gameplay mechanics, providing an immensely satisfying combat system. We hope that a possible sequel will also see improvements in the platforming sections along with a greater variety in enemy types.
  14. 70
    Shank 2's biggest problem is that it still insists on turning everything up to 11 – there's never room to breathe, and every scene tries to outdo the last one. And even though Shank 2 is definitely a better game than Shank, it should have been even better than it actually is. Luckily, the multiplayer is surprisingly robust and, depending on how much time you plan on playing it, make up for the shortcomings of the campaign.
  15. Games Master UK
    Mar 14, 2012
    Won't change the world, but it's beautifully made and satisfyingly violent. [Apr 2012, p.87]
  16. Feb 16, 2012
    Just because Shank 2 isn't terribly innovative doesn't mean it's a bad game. In fact, it's a total blast. It's ridiculous and goofy and completely over-the-top. If you want something that delivers a totally original gameplay experience, don't bother. But, if you want something that's just a lot of fun, look no further: This little gem will keep you grinning like a maniac. Just like Shank does when he revs up his chainsaw.
  17. Feb 14, 2012
    Gory combat comes at a high cost in the uneven Shank 2.
  18. Feb 14, 2012
    It never takes any chances but delivers an overall solid beat 'em up. Inconsistent difficulty, nonexistent story and a lack of gameplay variety hold Shank 2 back, but those looking for a better playing experience from Shank's last outing might want to give the sequel a try.
  19. Feb 22, 2012
    If you're after an old-school brawler it's definitely still worth your consideration – but absolutely keep in mind that this offers frustration as well as fun.
  20. Mar 13, 2012
    It took a couple years, but Klei has finally perfected Shank's combat. This action-packed sequel is strong on violence and short of depth, not unlike the movies its making fun of. Still, even with the improved combat and art direction, I miss the Tarantino flavors of the first game. Shank 2 is a fun romp!
  21. Feb 16, 2012
    Nice, dark and violent sequel with a lot of new stuff.
  22. Feb 6, 2012
    It's a more responsive, faster action title that does away with the damning side of its dazzling animation. This is a smooth brawler with gorgeous spectacle, and its dedication to nailing its second chance makes it one of the best action games in recent memory.
  23. Feb 14, 2012
    Fast and furious, Shank 2 is a convincing showcase of violence and toughness that will satisfy action seekers. The main campaign is too short, but the whole package is complete enough.
  24. Feb 12, 2012
    A significant improvement on the last game in terms of mechanics, but still a 2D beat 'em-up that frustrates as much as it entertains.
  25. Feb 13, 2012
    A worthy sequel, good variety and improved combat system. The difficulty curve is soften than predecessor, but not so much.
  26. May 14, 2012
    Shank 2 is high energy, gleeful violence. Over the top perhaps, but it's a game that knows what it is and revels in it.
  27. 80
    Shank 2 isn't quite as robust or refreshing as its predecessor, but it's another damn fine (and fun!) downloadable adventure.
  28. Even on Normal mode, you'll find yourself overwhelmed until the combination of dodge rolls, grabs, pounces, and combos becomes second nature. It's a testament to Shank's new-found competence that this does, eventually happen. Shank 2 has that satisfying feeling of re-mastering a forgotten motor function.
  29. Feb 14, 2012
    Players looking for a side-scrolling game proud and unapologetic for its blunt machismo will get a kick out of Shank 2 and is priced fairly at 800 Microsoft Points.
  30. Mar 20, 2012
    With the emphasis on fighting, the co-op survival mode is a great way for two players to jump right into the combat, defending piles of supplies from waves of attackers and earning money to buy power-ups. Since it's on a single screen, this is about as perfect a local co-op game as you could ask for.
  31. Feb 9, 2012
    Shank 2 is a good sequel, but unfortunately it doesn't heal the wounds of its predecessor. The combat system has improved, with much more comfortable controls and a great variety of choice in the attacks. Unfortunately, once again, longevity is the weak point of the title and even counting every mode available it will fail to keep you busy for more than a few afternoons. Fortunately Shank is a great character: exaggerated and brutal, a combination that makes it really fun to play.
  32. Feb 10, 2012
    I loved Shank 2's animated style, its characters and animations; everyone needs to rip these guys off, because they know what they're doing.
  33. Feb 13, 2012
    Shank 2 is a noteworthy non-stop action game. It has a reasonable length, great weapons and a fun survival mode.
  34. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Apr 2, 2012
    Another gem on XBLA. [Issue#83, p.103]
  35. 85
    Overall Shank 2 is a really beautifully presented game, with a sharp, distinctive art style, and mostly awesome button-bashing gameplay, let down slightly by a few odd design choices here and there.
  36. Feb 16, 2012
    If you have never played the series, Shank 2 is the perfect jumping off point. For the price, the content is more than worth it, and you will be hard-pressed to find a more gorgeous 2D game on the service. Shank 2 is a great game that fans of classic side-scrolling action titles will not want to miss.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 39
  2. Negative: 12 out of 39
  1. Jan 5, 2014
    For what it is, I would say that this game is not too shabby for a side-scrolling beat-'em-up/shooter. That being said, it also has many ofFor what it is, I would say that this game is not too shabby for a side-scrolling beat-'em-up/shooter. That being said, it also has many of the issues that are commonly found in this genre; shoddy hit detection at times and the inability to entertain for long periods of time. The main issue that really ruined this game from being better for me was the fact that the framerate is guaranteed to drop every couple fights. In a game where one error proves fatal, this just leads to frustrating deaths time and time again. Full Review »
  2. Feb 27, 2012
    As far as downloadable titles go, it doesn't get much better than Shank 2. Building on what made the first game so unique, Klei has crafted aAs far as downloadable titles go, it doesn't get much better than Shank 2. Building on what made the first game so unique, Klei has crafted a game that is more accessible to new comers, while satisfying fans of the original. If Shank 2 stumbles, it does so in its narrative, given that it's essentially none existent. The original Shank had an interesting tale, albeit generic and simple. Nevertheless, Shank 2 doesn't require a Shakespearean tale to motivate you to get from point A to point B. The gameplay in Shank 2 is fairly simple, but deep enough for it to require some skill. Countering and rolling is a welcome addition that eliminates much of the frustration that the previous entry suffered from. Rolling is as simple as flicking the right stick, God of War esque if you will, and countering is done by clicking R2 on the Ps3 and RT on the Xbox respectively. If the option of the Xbox or Ps3 is available, I would insist that one would go with the Ps3 version. The controller is much more suited for the play style in my opinion. The campaign while pretty brief, never overstays its welcome, and there are multiple difficulties to encourage players for a second go around. Normal mode is recommended to new players, while veterans of Shank will derive much more enjoyment playing on the harder difficulty. Shank 2 adds a survival mode that is incredibly fun. Players will take on waves of enemies who increase in difficulty with each progressive wave. While fending off enemies, players will be required to protect three stations. One can also buy items from a shop, such as potions or heavy machine guns to aid you in your struggle. I would advise playing the survival mode with a friend or online with another individual, due to the difficulty in completing it alone. At ten dollars, Shank epitomizes "bang for your buck." Its entertaining campaign won't last long, but there's the survival mode to lean back on. Completionists will be happy to know there are tons of quirky costumes to unlock, with some of them adding an interesting mix to the already competent survival mode. Shank 2 impresses, and anyone looking for a few hours of fun on a Saturday night, or something to keep you busy for a few weeks with a friend, this is your game. Full Review »
  3. Feb 9, 2012
    Shank 2 is in every way an improvement over the original. This goes to show what a talented young studio can do when listening to constructiveShank 2 is in every way an improvement over the original. This goes to show what a talented young studio can do when listening to constructive criticism. To summarize, the animation is better, the handling is tighter, the kills are more satisfying, and dare i say the blood is bloodier. It will bring you much more fun then the the sandwich you could alternately buy for the same price. Full Review »