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Shank Demo Impressions – PAX East


Shank is a brutal side-scrolling brawler—a tale of revenge—where the main character and storyline move in powerful, violent ways. The PAX demo was artsy and enjoyable, if not a little over the top.


Jeff Agala, Klei Entertainment’s Creative Director of Shank, cites Final Fight, Double Dragon and other classic brawlers for influences on gameplay, and Quinten Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and Frank Miller’s Sin City as inspiration on design. Agala says the development process focused a lot on creating a strong narrative.


“We’re working on having stories intermixing with the gameplay like you saw the cut scenes while the game was going,” said Agala, mentioning that no details on the story were available yet.  “We’re doing a lot of hinting with split screens and picture-in-picture, kind of like [the TV series] 24. We’re focusing a lot on the story and this guy’s motivation.”


At the beginning and end of the demo, there are elements that tie the cut scenes and story into the game’s action very well. Cut scene actions usually carried over into the gameplay. For example, the demo used a small picture-in-picture to show the earth-shaking footsteps of the approaching boss battle, which definitely made that particular oh-shit moment a little more intimidating. The cel-shaded style lends itself to a lot of very cool stylistic opportunities with the graphics.


Shank will be coming to XBox Arcade, PlayStation Network and PC this summer.


We would be lying if we said that we are not excited about it.


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