This third game in the Deathspank series, The Baconing, is a lesson in unbalanced gameplay. The humorous plot and dialog might be the highlighting feature but it isn't enough to act as the game's saving grace.
The Baconing plays similarly to the previous games in the series. Borrowing gameplay elements from other popular action RPGs like Diablo, the player takes control of Deathspank on his quest to destroy the magical thongs of the second game in bacon fires around the world. Yes, the plot is totally ridiculous, but that is the point. The voice acting, dialog, character and even the environment are all based with comedy in mind.
Once the humor wears off, it isn't hard to see the blaring flaws with this 3rd person adventure.
Players of the original games might feel a little too much déjà vu when playing through this second sequel and combat is the biggest downfall. The Baconing has some of the wildest difficulty spikes I have experienced in quite some time. I got smoked by the first batch of baddies that I encounterd… three times in a row. It is very easy to get overwhelmed by enemies, with death arriving in only a second or two. The outhouse checkpoints are still your best friend as you will magically respawn to the nearest one when you perish, but they will always require backtracking especially considering that dying is such a huge part of the game even on the lowest difficulty setting. But at the same time, this almost makes the difficulty setting moot as the only real penalty for dying is wasted time (you can pick up your lost cash when you return to your corpse). Playing on the hardest difficultly will just take you longer to complete.
The developers added a block feature, which is supposed to extend the life of the player. Learning the ins and outs of blocking will surely prolong your life, but it is still only a matter of time before the horde sends you back to the port-a-potty. Using hit and run tactics with your long range weapon will usually be your best chance of survival.
The menu system is also crowded and difficult to use. Even the Deathspank character model in the equipment selection screen overlaps the items that you have selected, making it cumbersome just seeing what equipment to wear. Reading is also difficult because the font is just way too small even when playing on a large HDTV.
Simply put, The Baconing doesn't ever really feel fun, just extraordinarily unfair and cheap. The crazy difficulty spikes, overloaded menu system, combat, fetch quests, reading small text… these things will only frustrate. Unfortunately, the occasional chuckle every so often from the humorous writing, voice acting, and pop-up book visuals, isn't nearly enough to justify the $15 price tag.
Reminds Me Of: The Tick
Also Try: cooking bacon in the oven instead of on a pan (really, try it. It's yummy.)
Wait For It: Diablo III
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