If you all remember in 2010, a small company known as Hothead Games released two distinct games that are just awesome. Those two games are Deathspank and Deathspank: Thongs of Virtue. Of course, the creator, Ron Gilbert meant those two games to be only one huge game, but in the end, decided to make it two games. They both rocked! Sadly, however, Ron Gilbert left Hothead Games, and is currently working on some games at Double Fine Productions. Well then, that didn’t stop Hothead from releasing a third game. I was curious to know what they were going to do for the next game and the result of this is The Baconing. The guys over at Hothead Games definitely took what was best of the first two games and tweaked them, making this the best game in the series. However, due to some of these tweaks, it confusingly makes it maybe the weakest entry in the series. It isn’t a bad game, but I shouldn’t spoil what I don’t like about this game so early in the review. Let us dive into the meaty world of The Baconing.
The story starts us in the futuristic home of Deathspank, hero to the downtrodden! For some reason, Deathspank is bored and needs a challenge. As he ponders this conundrum, the world that Deathspank lives in is under attack by orcs, machines, and someone called the Antispank is the one who is causing all this chaos. Deathspank then quickly finds out that the Antispank was made when Deathspank tried on all of the Thongs of Virtue at one time, and must get rid of them by throwing the individual thongs in the Bacon Fires. Like the last two games, you will meet many characters from the last couple of games, and the humor is definitely better here with less jokes about poop and such. It is still a very entertaining story with memorable characters and great humor.
The gameplay is in that same Diablo-action/adventure formula that the last two games have shown us. You will go around a massive and creative world completing quests, taking down silly enemies, solving puzzles, and taking down bosses to get to the Bacon Fires. You will have a huge assortment of weapons, armor, potions, and other helpful items that are used to solve adventure-style puzzles. Besides the main quest, there are side quests you can do, like get Gods out of their houses because they aren’t paying rent, rigging an election for a massively corrupt mayor from the last two games, and many other side quests. There are some tweaks to this overall combat engine, which is actually pretty nice. You can now deflect shots of arrows or ammo back at the enemies and use a shield bash-like attack to make enemies dizzy. The puzzles here are pretty challenging, which makes you think ahead of time what to do and what items to have. That is pretty much it on the gameplay since it really is the same stuff as the previous two games.
The graphics definitely look a little cleaner and still look pretty nice, but it’s basically the same look as in the past. It still has a very creative look to the entire game, and it’s charming to look at due to the creative character designs. The music has been carried over from the other games and it’s good, but well, I will talk about it in my complaints in the next paragraph.
Since this is the third game in the series, you would think they would have made it perfect, but sadly, there are some major issues. The first issue I have is the music. Instead of making some new tunes, they brought over the tunes from before, and very little of it at that into the third game. I find that unbelievably lazy. I mean, why not make new music? You easily had the budget to make a third game, but not enough to make new music? The second complaint I have is probably the biggest issue I have with this game. It feels too familiar and safe. I mean, yeah, I would rather it still be the same Diablo-style gameplay from the past two games, but there just isn’t enough to make it stand out from the other two games. I remember them asking on their Facebook page what they would like to see in a sequel and a lot of people said vehicle combat. We never got that. The only thing they brought over from the second game is the boat riding, and there is some serious lag in some areas with that section. I just wish they had taken a bit more time to work on some new features for this game, like vehicle combat. If the Maw can do that, then I think you guys at Hothead Games can do that also.
Overall, I still very much enjoyed the game even though I just ripped it a new one. I just think it’s a solid game, but they played it a bit too safe to make it any different from its past titles. I can still recommend it even though the 15-dollar price tag might be a bit much now, since nothing new has been added to the whole experience. I still think they will make a sequel, but I hope they put more time into making it a step up instead of just playing it safe.
This game gets an 8 out of 10