[Review] The Baconing (PS3)
Available on: Mac, PC, PS3, Xbox 360; Publisher: Hothead Games; Developer: Hothead Games; Players: 1 – 2; Released: August 30, 2011; ESRB: Teen; Official Site
The Baconing is the third game in the Deathspank series, the superhero trilogy from Hothead games, and it returns with some more of the action-RPG gameplay, wacky characters, and writing that fans have come to love. Despite being the third game already, The Baconing doesn’t became stale and is still a joy to play, provided that players can stomach its sometimes trying humor.
If this is the player’s first game in the Deathspank series, he will have to beware of the game’s odd sense of humor. At times, it can be quite fitting and may garner a chuckle or two. For the most part though, players’ hands are less likely to be on their controllers and more likely to be busy facepalming. It seems that Deathspank himself is a raving idiot and the game’s world is filled with NPCs who will tolerate him.
As Deathspank travels through the game’s worlds, you’ll find that there’s quite a bit of variety. While none of them are overly imaginative and rely heavily on typical terrain found in most RPG games, it’s always refreshing to step into a new area and find some new parodies waiting around the corner. Just like the story, the game’s score is accordingly light hearted – as epic as the quest to burn his Thongs of Virtue may seem, the writing and music remind players that this is a quaint game at heart.
In spite of that, however, the game has a fair level of difficulty to it. For the first two hours of the game or so, players will likely be fumbling about, trying to figure out the game’s awkward control scheme. It almost feels dated with a manual lock-on button whereas most other games have already made the transition to full-fledged twin stick games. Gradually, players will learn to just shoot from afar for giant enemies and hack down scouts up close, effectively breaking down the game’s enemies into two basic archetypes. Even if players don’t learn this, the game’s numerous checkpoints and unlimited continues are always there to keep The Baconing from seeming too daunting a task. Sure, you’ll lose money when you die, but after those first two hours, I never spent a single dollar again anyways.
The Baconing has a couple of shortcomings and humor that is borderline annoying, but it is by no means a bad game. It’s still decently fun and might just fit the bill for some players’ sense of humor. Check it out if you’re getting action-RPG withdrawl and have some annoying friends you can tolerate. If not, it may be better to pass.
Note: A promotional code was provided to Denkiphile for review purposes by the publisher.