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a game by Klei Entertainment Inc.
Platform: PC (2010)
Editor Rating: 7.5/10, based on 2 reviews, 1 review is shown
User Rating: 10.0/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Beat 'em-Up, Hack and Slash Games

Shank is a side-scrolling action game packed with bloody combat, awesome animation, and gore galore. Playing as the titular hitman Shank, you must enact revenge upon your former gang for the murder of your girlfriend. The game also has an additional cooperative campaign that details the events leading up to Shank's quest for revenge. With a cool comic-book art style, Shank sends players on a wild ride of violent vengeance, as they smash through countless bad guys with a wide arsenal of weapons and firearms. For fans of arcade-like beat 'em up games like Castle crashers and Streets of Rage, Shank is a fast-paced romp that's tons of fun to play with a friend.

Main Game Features

  • Two campaigns for solo and cooperative play
  • Sleek comic style graphics
  • 2D combat with combo system


There are two major stories in Shank, one in the solo campaign and the other in the cooperative campaign. The two-player story is a prequel to the single-player campaign, so those who have a gaming buddy should check the cooperative content out first. In the prequel story, Shank and his partner-in-crime Falcone run amok as two hitmen working for the mob. The pair of gangsters start off their killing spree at a nearby strip club, exchanging punches with a local group of bikers. As they continue executing orders for their boss, Shank and Falcone work up a fateful event that kicks off the solo campaign.

In the solo adventure, Shank shows up at a local bar thirsty for blood, after his beloved girlfriend Eva has been killed. After digging up some information, Shank hunts down various members of the gang responsible for Eva's kidnapping and subsequent murder. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn the grisly history of Shank's prior life, including the role he played in Eva's demise. Shank's journey takes him to a variety of slummy, back-alley locations, including the previously trodden strip club, a meat factory, and even a church.


Shank is all about high-octane, bloody combat, best exemplified by the game's frenetic combo options. Whether you're playing cooperatively with two players or going at it alone solo, Shank lets you rip into bad guys with tons of style. As you progress through the game's 20 side-scrolling levels, you'll encounter a wide range of enemies to dispatch with your growing arsenal.

Shank can use his default knives, his chainsaw (more melee weapons can be unlocked), and his firearms to defeat foes, with each weapon mapped to a dedicated button. It's super easy to knock enemies in the air and juggle them, or go on the offensive and rack up big combos. Shank is also pretty agile, with the ability to pounce on enemies from afar and chuck them with a weighty throw. There's also a great selection of end-stage bosses to defeat, which will surely challenge your killing skills.


While it might not be the most invigorating or original story you've seen, Shank paints a grim tale of revenge that's interesting to watch unfold. Even if you're not invested in Shank's plight, it's easy to overlook the narrative shortcomings thanks to addictive and exciting combat mechanics.


The game blends together beat 'em up action, fast-paced traversal, and an enjoyable combo system to produce an exhilarating experience. If you've got a friend nearby and you're looking for a beat 'em up that doesn't hold back on the violence, Shank is a great pick.


  • Fun combat with cool moves
  • Great coop gameplay
  • Serious plot with violent action


  • Levels can feel repetitive at times
  • Some bosses feel unfair

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Snapshots and Media

PC Screenshots

See Also

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