There will be a new DeathSpank game this summer and it will involve a quest for the Fires of Bacon. It will also be a greatly improved follow-up to last year's downloadable DeathsSank adventures, two comedic riffs on Diablo.
Like Hothead Games' previous DeathSpank third-person action games, the new one will put players in charge of a silly self-important dope of a hero, the titular DeathSpank. Our hero spends his games beating up packs of bad guys who are mostly walking fantasy-genre jokes. He will gather loot, collect weapons and take many more odd jobs from odd characters.
The folks at Hothead gave us news of The Baconing early, and the normal course of action would be for us to take their info, cut out the boring parts and get to the meat of things. But at the risk of stretching a pun badly, we need to quote their press release extensively, to retain the flavor of this summer-scheduled Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network and PC downloadable game:
DeathSpank returns for an all new adventure in The Baconing as he faces his most dangerous foe yet in the Anti-Spank as he tries to locate the Fires of Bacon. Players will settle in for the fun and familiar Monkey Island meets Diablo experience as the Vanquisher of Evil sets out to meet new acquaintances and some old friends in an all new science fiction post apocalyptic world with lots of exciting surprises, quests, puzzles and enemies.
Don't be deceived! This is a screenshot of the first DeathSpank, not this still-unseen third one.
Battle four all new bosses like the Minorque, fight alongside a new sidekick named Bob from Marketing, tame an all new insane level of difficulty and visit all new locations such as The Forbidden Zone, The Forest of Tomorrow, Barnacle Lake and others as you seek out to find the locations of the infamous Fires of Bacon to once and for all destroy the evil power of the thongs.
Enjoy the feel of countless gameplay improvements to the combat system. Dizzy enemies with the shield bash, deflect ranged weapons back at enemies and use devastating charged attacks to send a message to foes. Players will feel more in control of the battle situations than in previous DeathSpank games, providing gamers with opportunity and choice when engaging the enemies which stand in DeathSpank's way.
DeathSpank begins the game within the confines of the city of Spanktopia which will eventually lead him to the first opening boss fight with the Minorque…let the quests of Justice begin. Get ready for an all new and improved adventure with everyone's favourite Vanquisher of Evil in "The Baconing!"
New levels, new moves.... and Bob from Marketing.
The developers at Hothead tell Kotaku that this new game, which was made without the involvement of the lead character's creator, Ron Gilbert, should be more satisfying to play than last year's games. While the earlier DeathSpank adventures were funny, their enemy-bashing, loot-collecting gameplay got dull quickly. (It was their script and attractive cartoon graphics made them worth playing.)
For this new game, Hothead says players can expect smarter enemies who flank our hero and smarter enemy healers, who will strive to keep their hordes alive against the game's ridiculous hero. Combat areas will now include cover points for DeathSpank to hide behind. An internal document about the game states that "player's will now feel compelled to use tactics and strategy to defeat their opponent."
Hothead is promising more than 100 new quests, a new story, more than 70 characters (mostly new), more than 80 new weapons, new areas and a new, tougher difficulty level. They also, disturbingly, list the following special moves for the new sidekick, Bob From Marketing: "Laser eye beams; Eat dead bodies to restore health; Eat live bodies as an additional attack option." The main missing detail was co-op... it seems like it should be back, but Hothead hasn't said. We're checking with them and will update this story when we find out.
We wish we could show you how the new game looks, but Hothead hasn't coughed up any screenshots yet. You can expect to see more as the game's summer release approaches. For now, admire this photo of bacon.
(Looks like today is the day for new Hothead game news... they've also announced a new Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game.)