A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Glorifies bloody, grisly combat and suggests violence is the only solution to conflict.
Positive Role Models
Shank's on a mission to save an innocent. The people he fights and kills are fascists up to no good. But none of his in-game behavior sets a good example.
Ease of Play
Challenging but fair. Experienced combat strategists making use of all weapons and moves will have a pretty easy time. Less sophisticated play can still be successful.
Violence & Scariness
Knives, guns, and grenades are used to kill and maim hundreds of cartoonish enemy characters. Blood splashes from enemies. Heads get chopped off, grenades are detonated in mouths. Cries of pain frequently heard.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some females dressed in revealing outfits exposing cleavage, jiggling bosoms.
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"S--t," "f--k," and "damn" used frequently.
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Products & Purchases
Sequel to original Shank, a popular indie game.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drug cartels mentioned in dialogue. Shank drinks alcohol on camera.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shank 2 is a cartoonish downloadable side-scrolling 2-D beat-'em-up game with lots of extremely bloody violence. Knife and gun combat are intermingled throughout, with players slashing one second and firing a weapon the next. Cries of pain and plumes of crimson erupt from enemies with each strike. The camera sometimes slows down the action and lightly blurs the rest of the scene to focus sharply on especially powerful attacks. Players also will encounter frequent strong language (including "f--k"), alcohol and references to drugs, and female characters dressed in skimpy outfits with enhanced bouncing breasts.
Is It Any Good?
Shank 2 is largely more of the same artistically rendered fighting that made the original a hit but with slightly improved graphics and a slightly more frenetic pace of play, encouraging players to keep moving, dodging, and attacking. The knife- and gun-based combat is more graceful than before, with a minor remapping of some controls that keeps players from stumbling over certain actions, such as regaining health. Plus, enemies are a bit more diverse than before, forcing players to regularly learn how to deal with new patterns of attack.
Perhaps the best reason to give this sequel a shot, though, is the new co-op survival mode. It's not about completing the story but instead working together with another player to survive wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemies, reviving one another as needed and earning better weapons along the way. There are only three maps, but the action is addictive enough to keep co-op fans playing for hours.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.