DeathSpank Delivers Justice to PSN Tomorrow

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Hey everybody this is Darren Evenson and Chris Mitchell from Hothead Games. We’re here to talk about combat in DeathSpank.

In case you don’t know already, DeathSpank is an action-RPG mixed with adventure gameplay. A lot of people are saying it is like Diablo meets Monkey Island which is appropriate because Ron Gilbert, the co-creator of Monkey Island, was the Creative Director for the game. The quick summary is that the game has a ton of action, a ton of loot and is as funny as hell.

An early design goal for combat was that it needed to be approachable but with surprising depth. Gamers had to be able to pick up the game and figure it out immediately but make little discoveries as they continued to play.

The first thing players use are mortal weapons. This large collection of blunt objects and sharp things do physical damage to enemies. They’re an effective and satisfying way to smash enemies or put holes in them.

Deathspank Deathspank

Next up are what we call elemental weapons. These are imbued with mystic energies that are more effective on the right enemy, or far less on the wrong one. For example, you can use fire weapons on ice monsters, nature weapons on ghosts, you get the idea. It’s a simple thing but results in the player constantly making small tactical choices.

After that are Weapons Of Justice, crazy-powerful items that are most effective when DeathSpank’s Justice meter is full. How do you fill that meter you ask? Good question. Well the slow way is to button mash. The fast and totally more fun way is to create your own combos by using a variety of weapons, filling the meter quickly while doing bonus damage. Weapons of Justice can fling lightning, stun enemies or drive them into the ground!

And then there’s Runestones. These are looted from extremely hard to kill creatures but give DeathSpank some of his coolest abilities. To use a Runestone, DeathSpank uses a Weapon of Justice in one hand and an elemental weapon in the other in a two-handed strike for devastating results. Enemies are flung into the sky by geysers, have souls pulled out of them or are filled with dozens of flaming swords.

Deathspank Deathspank

We’ll stop there but mention things like tactically divine airstrikes, poison-coated crossbow bolts, and portable black holes (no really). On top of all that there’s a whole defensive side to DeathSpank, with dozens of potions and over a hundred pieces of unique armour for the min-maxers out there.

Ok this is usually the part in the post where the developers mention something they ‘heard in the hallway’. We’ll let you in on an industry secret, those are totally contrived, they didn’t hear anything, there probably wasn’t even a hallway. Have fun storming the castle!

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8 Author Replies

  • The second I hear it’s “Diablo meets Monkey Island” I ask who to make the check out to – Can’t wait to get my ‘loot on’ tonight.

  • Glad there is a demo. Take note Sony, customers want demos.

  • I will be purchasing this. Shoutout to Hothead Games and EA.

  • For me $14.99 and demo on launch day is all win. In my head I was expecting something between $15-$20 and hoping for a demo. Glad you guys delivered.

  • this is right up my alley, and its my birthday all week long!!! thats right! so i will be self-gifting this bad boy pronto!

  • Soooo what time is this game gonna be released??? I’ve been waiting all morning!!!!!!!!!

  • I most say I’m impressed, I usually don’t find 2 day one purchases announced before the update hits, but both this and Land Bandits are looking amazing.

    I can’t wait to get done with work to find the store updated so I can play this, thanks for making an awesome game for us :D

  • Darren, QUESTION:

    How many hours will I be able to log into this game? I usually tend to convert each dollar I spend on a game into a 22 hour experience, for instance: If I pay $14.99 plus tax (12% here in Canada) I’m looking about $15.78 – soooo, I times each dollar by 22 gaming hours and I should get about 347 hours and 16 minutes. No less. If this game is any shorter, then it’s a complete rip-off and you guys are just a bunch of dirty thieves.

    So I’ll ask again: Will I be able to log around 350 hours into this game? Basically I just want to ensure my dollars-to-hours conversion system (which ensures I ALWAYS get my moneys worth for a game) works in concordance to this games length. Thanks!

    • And a good day to you, ZEROFACES.

      I am letting you know right now that YES, you can log 350+ hours into DeathSpank. Of course, you’ll probably win in 10-15 hours, but you are able to go back into the game to do whatever you’d like. For example, you could go complete more sidequests, explore the world, try to unlock all the trophies, or just go around killing stuff for loot.

      But to get up to 350 hours, you may just want to leave the machine on while you sleep. ;)

  • I’m also waiting for the PSN to update so I can pick this up today. Though it usually updates much later in the day so I’ve still got some time to kill.

  • no online co-op !!!!!!!!!!!!blahhhhhh!!!!!!

  • Must resist going to Sony’s door to poke the monkey that makes the dominos fall, to knock over the bowling ball wich rolls over the pinky toe of the vp of making the psn update so I then can go home to buy this game.

    On a side note any plans to make this game ooze out preposterous amounts of sticky sweet dlc? ( Not dinosaur larva cocoon… that would be awsome too though.)

  • Where is the game at? Not in the store is where.

    • Just do what we do and CONTINUALLY REFRESH over and over and over. You think you want to see this game in the store? I’d sell Darren for a copy right now.

      Seriously, 14.99 for Darren! Who’s buying?

  • I guess i’m the only one, but I can’t seem to be able to watch the video or screenshots. What the…??

  • So what time do PS3 games release?
    I still have not seen this in the PlayStation Store and it is after 2 p.m. EDT.

    • Hey MajicManj,

      Typically games on the service will go up between 3-5pm Pacific Time (or 6-8pm Eastern).

  • @64

    Majic usually the PSN updates anywhere between 5-7pm EST time I have found being an east coaster as well. On days where I am looking forward to the update for a game release(much like today) it seems to always push near that 7pm time frame.

  • MajicManj

    They update the store late into the day which is a horrible business model. If they were smart they would allow preorders and downloading of games before they come out like Steam. Then unlock the games the moment they are released. This not only increases sales, but it also let’s people know what is coming out and when. I only heard of this game by chance this morning even though I go on PSN regularly.

  • Thanks atone1382.

    Also, I did not see it anywhere else, will DeathSpank have an online DRM like Capcom placed on some of its downloads?

  • Glad you guys will have a demo for such a higher priced game than usual. Plus I like that you guys are so active in response to these comments. That sometimes helps for my decision to get a game if the devs are active toward the fans.

  • To the Dev’s, a qick Q-yun. Is the full download just an unlock for the demo, or a separate entity? And what do you think when some idiot says “junk, next please?” I saw that yesterday and wanted to strangle that jerk. What happened to mom’s favorite virtue “If you can’t say something nice….?” Something has gone wrong in this world. Some gamers are an embarassment to the rest of us. What if he/she drew you a nice picture at school and gave it to you and you said it sucked,slapped him, and yelled for another beer? I guess things change when you have kids and they make u “interesting” crafts on a daily basis. I think the game looks awesome and will be giving it a go as soon as the update hits. Thanks for putting yourselves out there. If you didn’t we’d have nothing to play.

  • @ NeonReaver,

    If you like support after the sale, may I suggest PAIN to you. If you daon’t already have it it’s a good game and they suppoert on-site and listen to suggestions and constructive crticism. Peace…er I mean WAR!!!

  • sorry about spelling errors. darn netbooks are tiny

  • choogler,

    That would actually be great to have the game installed and then an unlock.
    I did not hear about DeathSpank on PSN either. I found out about it on the web.

  • If Deathspank could only have 1 battle cry, what would it be?

    • That’s easy.


      Okay, not really. Of course it would be:

      “FOR JUSTICE!”

      It’s all he does, and is what he lives for.

  • 10-15 hours from a downloadable game? I’m sold! Besides, the art style and the humor are already major draws. Bravo, Hothead, bravo.

    “Deathspank” looks like it could really tie the room together.

    Now if only the PS Store will have updated by the time I get home from work…

  • Majic I’m not to sure about the DRM I also have not heard anything about that. Also to those who say they have not heard of this game until today, I will agree that the PSN itself does a poor job of showing us upcoming titles. If anything maybe a location in Home is needed where you can see upcoming releases.

    That said however I have had this game on my radar for some time. As a visitor to a great many gaming websites some have done a fantastic job of keeping us up to date on this title. The most notable of which to me would be Those guys have done a great service to this game and showed it to me for the first time many moons ago. So a big Battle Cry to the Axe!

    Anyway, at best it should be only a few hours now till the store is updated and I can get my grubby mitts on this gem. Honestly after watching and reading about this game the amount of content it seems to have to me is a steal for 15 greenbacks. I know that price is usually the higher end of the DLC content but I think what this game has to offer will make it more than worth it.

  • IGN Posted a Review for DeathSpank! Woot!
    It seems a women has reviewed it, hence why it wasn’t a PERFECT 10. *Tisk, tisk – silly women, RPG’s are for MEN!!! It’s not called DaintySpank, am I right!?

    *note, I am not a “sexist” – i just hate GREAT GAMING GEMS getting un-perfect reviews :(

  • “Storming the castle.” Castle Crashers?!?! did someone say Castle Crashers?!?! ;)

  • Heh… Have fun storming the castle! Is a line from The Princess Bride. Great fun movie.

    I imagine having more fun with this game, once I can get out of this cage and poke that monkey!

    C’mon bring me the key sparky, People are relying on this update.

  • This just in! Unconfirmed reports say the PS store has updated and DeathSpank is up! If I’m dreaming don’t wake me up! Somebody check online already!

    Seriously though if I’m dreaming don’t wake me up because I heard that’s bad for you.

  • These unconfirmed reports are accurate! currently 21% and climbing. You guys know what Ill be playing the rest of the night!

  • Back in and I see the game has arrived. Seven percent and counting. Evildoers are on the clock.

  • I love this game!!! It looks and feels and smells AMAZING!!! Kudos, Devs – you have thoroughly impressed me! (not that I’m anyway you need to impress, but I just thought you should know)

    I’m going to be playing this all day! WOOT!!!

    *although this is still just my first impression and i haven’t played enough to produce a REAL review, i have a really good feeling about this game :)

    • Thanks ZEROFACES that smell is pure cleansing benzine that we liberally used during production. Other studios use calcium but we think that’s just lazy.

  • not that I’m anyone*

  • Bah. Still no DeathSpank in the PSN Store in the EU.

    Any idea when/if we’ll get it over on this side of the pond? My justice dispensing muscles are twitching!

  • Well I had made such purchase to the ever loving, kick ass, and yet very tranquil game of Deathspank, I have to say it taught me two things. 1) Never take unicorn poop for granted. 2) Actually unicorn poop is #2. Chris and Darren you guys are awesome keep up the great work.

  • How about the PSP or PC??

  • @ Sir_Apleheart

    Page one of this thread our main man Darren Evenson said something in regards to the EU release, copy and paste as follows.

    “Our Executive Producer was saying some stuff to us before, and we kind of tuned in and out. You know how it is. But I think he said something about coming out in Europe on July 14th.

    So yeah, only two more sleeps for our European peeps.

    (I totally just came up with that one now.)”

  • LOL unicorn poop! Is that a potion or a actual weapon?!

  • Actually, you eat it. Not joking. You’ll find that it’s incredibly useful during combat.


    Pure genius, seriously. You guys are the man. Or men. You get my point, just take the compliment, ok?!

  • Didn’t know where else to ask, but what do the “GOOD” and “EVIL” slider bars in the pause menu do?!? I afraid to move them in case reality is altered in a good/bad way…

  • I had fun playing the demo, so I’m bound to pick this up soon. Also been enjoying the Monkey Island games–they were a blast to the past. Thanks! :)

  • i played the demo and it made me buy the game instantly after i finished the demo! Thanks for making such an awesome game :)

  • I try to eat Unicorn poop daily anyhow so adding to the game just lets me know its OK. I downloaded the demo but haven’t had the opportunity to play…..tonight I will get that opportunity.

  • The demo did what it was supposed to. I tried it, liked it, bought it. Completely hilarious!! “If you only buy one game this year, you must not be a real gamer” (or something like that)

    Still sounds like Captain Quark (even if it isn’t)

  • Howdy,

    A quick shout out to the Justice Making Team. This game is kick ass!!! It’s funny, has depth, and great gameplay. The quests don’t drag on forever. This is a steal @ $15. Well done and cheers!

  • So far this is the best game on psn hands down, well worth the 15 bucks. The humor is great and the game is polished im VERY satisfied and rated it 5 stars.

  • This looks epic, but I play Modern Warfare 2 a lot so I guess I’ll only play it if the lobbies are empty

  • first off i love the game very happy with it so far

    no unlockable avatars for us ps3 ppl like the 360 has? also does the difficulty setting actually change anything like drops etc?

  • So I went ahead and moved the “GOOD” & “EVIL” slider bars, and……nothing happened. Well, nothing I noticed anyway. Answers, anyone?!?

    Also, I’d like to note that DeathSpank is in my Top 5 Fav Games of 2010!!! (so far)
    1. MGS: Peace Walker
    2. Super Mario Galaxy 2
    4. Red Dead Redemption
    4. Persona3 Portable
    5. DeathSpank

    • That’s some mighty fine company to be in, so thanks! I’m at 92% in RDR myself.

      The sliders do….something. You’ll figure it out.

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