Greetings, readers!  Behold the RipTen review of the third tale of Deathspank!  Vanquisher of evil!  Hero to the downtrodden!  Wearer of thongs!

The Baconing is easily the most fun and best crafted Deathspank title to date. Had you not played the previous installments, Deathspank and Thongs of Virtue (click click for our reviews), it would be a wise choice to do so as the game doesn’t give you very much backstory.  Throughout your adventure, you’ll encounter characters from the previous games, which may cause confusion to new players. So, if you have the extra cash and care about the story, play the originals first.

Meanwhile, during the review of this game…

If you can't stand Mickey Mouse, you're going to hate this little bastard.

Aside from meeting previous characters and wearing 5 colorful thongs at once, not much else from the game’s story is needed. The Baconing is everything you’d expect in a Deathspank title: hilarious dialog along with great voice acting, a pop-up book art style that is more beautiful than ever, and of course, the hack n slash RPG action.

The Baconing tends to lean more towards the original in terms of its arsenal however.  You won’t be firing machine guns or pistols, but instead a variety of different crossbows. The combat is still your traditional hack and slash however and  The Baconing features a ton of different weapons, some of which offer their own special abilities.

Before you ask. Yes, you get to clone shit.

Each ranged weapon in the game has a nice little effect once fully charged. My personal favorite is the “Crossbow of The Gods” which explodes on impact, but you must be careful or you’ll just blow yourself up — I’ve done it quite a few times. For the most part, The Baconing is a pretty linear action/RPG  — you can already plan out what’s going to happen next based on your quest log. That doesn’t make The Baconing less of a game, but it does kill some of the excitement and puzzle aspects which are offered.

The greatest part about The Baconing is its visual artwork. Not only is it beautiful, but the unique environments throughout the game surpass any of those from its predecessor. From life-filled forests, golf courses, casinos, and even a nuclear cloning camp, every area in the game was exciting and gave me a reason to venture forward. Every time I stepped foot in a new area, I was eager to explore and uncover the secretes of Spanktopia.

Meet Deathspank. Mr. Bad Ass thong wearer guy.

Aside from the Stoopid chickens and a few other monsters, almost every enemy in The Baconing is new. Not only that, but they’re more energetic. The most entertaining type of new enemy are the Chewy Gummy Bears, which are more or less kamikazes that don’t exactly kill themselves upon exploding.  There’s also a new arena mode which offers a great variety of enemies. Just don’t expect to walk in and clean up. Each wave gets harder and harder as you encounter the arena pretty early on in the game.

While The Baconing does feature a massive amount of quests, new enemies, weapons, and beautifully crafted environments, the game itself is no different than its predecessors. The combat is exactly the same, the quests don’t do anything new, and the gathering and combining of loot hasn’t changed. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  In this case that is true, but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed.

These sons of bitches come in packs. So watch out.

It’s been nearly a year since we’ve seen the likes of Deathspank, where the previous games were released within a short few months of each other. In a year’s time, I expected more from this game. You do a bunch of quests, eventually make it to a ship where you sail around for a while doing more quests, then end up at the last boss. The most disappointing aspect of The Baconing is that the game still doesn’t offer online co-op.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy my time with The Baconing.  I still think it’s the best Deathspank title to date, and fans of the series will fall in love all over again, but I just expected a little more from HotHead Games. Given not much has physically changed from the core game, you would think online co-op would be a must.  Local co-op is appreciated, but we’re not in the PS2 days anymore. Gamers are lazy. We don’t want to go to a friend’s house anymore; we want to sit in our nice comfortable chairs and couches and play online without having to get off our ass.  But I digress…

I won't spoil anything, but when you see this area, expect the "Godfather".

In the end, The Baconing is still a fantastic title. Deathspank Fans will be pleased and newcomers will love it. My adventure only took me around 6 hours to complete, but it was a damn fun one, and I’ll probably end up playing through it again. Even though the game is more of the same, it’s still a worthy purchase and will provide a great experience for RPG and Deathspank fans alike.

If you have $15 laying around and are looking for a beautiful, humorous hack-and-slash RPG, you can’t go wrong with The Baconing. My only hope is that we don’t see another title in a few months from now unless there’s online co-op included.

Here’s The Rundown

+ Beautiful art style with each location unique from the last

+ Great voice acting as always

+ New weapons are a blast to use

- More of the same

- Still no online co-op

The Baconing was developed by Hothead Games and published by Valcon Games for the PlayStation Network on August 30th; Steam, Mac App Store, and Xbox Live Arcade on August 31st.  The game retails for $15.00 USD.  A copy of the game was provided to us by the publisher for the purposes of review.  Campaign was played  until completion taking around 6 greasy bacon hours. Strap on your thong and fire up the bacon, it’s going to be on hell of a ride.