Shank is the cult-classic revival of the sidescrolling beat-em-up. Play as Shank in an over-the-top grindhouse game, packed to the rim with enemies, bosses, combos, and more by the award-winning team at Klei Entertainment.
User reviews: Very Positive (709 reviews)
Release Date: 25 Oct, 2010

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...Shank is the freshest, most unequivocally rewarding beat-em-up game to come along in almost a decade.



Wildly addictive action and smooth controls complemented by a pulpy grind house style, make Shank a must-play for fans of the classic genre.

5 out of 5


Shank is a lot of fun because it lets you murder a lot of different people in a lot of different ways, and I think you should buy it.

4.5 out of 5

Just Updated

  • More responsive controls, based on player feedback.
  • Boss tuning improved.
  • Shoot directly upward!
  • Many other bug fixes and improvements.

About This Game

Shank is the cult-classic revival of the sidescrolling beat-em-up. Play as Shank in an over-the-top grindhouse game, packed to the rim with enemies, bosses, combos, and more by the award-winning team at Klei Entertainment. The 2D sidescroller beat-em-up is finally on Steamplay, now with improved controls and tuning updates based on popular feedback! Shank will have you shooting and slashing your way through hordes of enemies in a stylized slaughter fest. Embark on a brutal path of blood soaked revenge as Shank battles his way through the criminal underground in his quest for retribution. Boasting fast-paced bloody action, silky smooth controls and a signature pulpy grindhouse art style, Shank is a must-play for action fans.

Key Features:

  • Violent graphic novel art style:

    Beautiful and fluid graphic novel art and animation styled by veteran director Jeff Agala.
  • Weapon-based combo system:

    String together endless combos of mayhem and destruction on the fly and pummel your opponents to the ground using an exhaustive arsenal of weapons.
  • Gorgeous, fully animated story cinematics:

    Watch Shanks brutal story unfold through beautiful fully animated cut scenes.
  • Brutal Boss Battles:

    Over 8 different massive and unique bloody boss battles.
  • Two-Player Local Co-Op:

    Murder with a friend. Play in a separate backstory in the two-player co-op mode and face a legion of well-armed enemies in the prequel to the single player experience.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS:Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7
    • Processor:Intel Pentium 4 running at 1.7 GHz or Greater; Athlon 64 running at 1.7GHz or greater with support for SSE2 instructions
    • Memory:1 GB of ram, 1.5 GB (Vista and Windows 7) GB RAM
    • Graphics:ATI Radeon X1800 GTO 256MB and the Nvidia GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB cards
    • DirectX®:9.0
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • OS:OS X 10.6.6 or later
    • Hard Drive:1.5 GB HD space
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 running at 1.7 GHz or Greater; Athlon 64 running at 1.7GHz or greater with support for SSE2 instructions
    • Memory: 1.5 GB or more
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon X1800 GTO 256MB and the Nvidia GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB cards, or better
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
32 of 38 people (84%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: 6 August
"FORGIVE ME FATHER FOR I WILL SIN" and lets carry on by saying that "SHANK" is one of the toughest S.O.B's i have ever seen in gaming,i mean come on to rip a guy clean in half with your shanks is just one hell of a feat of strength (NOT TO MENTION ONE EASY WAY TO GET COVERED IN YOUR ENEMIES INNARDS YUCK)
Now i know this games been out for ages but i have never got round to finishing it until now and i must say it is one game that is no walk in the park,some of the "BOSS" fights border on the "AAARRRGGGHHH GOD DO I HAVE TO TRY AND BEAT THIS (CENSORED FOR THE CHILDREN AND PREGNANT MOTHERS OUT THERE) AGAIN,FOR PETES SAKE (NO IDEA WHO PETE IS EITHER)" but thats the whole point as you get to the "BOSS" and you win a little and you loose a little until you learn their attack pattern and how to deal with them.
The graphics in game look like they have been animated by a top team and it all plays out like a saturday morning cartoon (YEAH-if you like them full of action and eviscerated enemies) and the sound and spoken dialogue in game are all of the highest quality and the gameplay just flows from one act to the next,with you hacking down enemies and then moving onto the next wave.
My only gripe is,is that is all you actually do whilst playing the game-but trust me when i say you will be having to much fun to realise this and it will not enter your mind until you either stop for a break and think about it to much or finish the game and look back over what you have done and then say to yourself "GOD I KILLED A LOT OF FOES IN THIS GAME,BUT WHAT ELSE" (thats how it happened to me anyway).
Now whilst i was playing the one thing that came to mind the most was a modern grind house classic (well it was a classic to me anyway) "MACHETTE",from the action to the sense of humour this game shares a lot in common with this bloody modern day "B" movie,now "SHANK" was released in 2010 and "MACHETTE" was released in 2010 also so which takes influence from which you decide,but i will tell you this watch one and then play the other (or vice versa) and you to will see what i am talking about.
Now this game was a commercial success, selling tens of thousands of copies and remaining in the top 20 Xbox Live Arcade games during September 2010. It was followed by a sequel, Shank 2, released in 2012 for the same gaming platforms as the first game and to be honest you can see why they did the sequel (profit yes i know thats what your thinking-and YES that may be the main reason OK) as the orriginal is just such fun and a total blast to play through (i still need to get to the CO-OP though and play through thet yet).
Will you play this if you havent allready,well if you like an action game that kicks ♥♥♥ and takes no prisoners at all then yes and if not then why not as its one of the best side scrolling beat,chop,kick,main,muttilate,eviscerate and blow the crap out of games that this reveiwer has ever played.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: 14 November
Shank on the trailers showing beautiful cartoon graphics combined with a high degree of brutality. The problem is that games which look professionally on the trailers do not always make the same impression when they fall into the hands - fortunately, not something that applies to this title. The best kind of bloodbath.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: 6 July
“When you’re pushed, killing’s as easy as breathing.”

Shank is an entertaining 2D brawler game with a robust combat system and visuals that cross a cartoonish look with the grittiness of graphic novels. The variety of weapons will give you several ways to finish off your opponents and the boss battles are well made and enjoyable.

You should also take a look into the co-op game, because it provides a decent background story for the singleplayer campaign.

Overall this game offers solid gameplay, fluid controls and visceral combat.

My rating system consists of five categories in descending order of importance:

- Atmosphere
- Combat & Controls
- Details
- Tactical gameplay
- Story

Based on the performance each category will receive one of the following grading:

- S-Rank: excellent
- A-Rank: very good
- B-Rank: solid
- C-Rank: satisfactory
- D-Rank: inferior

If the S-Rank is awarded, a quote from the game or personal comment will be added as a token of my respect (in brackets).

Atmosphere: A-Rank

Combat & Controls: A-Rank [with a gamepad]

Details: B-Rank

Tactical gameplay: B-Rank

Story: B-Rank

To conquer all achievements of Shank, you will most likely spend around 8 hours. The only multiplayer achievement can easily be obtained with a friend in a local co-op session.

Achievement difficulty: 2 of 10

- Singleplayer [+1]
- Multiplayer [+1]

Shank 2 (PC) – 2D side-scrolling beat-em-up game
(Action) – 2012
Shank (PC) – 2D side-scrolling beat-em-up game
(Action) – 2010
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: 3 December
Shank rhymes with wank
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: 19 July
A good game. Too bad it is so short.
Shank gets up in your face right away and stays there with huge helping of profanity, violence and style.

Reminds me of those good classic beat 'em up where the key and fun was just killing enemies.
For a certain audience this must be the game.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: 18 October
Shank is a straightforward game. You walk, you pounce, you hack and slash. The beauty of it is that it has a comic-like artstyle of you doing all those things, which pretty much looks like you are the protagonist of an animated movie. You also feel quite "the man" while performing different sets of combos. The dodge mechanic is not overused like in shank 2, which keeps the game away from being tedious. Its weaknesses would be that it is a tad short, theres a lack of online co-op (even though you have the option of local co-op) and the gameplay is a lot more awkward with the mouse and keyboard, so you'd need a controller for a better experience. All in all, shank is more than a decent action platformer that will give you a good dose of hack and slash fun. Also, cool costumes!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: 24 October
This game... It's just amazing!
I love how you can just strangle your enemies with chains to kill them ;)
It has a lot of gore and it is really entertaining to watch..
Also it's just a 4 hour game even if you play slowly! D:
But still everyone has to atleast try this game!
10/10 I would recommend it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: 31 October
Its short, but its also one of the best 2d action games ever made.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: 31 October
Oh my days... it is like Streets of Rage in HD, but for grown-ups!!
This game is excellent!

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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: 10 November
Short but sweet. The combat is so amazingly fluid and it is fun to play.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: 8 November
Best beat-em-up I've played in long time, but I recommend you get a gamepad before you buy. There's a TON of inputs, and I couldn't make it work with my keyboard.

But if you DO have a gamepad, this game is awesome. It looks and feels GREAT. There's plenty of depth, so if you get good, you can do all kinds of sweet tech that'll make you feel like a badass. There's also a satisfying difficulty curve.

It's Kiei, so you KNOW it looks great all the way through, with plenty of cool moments like sillohetted fights that don't get in the way of the gameplay.

And what's more, this game does bosses much better than the genre usually does. They're satisfying, difficult, cool-looking, and have uniqueness without breaking all the rest of the game's rules.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.7 hrs on record
Posted: 26 October
Good beat 'em up that's perfect for the new generation, not overly hard like the old genre used to be. Great art, good control, and good soundtrack. The story and dialogue is rather silly, but you won't find a good story in a beat 'em up game anyway.

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: 11 October
Classic side scrolling beat 'em up with very good visuals and animations, good combat mechanics and shallow storyline. What's not to like? Made by my very favourite Klei Entertainment, the game is very stylish and straightforward - exactly what I would expect from a beat 'em up.

The ~5 hours of gameplay are just enough for you to finish the game without getting bored with repetitive battles. Although I never get tired of chainsaw butcheries.

On the negative side of things - there were some unpleasant bugs in the Mac version that made the game unplayable from time to time.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: 14 October
What's it about?
Shank is a side-scrolling brawler by Klei Entertainment, who also brought you such titles as Don't Starve and Mark of the Ninja. Playing as the titular protagonist, you make your way through several levels, slaughtering dozens of thugs and hired goons along the way on a one-man quest for revenge.

How does it play?
The undeniable strength of Shank is its combat. Within the first few minutes of the game, you'll be stringing together devastating combos utilising the weapons at your disposal. You have a light attack, a heavy attack and a firearm attack, and your heavy weapon and firearm can be swapped on the fly with weapons you pick up throughout the game. The fighting has a wonderful feeling of weight and impact to it, and hacking down the beautifully animated enemies is an absolute delight. The bosses are unusual and enjoyable to fight, though most can be beaten in more or less the same way. There is some rudimentary platforming involved in traversing the levels, which doesn't get in the way of the action too much.

Because the game was designed for console, it is highly recommended that you use a controller to play it. Trying to play with the keyboard will turn out to be an altogether fiddly and unenjoyable experience, since the buttons you need will be all over the place. Shank uses almost every button and directional input on the controller, and that amounts to 16 keys on the keyboard. Another bugbear is that levels often involve hazards and enemy placements that can lead to unfair deaths and frustration; the church level in particular, with its falling missiles, can be a nightmare to get through. There is also an odd glitch with the chainsaw's jumping attack in which you and your target can become stuck if you try to jump before the attack animation is finished, forcing you to reload the last checkpoint. It is also not a very long game; I finished it in less than three hours, so take that into consideration before purchasing.

How does it look?
In a word, gorgeous. Keli have a knack for nailing their art styles, and Shank is no exception. The character sprites are beautifully designed and animated, and serve to make the already great combat look and feel even better. The environments are equally gorgeous, though there are points at which elements in the foreground appear onscreen and obscure parts of the stage. This often happens in areas with enemies, which can prove annoying when you are fighting or being attacked in a place you can't see. Despite this little problem, the graphics are delightful to look at, and the resolution options mean you shouldn't have a problem getting it to run on your system.

How does it sound?
Perhaps less impressive out of all of this is the sound design. The music mostly consists of loops of Mexican standoff-style tunes that fit the game very well, but can get a little repetitive after a while. The enemy shouts and grunts also get very samey (and for some reason, Shank's death rattle sounds almost identical to the Heavy from TF2). The various slashing and shooting sounds are well done, and the chainsaw in particular sounds like the industrial death machine it should. The voice acting in the cutscenes could have been better, but then again, the story is not what's important here.

Long story short
Shank is a brutal, bloody and highly entertaining beat-'em-up from a highly talented indie studio. The combat is some of the best I've experienced in a 2D game, and the art style is both beautiful to look at and serves to add to the combat experience. A few problems here and there, but Shank is a game that is definitely worth your time and money.

Good Points
  • Outstanding combat system
  • Gorgeous visuals
  • Interesting environments and bosses

Bad Points
  • The occasional game-breaking glitch
  • Sound design could have been better
  • Some questionable decisions in level and art design
  • May be too short for some

RedWolf Rating: 6/10 - Good
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: 23 November
Kinda short but otherwise really fun.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: 5 December
Shank is a very good game in my opinion although they do use some of the same map layout through out the game. I found a few bugs one of them being when you pounce and attack you can get stuck the only way to get rid of this is to restart at the last checkpoint or get damage from another near by enemy and this happened many times. The controls are quite confusing i myself re keyed everything so it wouldn't be a mess to play and control your character. The controller recommendaion is a bit stupid because the controls reset themselves so i just went with keyboard controls. It has a very short story around 3-4 hours depending on how good you are. There is parts where you climb up walls with your knife and i found this very clever. The user interface is quite good but i found myself having trouble when changing the sound volume and resolution. The save system in this game isn't the best there is no manual option to save the game does it for you i played for a couple of hours then when i re opened the game some of my progress was lost.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: 21 December
Very stabby.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: 19 July
+Arcade gameplay
+Bosses design
+Cool cartoonish style
+Local coop
+Platform sections
--Super short
-Bosses are too easy

*Played with Xbox 360 controller (I heard the keybord control scheme is awful)
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: 1 October
Shank is a fun beat-them all with a great realisation (art style, animations and audio are well made).
It is also violent, bloody and you will have to kill animals (dogs). Be aware of that.

The game is classic in its core: progress and defeat enemies, then reach a boss, defeat him with a particular pattern and there we go again! Despite of this point, you have quite a rich panel of possible actions to express your creativity in this "defeat enemies" part. Light attacks, heavy attacks, guns, grabs, jump-in-slowmov-and-grabs, grenades... You can do all those actions, combine them and modify them with different equipments (a shotgun is not really the same as a pistol). This is were the game is fun and everything explode, like a true beat-them all.

For the rest, you have some platform workshops. They are not long enough to call them "phases" and are sometimes combined with fight stuff, which is great. Those workshop are not always the best tweaked one, but they had this little breath needed to feel better during the next battle. And they can explode too. Like in a true beat-them all.

The story is a Kill Bill remastered into a Kill Cesar, served with some well made cut-scenes. There are some dialogues coming to explain Shank's quest of revenge, and then it explodes. Like in a... Well, you know.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: 10 July
While I recommend this game it does have some glaring flaws that really bothered me.

The good: the gameplay is pretty sweet. It's just well designed and I liked the mechanics a lot. It's reminiscent of old 2d beat em ups, or to a lesser extent Devil May Cry. Story is, well, it's alright. You're not really here for story time, though. I very much enjoyed the animation style.

The most glaring flaw is that regular enemies just have way too many hit points. Killing normal enemies is an absolute grind, and it takes so damned long. It isn't fun to beat up on the same 3 or 4 dudes for a couple of minutes at a time. The gameplay really feels like you should be plowing through these guys, and while that's what I wanted, it most certainly isn't what happens. However, if you go into the game knowing this, it probably won't bother you as much as it did me. I just hated sitting in fights wondering how much longer it would take.

Although the bosses are colorful they can also be sort of frustrating. For the most part the game demands that you figure out a special trick/tell to each boss and doing that isn't really easy. Personally I don't think that the tells to what you need to do are obvious enough. Example: I don't know what the hell I was supposed to do against the final boss, I ended up just brute forcing him because I couldn't figure it out. It's possible to brute force the guys down, sure, but it takes much, much longer, which isn't viable in a game like this because of your limited healthbar.

I didn't have a bad time with Shank. It's an alright game, not great, not bad. Could have been a lot better, but that really isn't saying anything.
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