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 (1,180 reviews) - 90% of the 1,180 user reviews for this game are positive.
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
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (1,180 reviews)
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630 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: 16 September

Overall Score: 7/10

Short Summary:
A fun action 2D beat 'em up (literally) game you will to play. Travel through the beautiful locations this game has to offer to beat up (more like,
brutally kill) tons of enemies by using different weapons and combos.
Estimated Playthrough Time: 3-5 hours for a single playthrough.

+ Graphics:
1)Beautiful locations to play on each "mission".
2)Well designed art style for each character and overall it's a good looking 2D game. I enjoyed kicking my foes butts with those backrounds (you can see my screenshots for that).

+ Gameplay: Fun and Engaging
1) Weapons: You start with 3 (Dual Pistols, Knife & Chainsaw) and unlock more as you progress through the game.
2) Combos: You can either mash buttons like a maniac or maneuver between each enemy to kill him the way you want and while doing so, killing other enemies as well.
3) Enemies: Challenging enemies (and annoying as like you want to beat the crap out of them) which gives the game a good beat up vibe.
4) Boss fights: 8 Overall. Each boss is unique but it was too easy to deal with them (Played on normal difficulty so far).
5) Controls: At start I struggled to understand how to make certain combos with my weapons (becaues their guide didn't help) but I figoured it out also by choosing my own set of keys to make it easy.
**Recommended key set see below**

+ Sound:
Well suited soundtrack throughout the game.

- Storyline:
Didn't understand the story behind Shank so much and it's not the strongest part in this game.

Conclusion & Other:
So after we covered it all up I do strongly recommend this game because it is fun to play if you like to beat up (again, brutally kill) your enemies in different styles.

Normal & Hard Difficulty.
Up to 2 Co-op player (so far didn't find someone to play with)
You can also unlock Shank skins by reaching certain amount of kills for each weapon.

**Recommended Key Set:
Arrow Keys - Movement , Shift - Block.
Q - Normal Attack , E - Heavy Attack , R - Gun Attack
F - Pounce , G - Grapple , Space - Jump

**Screenshots Section: You're more than welcome to also check my screenshots for this game [link below] to see what this game has to offer.

* Skip it.
** Not Recommended.
*** Give It A Try.
**** Recommended On Sale
****** Recommended On Full Price.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: 15 September
Still has bugs that stop you from finishing the game... So I can't recommend this game.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: 8 September
would bathe in blood again.

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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
40 of 48 people (83%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: 6 August, 2014
"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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24 of 27 people (89%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: 14 November, 2014
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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23 of 27 people (85%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: 14 July, 2015
Shank is a cheesy 2D platformer & beat'em up game that plays in Mexico. It has it's own graphic style. There's a little bit gore and brutal scenes especially on the boss kills. You start with 3 different weapon classes, melee = chainsaw (yeah!) double pistols (akimbo style, you can fly during shooting in the air because of recoil wtf?) and 2 daggers to pounce on enemies. Somehow the movements and controls are a little bit clunky. I even experienced some lags with over 300 FPS.

The big plus is the strange atmosphere. The background music supports it much and feels like a neverending Quentin Tarantino soundtrack. The big minus are the controls and fights. Enemies are able to block gunshots and can dogde around you in the background. Mostly the gameplay is like in Double Dragon. (you can also finish a just local co-op campaign). Enemies with ridiculous names appear from both sides and you have fight them down to proceed. You can pickup some powerups (grenades, health) or special weapons (grenade launcher, flamethrower) but it's just rarely.

The hard mode is really very hard. Even if you manage to kill properly all enemies on the map. There remain these annoying jump sequences. Once you fall down you have to repeat the whole level (in hard mode there are no savepoints). Or you just get hit by a grenade on the slackline or accidently change sides on a climbing pole. Sometimes windows don't break if you try to jump through ...
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20 of 23 people (87%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: 29 March, 2015
The real magic of going through your gaming backlog is stumbling across those little gems you didn't know you had.

Such was the case with Shank. I'm not sure when I purchased it, but there it was sitting in my library covered in e-dust. I watched the trailer, and it gave me a feint reminder of Mark of the Ninja. I was intrigued.

So I sat down to play it, and a short weekend later I was done. I laid witness to great storytelling, a beautiful aesthetic, and gameplay that, while just a beat-em-up, was deep enough to leave me feeling completely satisfied.

The one thing that stood above the rest would definitely be the music. It goes to great lengths to set a moody atmosphere that feels ripped right out of a Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez movie. In fact, if you've seen El Mariachi or Pulp Fiction you'll know roughly what you're getting in to.

If you're bored and looking for something to do, puchase and play this game. You won't regret it.
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27 of 37 people (73%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
17.7 hrs on record
Posted: 2 August, 2015
I´ll start by saying that I think that the best game ever has been Street Fighter 2 Arcade.
I spent at arcades hundreds of dollars. I fought any challeger who took hold of the second stick, and won.
Final Fight Arcade was also great, and Golden Axe 2 the Revenge of Death Adder sublime.

Now Arcades are gone, died out about year 2000, killed by PSX, the greatest console ever.
Maybe you are too young to care about this fact, but that was history.

Shank and Shank 2 are for guys like me, who spent their money coin by coin fighting for prevalence.

p.s. I finished the campaign in hard difficulty. Very tough
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17 of 20 people (85%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: 27 December, 2013
It's fun, it's funny, the music is very Ennio Morricone-ey (awesome), and Shank's forearms are freakishly big.

Just whatever you do, for the love of god DON'T PRESS DELETE SAVE in the options, that deletes all your unlocks and stuff, and not your keybinds.
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18 of 22 people (82%) found this review helpful
19.0 hrs on record
Posted: 5 January
I am genuinely impressed with Shank - a great old school action brawler with a story straight out of the Kill Bill movies. The action is very clean and fluid. It offers some basic combo moves, fitting weapons, and a few other pleasant surprises. On the downside, it only takes about 2-3 hours to complete the game on normal difficulty. Although it is an enjoyable 2-3 hours of non-stop action. Unlocked all achievements!
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Most aesthetic 2D blood massacre I've ever seen.
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3.1 hrs
Posted: 28 August
You already realize that you need to ignore the plot and just focus on one thing: Cartel Wars.

And boy, is there BLOOD.
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26.1 hrs
Posted: 26 August
One of my favourite beat 'em ups. Great story, great graphics, tight controlls!
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3.3 hrs
Posted: 21 August
Shank is a stylistic cartoony brawler.
After playing through the campaign, I'd say that the game is definitely worth the purchase.
The combat is fluid and varied. People, who say that it's buttonmashy are just plain wrong, since if you try and buttonmash, then you will inevitably die. Plus, if you don't buttonmash, then you'll do way more damage.
The story is what it is. A typical revenge story with barely any substance, but it's not what the game is about anyway.
The graphics are timeless, thanks to its cartoony artstyle which looks simply beautiful. Most things can be differentiated from the background and therefore are not an issue.
The platforming, which is about 15%-20% of the game, is iffy. It's easy to control your character, but sometimes the character is unresponsive and just feels like you're controlling a mental patient.
To get all of the achievements, you have to play the game three times. On normal (has checkpoints and supposedly weaker enemies), hard (has no checkpoints for levels and difficult enemies) and co-op campaign (not sure if it's the same or not. Can be played single-player thanks to a Joypad button remapper, which has the same controls control both characters at the same time.

Even if you want to play it through just once, you'll get about 3 hours of good quality content.

(5/10 is the starting point and pros/cons change the rating to be higher/lower)
A true indie gem.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.9 hrs
Posted: 23 July
Best 2 hours spent on a game. Just the right dose to keep it all interesting.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.8 hrs
Posted: 21 July
Play it for the story. It's actually quite good.

On the other hand though, it is a bit of a button masher.

Having said that, the game only takes about 3 hours to finish.

Looking forward to playing the sequel.
Helpful? Yes No Funny