There are a few additions that make these games more than just a regular beat 'em up. Branching paths, item shops with usable inventory and special player abilities create a game that is more like an action RPG than a side scrolling beat 'em up.
Much like an 80s action movie, the violence, destruction and plot is all overly exaggerated. Players can blow apart their enemies with bullets as well as blow up whole section of the game with explosives. There will be blood everywhere and explosions all around.
Both the story and art style are beautiful and playful, encouraging a fun atmosphere even in difficult or complicated scenarios. The soundtrack carries you along with a light but fast-paced beat to maintain the balance between fun and focus.
As offense, movement and defense are entirely separate stations, you simply cannot beat the game alone in co-op mode, regardless of any single player's skill level. This holds true especially in harder difficulties where constant communication and coordination is critical.
The game has a worthwhile multiplayer mode that is great to play with friends. it is separate from the main campaign (which would make the campaign too easy most likely) in that the players will face off against waves of enemies through coordination.
The story does not really stand out and is a weak point of the game, though being a side scrolling platforming shooter/brawler the story is not really integral to the gameplay itself. Shank 2 takes on some heavy storied elements but sadly does not really take advantage of them and instead tends to...