The man who would call a spade a spade, Oscar Wilde once observed, should be condemned to use one. Yet I find myself drawn to the concrete, the literal, the spade-iness of spades. I have this idea that if a character is called Shovel Knight, then their defining characteristic will be a shovel.
It usually works out, but not this time. As part of Shovel Knight's quest to appear in as many games as possible, Ubisoft is running a crossover event with its rather good third-person brawler For Honor. The trailer's actually something of a winner, with charming pixel effects from the games overlaid on the various Shovel Knight-themed outfits but... where's the shovel?
There is no shovel. Well, there's what might be a shovel emote at the start of the trailer, but it's pretty clear that in-game you'll be using the usual weapons. And that doesn't butter any parsnips for me.
I mean OK, no-one expects the game to add a whole new weapon class for a cameo, but we couldn't make that axe look a bit more like a shovel? It's all very odd, but of a piece with Shovel Knight appearing in any game that'll have him.
The collaboration runs until March 4, and For Honor players can pick up three outfits, emotes and executions. But no gardening equipment. Talk about digging a hole for yourself.