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Spawn: Armageddon Package Art
GENRE
Action
DEVELOPER
Point of View
PUBLISHER
Namco
NUMBER OF PLAYERS
1
CONNECTIVITY
no
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Spawn: Armageddon

Strangely enough, Spawn is a license that gets the worst rap when it comes to videogames. For good reason, obviously, with the hideously average platformer in the Genesis era and the grotesquely bad action title on the PSX which is still probably considered one of the worst games on the system next to Bubsy 3D. You know it's bad when it's compared to Bubsy 3D. When the license premiered on the Sega Dreamcast in the aptly named Spawn, a ray of hope shon upon the slightly above average shooter. Now, after all the bad press and disappointed fandom, Spawn has returned to all current generation platforms, even the GameCube, with his best adventure yet, although that's not really saying too much. But with Spawn: Armageddon, fans are sure to be at least somewhat pleased with the dark caped crusader's play mechanics.

visuals

Todd McFarlane's comic universe is well represented, especially Spawn himself and his arch villains, demonic and angelic alike. The models work well within each environment, even through choppy frame-rates surface when several enemies surround Spawn at once. The environments themselves look slightly pale and are almost completely devoid of any life. Level design contributes largely to this, doing little to woo the audience. In fact, each level doesn't improve much upon the other after the first few areas.

On the bright side, the character animations are done exceedingly well, especially Spawn himself. When he unfurls his tattered, demonic-powered cape, you immediately realize that this is really what Spawn is supposed to look like. The added bonus of some much needed McFarlane-style blood and gore, brings more life to the combat animations. In the long run, Spawn: Armageddon is at least one of the best looking comic book licensed videogames to come around in a while.

audio

It's sad when the voice acting in a videogame far outweighs the acting in the film inspired by the same license. While obviously nothing may compete with the excellent HBO animated series, everything in Spawn: Armageddon sounds crisp and clear, and the voice acting holds up admirably, albeit campy at times. Namco shows it's playing with the big boys flashing state-of-the-art sound quality in the effects department. Unfortunately, things turn towards repetitive during combat. The clashes tend to be flooded out during heavy, intense battles with several demons.

The music, what little there is, is okay at best with no memorable themes or battle music. Most of the time, you won't notice if there's anything playing in the background at all. If you do, you'll most likely want to turn it down in the options menu.

gameplay

Here's where most everything about Spawn: Armageddon turns the casual gamer away. The play mechanics in this title are easy to get used to, but they don't really provide anything spectacular, or for that matter, challenging. It's mostly just a hack n' slash format that's been provided by other developers with original licenses that we've learned to avoid until there's some new innovation that warrents a return to the genre. While Namco did in fact do a terrific job of bringing Spawn to life rather than milking a franchise, it's easy to see that there wasn't a terrible amount of effort put into making this a stand-alone title.

Combat is simple, consisting mostly just the basic weapon attacks and a bit of magic thrown in for good measure. Controlling Spawn himself is rather easy but would have been a bit more fluid if it weren't for the camera that seems to have a one-track mind, depending on you to make the right moves. The action is intense, but after crawling your way through one boring environment after another, after another, it can easily turn into a frustrating distraction, keeping you from completing the game and leading you to an rapid trade-in. Fans may have more incentive to continue with collectable concept and cover art found throughout each level.

While there are several different difficulty settings to choose from, once this adventure is over, the replay value goes straight down to hell.

multiplayer

N/A

overall

Spawn: Armageddon is a good action title that will please fans and even provide a bit of entertainment for those who only know Spawn as a fighter in the Xbox version of Soul Calibur II. Either way, you're bound to enjoy something in this title, but it isn't here to break any ground or even capture the hearts of casual gamers everywhere. If someone can combine the visuals of Spawn: Armageddon with the gameplay of the Dreamcast Spawn, then we may have something to be excited about. For now, Spider-Man still stands as one of the best comic book inspired videogames in this generation.

final score 7.5/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Austin Starr
Staff Profile | Email
"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"


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