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Submitted by Derek dela Fuente on March 25 2004 - 00:00

Surely Spawn offers the correct ingredients for a great videogame; or so you might think until you pick this up...

Comic strip fans need no introduction to Todd McFarlaneâ??s character Spawn. Already a cult figure around the world, for both a film and animated cartoon series has immortalised this character, along with a toy and a total of 2.8million figures have been sold around the globe, with new products constantly being released.

The game Spawn: Armageddon is set against the backdrop of a dark, near-future, New York City environment where the central figure is caught in the battle of Good vs. Evil.

The game boasts of purveying all the very best of this superhero along with Spawn's signature abilities including his vast arsenal of weapons, Hell Powers, superhuman strength and his living, symbiotic costume.

Itâ??s dark and moody backdrop, itâ??s cast of vile and malformed forces promise to present an epic, fit to grace its infamous billing. Based on the first 99 comic books in the Spawn series you can manoeuvre your way through various interactive and destructible environments which include 25 missions, with over 60 sublevels, as Spawn struggles to break free of the controlling forces of Heaven and Hell. It sounds so enticing that you canâ??t help but be captivated by what is on offer.

The comic strip character has a rich and detailed background telling of his misfortunes and this backdrop story is meant to reinforce the game. It is a quest of trying to put all the bad out of sight and getting on with all the good things in life. The streets in NY are not a safe place to be and the road to tranquilly will be a long but rewarding one if you get it right.

A tyrannical group of renegades want to wreak havoc on the structure of order and the fabric of society and with some of the most inventive weapons one can imagine you could well have a major task on your hands, one that is so finely balanced that it will take every last grain of your strength and character to win the day.

Spawn: Armageddon has a 16+ rating so no bars on the kind of imaginative ideas that the developers can let rip with so many comic storylines and characters to base the experience and setting around.

One hell of a time can be had and in a way it is all true, apart from the fact that in this instance the hellish time on offer comes in the derogatory form.

We shall set the scene. You are in an alleyway; you have a collection of powers, shields, and firepower, both malevolent and standard. You are, in fact, a walking fire hazard and armed from top to bottom. You are a physical specimen of near perfection but the opposing forces, and there is more than one, have collectively more going for them for they appear randomly from all angles and whereas they know there is only Spawn to attack, you know that there are loads of them and they can regenerate themselves whenever, whilst you have only one body and soul!.

You stand there and wait for the moment of truth. Youâ??ve learnt what to do, well nearly, being thrown a set of about 10 instructions on the first screen is pushing it but youâ??ve been here before (thatâ??s truer than you think) and you are big enough to give as good as you get. WHOOSHâ?¦ Itâ??s all over before you have time to show-off! (Where have you heard that before)? The host, in their numbers, appear, moving randomly, spewing out all they could give â?“ some flying, some running and BOSH, with a few switch pressed and adept turns of Spawnâ??s body â?“ chucking out your own set of wires, chain projectiles and power and DOUBLE BOSH theyâ??ve all gone, you have won within a Technicolor â?“ mostly red and white â?“ flash. You annihilated them.

Donâ??t move, here comes another bunch â?“ WHAM, got you and another and another. Go on throw me some more!! That is the basics, good word, and basis of what appears the most spurious of uses for an excellent licence. CHUCK as much as you can on a screen and let all the characters gorge up blood. Add some buildings, loads of icons with rewards, make the baddies big and bad and give the game some kind of order â?“ total mayhem!

Now, everything would have been forgiven if just one element of the game offered up something we had not seen or played before â?“ around 10 years ago!

Graphically itâ??s poor. The use of colour is so simple you wonder if they had scanned the pages of a comic book to get their palette. The sound, loud, does nothing apart from wanting to turn the actual sound off. The fighting is total carnage bordering on the ridiculous.

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  • Graphics: 47%
     
  • Sound: 48%
     
  • Gameplay: 44%
     
  • Originality: 32%
     
  • Longevity: 36%
     
Overall Score: 4/10
Spawn: Armageddon looks and feels more like a retro offering than a new game.

Advice – don’t bother!

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