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Spawn: Armageddon Review for GameCube
Posted on Saturday, February 07, 2004 @ 09:04:19 pm E.S.T

Spawn originates from Todd Mcfarlane's best-selling image comic book, which is now over a decade old. It has been converted into an animated television show, a motion picture, and also a popular series of action figures. Aside from this game, there have been other attempts at creating a well-playing Spawn video game, but all attempts failed to live up to the success of the comic book.

Spawn: Armageddon is a 3D action/adventure game that borrows concepts from the Devil May Cry series, but is more driven by item collecting. The game itself is very short, and can typically be beaten in six hours or less on the hardest difficulty setting.

In Spawn: Armageddon you will fight Imps, Whip Demons, Robotic Monsters, Angelic Warriors and other creatures through twenty different levels. You are offered many different ways of annihilating your enemy, such as Spawn’s infamous axe and chains, his Hell Powers and other various weapons such as a shotgun, a rocket launcher, an inferno gun, etc.

Spawn has a magic bar next to his life meter that represents his “Hell Powers” or mana. There are several different types “Hell Powers," mostly various types of projectiles and one that resembles Max Payne’s bullet time. The “Hell Powers” are impressive, but sometimes tough to use. You’ll find yourself using the chain/gun attacks a lot more because they are the easiest way to destroy the enemy.

The enemies in Armageddon are too easy and have pathetically low life-meters. Their attacks seem to do next to no damage to you, and the AI is basically nonexistent. Nonetheless, it won’t matter very much because you won’t be playing too much because of the un-responsive controls that completely take away from this games’ fun factor and make it frustrating.

To complete Spawn: Armageddon and unlock everything you will have to beat it on all three difficulty settings. You can unlock encyclopedias that give you a history on the series, some concept art, and comic book cover art that you find scattered throughout the game. Spawn does feature a useful upgrade system based on how many soul points you have. At the end of each mission, you have the choice to upgrade Spawn’s weapons and life, and buy needed ammo for the weapons you have acquired.

Spawn: Armageddon’s graphics aren’t completely terrible, but aren’t very good at the same time. The game is full of cheap looking textures and a lot of dull and repetitive set pieces. The camera angles leave a lot to be desired and become an annoyance after a good amount of time playing this game. One cool thing is the character design, which is a “demonic style,” which of course was inspired by the comic book.

Spawn did, however, impress me with its in-game Dolby Digital sound. The game’s soundtrack consists of a bunch of heavy metal tracks and even Marilyn Manson’s song “Use Your Fist and Not Your Mouth” which fits in with the game well. The screams and death cries when slashing at demons, the sweet sound of Spawn’s chains, and the weapons sound exactly how they should. The voices for the characters are from the animated television series, but you don't hear them much because this game completely lacks a script.

Spawn: Armageddon definitely is a good action rental, but not a good purchase because of its technical issues. Armageddon has more promise then its counterparts and seems to have at least made a better effort with the license than the others. Hopefully, Namco will learn to hold a game back from release when it needs extra polishing.

Review By: James Herndon - 783 Reads

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