Spawn: Armageddon - Xbox

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Spawn: Armageddon (Xbox)
Also for: PS2, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Point of View Soft. Co.: Namco
Publishers: Electronic Arts (GB)
Released: 12 Mar 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 16+
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


It's true to say that in video games, copyright issues play an important part in what a developer can produce based on inspiration and ideas from other games. Game engines, character likenesses and names are often patented, but there are many ways around this and developers know it. Here, we're talking about Capcom's Devil May Cry and Namco's newly released Spawn game for Xbox. True, Spawn does take some obvious ideas from the Capcom slasher, but the game benefits from this, and ultimately that's why it's worth a punt.

For those who don't know, Spawn's virtual offering is based upon the best-selling American comic book of the same name, created in 1992. What's more, he's not a Marvel character, instead belonging to McFarlane. And that's his history, but let's not digress too much - it's the game you're all interested in.

Where DMC is a thoroughbred hack and slash affair set in medieval times, Spawn's tale pits players in a classic battle between the forces of good and evil - Heaven and Hell. Stuck in the middle of this eternal conflict, Spawn consistently finds himself clashing with a variety of demonic creatures and angelic warriors throughout the game's 25 missions and 60 or so sub-levels. The main character will find himself equipped with numerous blood-spilling weapons such as axes, as well as a pair of 'living chains' that can bring even the fiercest opponent to his knees.

But unlike DMC, this is where the hacking and slashing stops, giving way to a greater emphasis on platform gaming. And this is how Spawn differentiates itself. Okay, it's not the first platform adventure we've seen, and in that respect Spawn lacks originality. But as so many of you will appreciate, it's how a game is designed and executed that makes it a worthwhile offering... and Spawn is definitely worthwhile. Level design is well thought out, and its puzzle element helps immerse players a little deeper into the game.

It is indeed another comic book-cum-video game, and a very good one at that.