Spawn: Armageddon Review


If you’re into comics or cult movies, then you’re undoubtedly familiar with Spawn. Spawn began life as a human being and was once a military special operative named Simmons. Simmons found himself on the wrong side of a dark conspiracy in the military that led to his violent death. His pain at losing contact with is wife and his thirst for revenge were so great that he was recruited by hell to become a demonspawn – a warrior of hell sent to do a demon’s bidding on Earth. However, he soon began to resent his hellish masters and regret what he had become. He instead became a rogue loner, working to thwart the plans of his hellish former masters while mourning for his lost love. In a world of brooding superheroes, Spawn can brood with the best of them.

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Now that you know about Spawn’s background, you can probably guess that Spawn: Armageddon is an action game featuring much slaying of demons. To dispatch these demons, Spawn carries a large axe as a weapon. He can also use the chains attached to him by the demons of hell as a projectile-like whip. Being a supernatural being, Spawn can call forth Hell Powers. Most of these are offensive powers such as a Necroplasm Beam which shoots a bolt of energy at enemies, but some have other effects like Hell Speed which can slow the attacks of your enemies. These are powered by Necroplasm, so Spawn has only limited use of these powers. Lastly, Spawn can acquire other more worldly weapons such as shotguns to use to kill his enemies. Each type of attack is mapped to a different button and weapons and hell powers can easily be selected with the directional pad, making control of Spawn’s arsenal of attacks pretty simple to manage. The game also features a target-lock feature which is a godsend because without it it can be quite difficult to aim Spawn’s Hell Power and chain attacks.

When you first start playing Spawn you’ll probably start to get a little excited that you may have found a really good game here. Spawn himself looks great and is animated well, and dispatching demons with his Hell Power attacks and chains appears to make for some good gaming excitement. Unfortunately, like Spawn’s deal with the devil, the warts soon begin to show and you’ll begin to rethink your enthusiasm.

While the cutscene graphics and Spawn and demon models are well-done, the levels themselves are very bland, repetitive, and generic. Nearly featureless walls, alleys, and rooftops abound, with only the occasional smashable object appearing to break the monotony. You'll eventually make your way to a space station and even hell itself, but these locations sound far more exciting than they really are.  As you move from one generic level to the next, there’s almost no connection between what you are doing and the game’s storyline. You’ll make your way from one spot to another, a new level will load, and occasionally a cutscene will play, but there will be little sense of accomplishment as you progress through the game.

Making matters worse is the fact that the levels aren’t very well designed, filled with frustrating jumps that will require you to repeat stretches of the game until you can’t stand it any more. There are also plenty of jumps that require you to jump, hover, and then hit a target with your chains to cross a gap. However, the chain button does not respond consistently while hovering and you often can’t even see your target which makes these jumps an exercise in blind luck.