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Spawn: Armageddon Review - PS2

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You may be aware by now that just about all of the games released that are based on superheroes have been - quite simply - unsuccessful. From the horrible Superman 64 on the Nintendo 64 to the average Spider-Man: The Movie on the PlayStation 2, these games have developed a poor reputation for themselves. The superhero Spawn, born through a large series of comic books years ago, has had a couple of mediocre games and movies based on his adventures already. After quite a long break from gaming, Spawn is back on the PlayStation 2 in Spawn: Armageddon. Unfortunately, he's just made the reputation of superhero games even worse.

Al Simmons was a professional assassin for years, but his compassion for others soon made him question his orders. Jason Wynn - his boss - became fed up with Al's behaviour and had him torched to death by a fellow operative. Sent to Hell for his murderous acts, Al was destined to live a life in the hot, flaming dungeons that it was well known for. One day, however, Al stumbles across a master of Hell known as Malebolgia. Desperate to rejoin earth, Al makes a deal with Malebolgia that allows him to be reincarnated as a Hellspawn, destined to be a general in Hell's army when the apocalypse arrives - destined even to bring about the Apocalypse, no mater how hard he tries to escape from his inevitable future.

Gameplay

After playing through a few of the levels in Spawn: Armageddon, it soon becomes evident that the game feels a lot like an arcade game; all you do is run through rooms, corridors and alleyways killing enemies and blowing up switches to open doors. Heck, it even becomes so difficult that you get the feeling that the game is forcing you to die and slip in another few dollars for some more lives as you would in an arcade game. Gaming has advanced from this gameplay style, and you don't want to waste one-hundred dollars on a game only to feel as though it belongs in an arcade at the cost of two dollars per play, do you?

Three-quarters of the game are set in different sections of New York City, while the last quarter is set in the fiery bowels of Hell itself and a place known as the Angel Space Station. Each level is aesthetically different enough to give Spawn: Armageddon some variety, but is also quite bland and poorly designed. Progressing through the game's levels is simple; as I mentioned earlier, it's a matter of killing all of the enemies that spawn up from the ground and blowing up a few switches here and there (why can't Spawn just use the switches properly?) to open doors or create a pathway. Occasionally a glowing orange aura or plant-like creature known as a Guardian Demon will block your possible exits from certain areas, forcing you kill all of the enemies in the area before you're able to escape. Sometimes you'll need to ... (continued next page)