It’s a little known fact that EA ruined the Dungeon Keeper franchise with the atrocity which was Dungeon Keeper 3, but in true fairy-tale fashion, a Kickstarter launched in 2012 to create the true ‘spiritual successor’ to the great Dungeon Keeper franchise of the late 90’s/early 2000’s. This Kickstarter eventually evolved into the recently released ‘War for the Overworld’ – the subject of this review which I am so excited to get stuck into.
Gameplay wise, ‘War for the Overworld’ is everything that made Dungeon Keeper great, and more. It has fluid, easy to learn controls which are perfect for both experts and total newbies to the game. At first there is a lot to take in but a beautifully crafted tutorial is quick to show you the ropes as you navigate your way around your very own dungeon, filled with bountiful treasure, evil abominations and devious traps and tricks. I had a ball playing this game as it didn’t feel like a chore to play, as Dungeon Keeper 3 did, and instead passed by hours of my day with ease. A game is truly good when you forget about everything else and get caught up playing it.
In terms of graphics ‘War for the Overworld’ is not going to win any video-game BAFTAs but for what it’s worth, it certainly doesn’t hurt the game in any way. The lighting is aptly dark and mysterious whilst truly emulating the dimly lit spookiness associated with the dungeons in many, many other games. As I stated though, the graphics are not meant to be the main talking point of these game… and speaking about talking….
Richard Ridings, the original voice of the ‘Mentor’ in Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2 returns as the role of Mendechaus, a similarly tutor-like role to his in Dungeon Keeper. The music complements the deep narrating voice and beautifully constructs that dungeon-atmosphere that we have all grown accustomed to. The melodies are dark yet epic, giving you the inspiration and passion to crush all the enemies coming your way.
My one problem with ‘War for the Overworld‘ is that the campaign is largely fairly easy for anyone who has experience with strategy games, you can beat the whole game with only a limited number of traps and a large amount of the spells and traps are pretty much useless unless you feel like prolonging the campaign levels which are fairly limited as they are. The game is still only really in the early stages of development but hopefully we will get some added depth with the adjustment of how strong certain traps are and how weak other tools are.
Despite this, the campaign was still enjoyable, I am yet to test the skirmish level yet but I’m sure it will be equally as entertaining as the campaign was. I would definitely recommend investing in ‘War for the Overworld’ because it is still being worked on and has very promising signs about it already. However, as I mentioned, the new tech-tree which was introduced completely differently to Dungeon Keeper adds a lot of over complication to the game and much of it is truly undeserved.
In terms of genre, WFTO can only be described as a fusion of strategy, tower-defence and god-game, or in this case should I say devil-game (*rapturous applause*). The only real problems with WFTO should be easily fixed by the developers, and if this is the case, we have a great game on our hands, and the true successor to the great Dungeon Keeper franchise. For now, it’s a nice homage to the original series, with several new features but a lot of work is needed if this is going to be more than just a fun time-killer.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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