Overthrowing tyrants, killing monsters, rescuing beautiful innocent maids, serving justice, keeping one’s honour, being righteous, honest, open and daring, protecting the weak from the villains and giving all treasures to the poor… Ugh, I’m going to be sick! My world is nothing like this! I’ve locked these characters in the dungeons, stolen the loot, slept on treasures, swelling from my own greed, killed those who interfered with me, drove my minions and fell asleep under the soothing whistling of my servants’ whips that were cracking in my lovingly rebuilt guest torture room. Ah, the “good” old Dungeon Keeper, where are you now?
In 1997, when the three-dimensional games were rare, this game came out, and it’s still a rare gem. Dungeon Keeper – a great strategy from the great people of Bullfrog Productions, a British developer studio founded by Peter Molyneux. Syndicate, Theme Hospital, Theme Park – the names that everyone who caught the era of great games of the 90s knows. Dungeon Keeper, too, was one of them.
Only there is a publishing house, aka Electronic Arts, which likes to suck out the souls and kill everything that is bright, good, kind, clean, and just working. Also in the same year of 1997 they bought Bullfrog Productions, just to kill them off in seven years, and to destroy first the Dungeon Keeper tri-quel, and then the series as a whole. They killed it slowly, first giving the creation of an online version to a Chinese games studio for their market and then making a paid application for mobile phones, which cannot be played without investing hundreds of dollars in it.
But while Electronic Arts are doing evil, some heroes are openly opposed to the evil being done … over evil. Realmforge Studios has spun an ideological heir – a role-playing strategy called Dungeons, which although it looks like Dungeon Keeper, is more a simulator of a very unusual underground amusement park. A sequel, Dungeons 2, has just been released and its review is in the works.
However, if you want the same dear, sweet, cruel, dark, funny, interesting and creative Dungeon Keeper, I recommend you take a good look at our guest today. War for the Overworld – a fan project, which due to fan injections on Kickstarter, was able to collect the necessary sum and get released. And it’s hard to believe, but War for the Overworld – this is the same real, albeit terribly unfinished, Dungeon Keeper.
From the first minute the force of nostalgia hits you in the face, and concentrated joy flows through your veins. Minions will run to dig new rooms for their Overlord and new creatures will descend into your dungeon to swear allegiance to you … or to destroy you. And you, with your almighty hand, will create your own, unique, huge and invincible dungeon where warlocks will look in old folios for new sins, where dark bloody altars will hold dark rituals, where goblins, succubi, and monsters of all kinds, colours and sizes will fight on training grounds or in the pits between themselves or with the prisoners, where the heat of black forges says that new villainous mechanisms can be put in motion, where poisonous brews turned into potions of omnipotence and power boil in black cauldrons in the kitchens. Only the Horned Reaper is missing, but there are several of his deputies. We must remember that the authors didn’t have the rights even to design the creatures, not just to use the name.
Their “Campaign” will throw you into the depths of conquest and the overthrowing of light and dark enemies. “Skirmish” will help hone your skills of the dungeon keeper, and “Survival” will help to complete extreme courses on protecting your possessions. “Multiplayer” will force you to reconsider all of your schemes of defence and attack, if, of course, you find a partner. You must be up to your neck in fun from all of this. So why is my face distorted as if I’m nibbling on a lemon as am I writing this?
But the fact is that the authors have released a game that is not just unpolished, but simply unfinished. From small sound bugs to an inability to complete some missions due to trigger failure – the game is a complete set of common issues of “early access” projects on Steam. But the snag is that War for the Overworld is not on early access. The authors seem to say to us after we purchase the game: “We’re done here, and as for the fact that the game barely runs – sorry about that. Maybe in the next couple of years, after we’ve added some useless new modes for multiplayer, we’ll get together to fix all that we’ve done here, but we are frankly not up for it now. “
The number of bugs can alienate anyone, even the most hardcore fan of Dungeon Keeper, and if the authors, as mentioned above, ignore the three-tonne list of errors of an allegedly finished game, the release of War for the Overworld can be considered a failure. And that is sad, no other project has been able to catch and maintain the spirit of one of the best RTS of the past so accurately.
Great classics resemblance
Lots of game modes
Playing the evil lord