I‘ve never been one for Kickstarter projects – it’s always come across to me as mindlessly throwing your money at something that does not exist yet. I’ve never been an investor, but I can imagine the experience being similar: throwing money at something with no guarantees and hoping that the pay-off, in this case a game, arrives two years down the line. I don’t know if my cynicism comes from having worked on many titles that just never seem to reach the light of day no matter how hard you wo-… What’s that?
A Dungeon Keeper remake…?!
Ahem. I’ve always loved Kickstarter! It’s a brilliant place on the place we know as the internet. Where finally I have the opportunity to be properly evil in a game once more. Now, please don’t judge me for a second as I go ahead and throw all of my money at this project. A Dungeon Keeper reboot has always been something that people have been craving and expecting for years. Well, myself, at least, and everyone I know, plus most of the gaming side of the internet. But with the IP having been sold to make way for an Asian MMO recently, hopes for it to actually come back, and from it’s original creators, finally flickered away.
“Your domain lies beneath the surface of this realm, and it is here that you will begin to build your sinful empire.”
Lord Of The Underground
With a team of fifteen individuals ranging from nuclear scientists to toy store workers, Subterranean Games are working hard towards the one goal of creating a game in the essence of the original series, stating: “You could look at other games that have tried to do something similar, like Evil Genius; they’ve done bits and pieces but they’ve not kept the core formula. It’s just what made Dungeon Keeper great. It’s a nice, fast-paced dungeon building simulation.”
But supposing you’re not familiar with the series… or if you weren’t even alive during its conception, you may want to know what’s in it for a modern gamer. More importantly, what is War for the Overworld (WFTO)?
To put it as simply as possible, WFTO is a god game, something this generation is all to short on in my opinion, yet back in the mid to late 90s it was common across the RTS spectrum. In this style of game you take the place of god (if that wasn’t obvious), with a stepped back large scale view of everything going on, as you order your little minions around to do the nitty gritty activities that you’d rather not get your devilishly handsome hands dirty doing. Things like digging, fighting, or collecting gold for you to spend on a plethora of different structures. And if they don’t do their jobs well enough? Beat ‘em!
“Your creatures are rebelling!”
In return, you use your new found wealth and power to keep your underlings happy (to stop them from rebelling), by giving them a place to sleep at night and somewhere to feed during the day as they fight, work or even train for you. This, of course, leads to them improving their skills and giving you access to an ever growing arsenal of more structures and even more spells to spy on or thwart those arrogant paladins.
This is one of the great things about the original series and something that will definitely make or break this ‘Inspired’ reboot. In Dungeon Keeper, you are evil. There’s nothing else to it. You come from the underworld to rid the Overworld of ‘heroes’ and their mushy belief in ‘Chivalry’ and ‘Honour’. This sense of almost ironic evil, a direct parody of most heroes views in RPGs, lets you take the perspective of the bad guys for once, and basically play the devil, as you order you hordes of monster to try and overthrow the good in the world. In an intentionally comical way.
Evil Lurks Beneath
For any fan of Dungeon Keeper this is definitely a lot to take in. I’m sure it’s almost emotional for you as you realise you can finally massacre those self righteous goody-two-shoe heroes once more. Who knows; maybe you’ll even be able to turn the final boss into a female troll again!
But then there’s more! An icing on the proverbial evil cake, so to speak, as with almost every Kickstarter, there’s added bonuses for reaching higher than the original goal, and War for the Overworld is no exception. If fundraising reaches the ‘flex goal’ of £225,000, Richard Ridings of Fat Friends and, more importantly, of the original Dungeon Keeper fame, will return in WFTO, as the narrator. Yeah.
Now, if you don’t mind. I need to go re-mortgage the house.
‘So be it!’