Ash Morgan (@Ranooth), Games Production Student, Hereford
My favourite game is Dungeon Keeper 2, released on the PC in 1999.
“It’s good to be bad” – As a 10 year old kid I didn’t really understand this concept, but I bloody loved it!
Being brought up on a steady flow of strategy and action games centered around saving kingdoms and slaying dragons the idea of playing as the bad guy was totally alien to me. I had played the first game in the series but I didn’t feel like a badass, I just felt like I was fighting someone who was more evil than me. The second game in this awesome series changed that, I was taking on angelic knights and wise old wizards and spreading fear and terror throughout the land and enjoying every second of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t some twisted and dark child. I merely loved the brilliant blend of gameplay, strategy and dark humour.
Having already played a lot of strategy games the mechanics and concepts DK2 used were fresh and very enjoyable, although a core part of gameplay building up your dungeon was fun and never became a chore. I loved experimenting with different layouts and seeing how stylish I could make my dungeon look. I also used to build huge casinos to increase the chances of someone winning the jackpot and having all my creatures dance to “Disco Inferno”.
Likewise with building up your army of minions it was a fun task and never got too tedious or boring, the game encouraged you to experiment with various different tactics and methods of attacking the enemy.
I loved the learning curve; I still think it’s perfect to this very day. You would be given a new room each mission and the game would show you how to use it and use it well, in the later levels you learnt how to master these rooms along with your creatures and spells to gain the advantage over your enemies. And boy did you need that advantage. End game missions would put you against several enemy keepers or armies of good guys. It sounds tough, and believe me it was but it was never unfair or annoying. You learnt from your mistakes, re-tweaked your strategy and hit that restart button.
The game was also packed with so much humour, Richard Ridings was a great narrator and mentor and I used to burst out laughing with his random sayings. The extra movies that played when completing a level were also hilarious.
I could go on for ages about how finely crafted the game is but to be honest the best way to see this is to play it. It still remains one of the greatest RTS games of our time, and not many games out there can reproduce the simple yet deep gameplay along with its brilliant content and comical themes.
Every single time I buy a new computer or re-format this is one of the first games to be installed and I do end up jumping on it for a night every month to remind myself how magnificent it truly is.
This game shaped what kind of gamer I am today and how I go about designing and implementing ideas. I hope it continues to do so until I stop playing games for good.
This is my favourite game.