War For The Overworld Recruits Dungeon Keeper’s Voice

By Alec Meer on January 7th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

The trouble with games with long names is that it can become impossible to write non-prosaic headlines. For this reason, I demand that War For The Overworld be removed from the internet this instant, and its creators thrown into a fire.

…Which would be be a very silly thing for me to want, given it’s a remake/sequel of one of the games I most love, Dungeon Keeper. And now it’ll star the sinister tones of Richard Ridings, DK’s cheerfully malevolent narrator.

I must confess that when I first heard about War For The Overworld, and that it would be a Kickstarter, my eyes rolled skywards unbidden. It arrived during that crush of nostaglia-fuelled projects in the latter months of 2012, and lacked the involvement of the original devs too. That whole period, speaking as a games journo/blogger/hack/insert term you’re comfortable with, was overwhelming, each new day seeming to bring another resurrection that promised olden fans everything without offering much of anything concrete. War The Overworld was the straw that broken this cynical camel’s back, which wasn’t particularly fair on it. (Embarrassingly, the dev even spotted me having a moan about it on Twitter).

I do want a new Dungeon Keeper, but I want one that does new things with the same concept rather than the same things with better graphics and interface – a Dungeon Keeper XCOM to the original’s X-COM, if you will. War For The Overworld does appear to be more towards the latter than the form, but it is looking like a pretty tasty reworking and there is some talk of change as well sparkles. They’ve even won a Peter Molyneux endorsement:

They’ve also got a playable, Unity-powered, browser-base demo, which you can try here or watch in video-based movement form here:

Playing the demo does activate old excitements in me, I must confess. A new, shinier version of an old flame wouldn’t be such a bad thing even if they don’t change much.

WFTO has already been a Kickstarter success, and even went into stretch goals territory. Original DK narrator Richard Ridings had already played some part in the early trailers, but with £225k in devs Subterranean Games’ kitty he’s now officially and fully onboard for the full game. While the Kickstarter has closed, the devs are still taking pledges – and the attendant early beta access and assorted goodies at various tiers – on their website.

Here’s the woo-we-got-Ridings video:

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33 Comments »

  1. Hoaxfish says:

    Not just the narrator from Dungeon Keeper, but also Daddy Pig.

  2. Dark Nexus says:

    As much as I know I should be wanting that money to go to some of the gameplay “flex goals” they had, I’m completely thrilled by this.

  3. tobecooper says:

    Your creatures like your style.

  4. Joshua Northey says:

    JACKPOT WINNER!

    Satisfaction came in a chain reaction
    I couldn’t get enough,
    so I had to self destruct,
    The heat was on, rising to the top,
    Everybody’s going strong
    And that is when my spark got hot
    I heard somebody say

    Burn baby burn! – Disco inferno!
    Burn baby burn! – Burn that mother down!
    Burn baby burn! – Disco inferno!
    Burn baby burn! – Burn that mother down
    Burnin’!

  5. Spliter says:

    I propose that for the embetterment of the headlines we start referring to War For The Overworld as WTF Overworld

  6. Lemming says:

    “I do want a new Dungeon Keeper, but I want one that does new things with the same concept rather than the same things with better graphics and interface – a Dungeon Keeper XCOM to the original’s X-COM, if you will.

    I’d rather the reverse. The shine wore off the new XCOM very quickly. It’s a shallow game. A Michael Bay simulator if you will.

    Although, I will add: Doesn’t the title really show they are trying something new with the same concept?

    • Banana_Republic says:

      The Michael Bay comment is so very true. All glitz, no guts. I hope Overworld doesn’t insult its pedigree in a similar fashion.

    • Spengbab says:

      Exactly, I don’t want a revolutional New Way of Playing Dungeon Keeper, I just want a Dungeon Keeper. 1, if possible, but I’d settle for 2.

      Now, make a new Homeworld and it’ll be a great news day.

  7. ice0105 says:

    Which would be be a very silly thing for me to want, given it’s a remake/sequel of one of the games I most love, Dungeon Keeper. And now it’ll star the sinister tones of Richard Ridings, DK’s cheerfully malevolent narrator.

    ice making machine

  8. sinister agent says:

    Very few games seem to realise just how much character the right voice(s) can add to a game. This is good news indeed.

    Someone really ought to track down and hire the PEGI 15 guy, too. Just have him read out area names or inventory items or whatever. You’d only need him for an afternoon.

  9. Hunchback says:

    Ah, finally!

  10. FionaSarah says:

    I’m yet to understand why this game exists. DK is great and I love it dearly but I don’t understand why you’d want to just 1:1 remake it. Seems silly and pointless.

    DK, especially 2, is also fatally flawed in a number of ways so this seems to be banking purely on nostalgia. Which irks me somewhat.

  11. CKScientist says:

    This is only any good if they get a decent writer, too.

    I played through DK1 and DK2 recently. Ridings voices the narrator in both, but in the first he isn’t very funny or interesting because the writing is poor. All the lines people remember him from are from the second game. Therefore, I hope that the devs spend some of their budget hiring a really good dialog writer for their game.

    It’s like the Sean Connery impersonator from the Majesty series. In the first game (and its expansion pack) his narration was very well written and he was quite amusing, while the second game (and its expansion packs) the writing was quite terrible. It was painful listening to him, a fairly decent actor, struggling to insert a proper flow and a bit of character into his script.

    Please avoid this, WFTO devs!

    • waaaaaaaals says:

      The best writing for his lines on DK1 went into the intros and outros for each level, the ones that 95% of players skipped.

      You can’t skip the lines in DK2 since they’re random throughout the gameplay, also they’re much shorter, which adds to them being easier to memorise.

  12. Josh W says:

    To me the true successor to dungeon keeper is dwarf fortress, because of the way it produces difficulty:

    For dungeon keeper, fundamentally you wanted a perfect selection of square rooms carved out of the world, in certain configuration such that all your creatures had the maximum level of happyness and fast levelling. Then as difficulty ramped up, you got given horribly mishapen spaces to work with, spoiling your neat patterns and making everything really jury-rigged feeling.

    But in dwarf fortress, you can make your perfect arrangement of square rooms, but things will still go wrong, because your guys are more picky, and you keep getting new people with more and more complex interactions etc.

    I’m not very far in, and having to use a wiki all the time, but it hits all the same buttons of trying to learn dungeon keeper, but keeps going longer.

    The only thing it’s missing (and this is a big thing), is the amazing tone and feel. That got me through a lot of the failings of the originals, keeping it fun for quite a while.