Review: Darkwatch (Xbox)

Posted in Action,Reviews,Xbox by Shawn Wallace on 21 2005f September 2005

For the first person shooter genre of video games, almost every idea has been created. From James Bond to killing aliens or monsters to blasting away soldiers in war, it would be hard to come up with something fresh and creative. So with that in mind, the folks at High Moon Studios along with Capcom created its new first person shooter with a bit of everything that gamers have grown to love about the genre.

Darkwatch takes place in Arizona in 1876, the old west where locomotives and six shooters were a common place. You begin as Jericho Cross, an outlaw who has his sights set on robbing a train for one last steal. Little do you know, you’ve jumped on to the wrong train. As you make your way through the cars, you start to notice more and more blood smeared on the side of the walls and then a approach a zombie like creature feeding on some poor fool who didn’t watch where he was going. Once you get to the safe and blow it up, you get much more than you bargained for. Lazarus, son of Satan has just been freed and has cursed you to become a vampire.

When you wake up some vampire hunter chick scoops on the whole situation and explains what you just released and why it was being held in that safe. As soon as the explanations come, you’re face to face with you’re enemy and then on the run. Once you get all the info you need, you start to hunt the creature that cursed you.

The gameplay is similar to most first person shooters, with your analog stick directing your path, the triggers shooting your weapons and the buttons having to reload, jump, punch or pickup another weapon. While it does have your basic first person shooting elements like going through dark caves and graveyards and taking out ghosts, monsters and zombies, some of the aspects like blasting on enemies while riding a horse, are pretty cool. There are also a few vehicle levels which makes the game more interesting. You also have vampire vision, a sort of “scope” to help you target your shots better and also vampire jump where you can pretty much leap buildings in a single… or double bound.

As you move through the game, there’s a good vs. evil aspect for your character. When facing certain situations, like whether or not to suck the blood of an innocent victim, you’re given a choice of what to do: one is evil and one is good. Once your morality starts leaning one way or the other you start to get additional powers. Of course, the powers for an evil character are different from a good character, which at least interests to go through the single player game more than once.

The graphics look good despite the games dark themes. As a vampire, you don’t get to see the sun that much during the game. The environments however do get a bit repetitive. You spend a lot of time in caves and canyons and only a little bit out in the prairies.

The score of the game is fair and works for the action and the voice acting is pretty good as well with Rose McGowan voicing Tala.

The Playstation 2 version of the game may be a bit rougher than the Xbox version. While the Xbox version has Xbox Live capabilities and makes the multiplayer worth the games price tag alone. The PS2 version has no online capabilities at all and only has a two-player co-op feature, which is cool, but not nearly as fun as going online.

Overall, Darkwatch is a decent attempt at trying to do something different with the first person shooting genre, but really, with so many other classic games (Halo 2, Half-Life, etc.) already out there, it’s hard to think of a reason why to get it in the first place.



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