Watchmen – The End Is Nigh
ESRB: M fo Mature
Developer: Deadline Games
Platform: PSN Network: March 5th 2009 (Part One), Xbox Live & PC: March 4th 2009 (Part One)
If you haven’t heard anything on the forthcoming Watchmen graphic novel adaptation by Dawn of the Dead & 300 helmer Zack Snyder, then you must’ve had your head buried in the sand for the past 5 months or so.
Arguably one of the most prestigious graphic novels of all time, Watchmen is the comic that has been hailed as “unfilmable” by creator Alan Moore (who still apparently stands by this, and prefers to distance himself from any movie based on his work). However, Zack Snyder’s anal-retentive attention to detail has made it a reality.
All this being said, I’m not here to lend my critique on the forthcoming movie (due for release on March 6th) or the graphic novel. I’m here to talk about the video game adaptation for the Xbox, PS3 & PC; Watchmen: The End Is Nigh (Not the browser-based flash game Minutemen).
Announced back in November, the game will be a download-only episodic prequel to the graphic novel, with events unfolding in such a way that it melds into the comic’s story until its conclusion. As far as delivery systems for the game’s download, Warner Brothers Interactive will use the usual Xbox Live and PS Network for the console versions, and the PC download has thankfully been confirmed as using Valve’s Steam platform.
The game takes place in 1972, and follows Rorschach & Nite Owl as they battle the criminal underworld. In true form with the comic book’s style, the game will be set solely at night, and will be a mature-rated game due to the brutal and bloody content.
The game is primarily a bloody fighter, with Rorschach being the more vicious & dirty fighter, and Nite Owl being geared towards a rigid martial arts style. However the game will have some puzzle elements that will require two sets of hands – something that has been somewhat dicey in games in the past, though this has been explored again more recently (Army of Two).
Graphically the game already looks outstanding, with Rorschach’s mask morphing to match his mood just like the movie, and the atmosphere seems to be spot on.
If you’re worried about the game’s accuracy to the graphic novel’s tone and pace, you’ll be pleased to find out that Len Wein (co-creator of Swamp Thing & Wolverine) will be taking over Alan Moore’s mantle as scriptwriter for the game, and original artist Dave Gibbons will be on hand as a consultant.
Now, I’m ashamed to say I only read the Watchmen graphic novel recently, however I really enjoyed it (although most people I know seem to dislike the ending). I got really involved with the characters, and I liked the bleak tone of the book – and this has only increased my excitement about the movie and game adaptations. As soon as the game hits Xbox Live over in the UK, I’ll get a full review out as soon as possible – if you can tear the joypad out of my hands.