Review by ShishidoJo

Reviewed: 12/04/06

A fine shooter

Very often a game worthy of a wide audience flies under the radar, usually shadowed over by a more hyped-up one. Several examples of this are Indigo Prophecy (known in Europe as Fahrenheit), Max Payne 2, and Darkwatch.

Darkwatch was released about the same time as the map pack for the massively over-hyped, overrated Halo 2, so the majority of gamers - most of whom, it should be said, can hardly be called "gamers" - forgot about Darkwatch, instead choosing to play poorly-designed maps for the same game they had been playing for the past year. And it's a shame, because Darkwatch, while nothing revolutionary, is a damn fine game.

Gameplay: 9
I'm sure a good deal of the people who have played through Darkwatch will scoff at such a high rating, but I really don't care. I, for one, could care less about innovation so long as the game delivers of fun, and Darkwatch does just this. While one could say that Darkwatch gets a tad repetitive - and at certain points it does - the levels aren't quite long enough to make this a huge deal, and if you really get bored of it you can put it down for awhile and pick it right back up. It's a very easy game to pick up and play, which is definitely a good thing. And it has the most necessary aspect of any game - fun. While I can't guarantee everyone will have as much fun playing through the game as I had, I have to say I enjoyed this infinitely more than, say, Halo 2's unimmersive, dull single-player campaign. The action is nonstop, similar in a way to another horror-themed shooter called Painkiller (which, by the way, is also worth picking up), and luckily the gameplay is varied up a bit, though not as much as I would've hoped for. The run and gun levels take up the majority of the game, but there are also several levels taking place on the protagonist's undead horse, as well as a level in which the player takes control of a very anachronistic vehicle with machine guns attached to it. As I implied before, I feel that there's not enough of these levels, but what's there is fun. And isn't fun what matters? Overall, Darkwatch is a very fun game to play, and don't be surprised if you beat it in one sitting due to its addictiveness.

Graphics: 8
Nothing special, but pretty nice-looking for an Xbox game. You can easily tell what everything is, and the character models are quite decent. The cutscenes, unfortunately, show clearly signs compression, but it's nothing major - the scenes are short, and it's not necessary to watch them anyway. I'm not sure what else to say, as the game isn't cutting-edge graphically, and nothing really stands out besides it's unique (well, at least to the genre) art direction and setting.

Story: 6
Nothing to see here, folks. While it's luckily not a WW2 or science-fiction shooter, the story still ends up being a typical "demonic evil is accidentally unleashed, so now the man responsible must make up for what he has done - by returning the creature to where it came from".

Lasting Value: 6
This is not the kind of game you'd play through hundreds of times, but I can definitely see myself revisiting the game once in awhile when I feel like having a quick burst of fun - and, in fact, I do play the game once in awhile. The multiplayer, from what I've played, is very fun, though unfortunately I've not had the chance to play an online game yet. Still, this would make a good game to play with some buddies, and the single-player is quite replayable considering its short levels.

Overall: 8 (Not an average)
This is a great game. Nothing groundbreaking, but if you want a shooter without having to wait to find any enemies (Halo, anyone?), I'd definitely advise picking it up. Plus, you can pick it up for around 20 bucks new - so what's to lose? Overall, this is a highly recommended game, and it's a shame there's little chance of seeing a sequel anytime soon - this game would be killer with high-res graphics, online co-op, and an extended campaign.

Rating: 8

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