Review by kts123

Reviewed: 09/09/05

Darkwatch is a great game, but it seems like the makers threw in some of the challenges.

Genre: FPS (First Person Shooter)
Appeal: 8/10
The vast majority of FPS fans will love Dark Watch. The fighting is fast paced and lets you do a lot of "cool" things. However, that is the whole game! The entire game is nothing but shooting and running. You don't have to plan your attack or anything. So a lot of people are going to hate Dark Watch.

Story Line: 7/10
The story line itself is good, but the way it is present is horrible. The game begins where 'Jericho Cross' a bad-ass outlaw decides to rob the wrong train, once he makes it to the vault, and blows it open he unleashes a terrible evil upon the West! Then he is cursed and forced to walk the night as a vampire. Not very original, but it provides for a good feel. Now Jericho Cross -you- join the Dark Watch, a 'secret organization' that defends the world against demonic forces. As the game progresses you are met with moral issues, you may be low on health and find a frightened civilian, you can either, drink their blood and regain your health, or save them. It doesn't really effect much though, there is only one time in the game that your actions affect the ending of the game, and it doesn't change really anything. The only difference is the color and dressings of the final boss, and slightly changes the endings.

Gameplay: 8/10
I must say, I was expecting much more from this game. After I played for a couple of hours I decided I hated the game, but that was because I was expecting more than a typical Blast-em-Fest. After a while though, I knew thats all the game was, and I was fine with it. The whole purpose of the game is to blast your way to what ever goal you may have at the time. Sadly the game is extremely typical. By this I mean, at times you will be forced to "destroy all three 'marks of evil' before you can proceed!" or "pull all three levers before you can proceed!" or sometimes you must "turn all three wheels before you can proceed!" I'm not joking either, the game continually forces you fulfill repetitive tasks. Your abilities are also simple, you can get three kinds of "vehicles" horse back, the 'steam wagon (or warthog for Halo fans) and you can get a turret. You can of course, jump, jump again while you are in the air. You can peek around corners, throw sticks of TNT (grenades), and gain various weapons, such as dual pistols, a rifle, a shotgun, a rocket launcher, a bow-gun, and a sniper rifle. Each of the weapons are also fitted with it's own special melee attack, the shotgun comes equipped with an axe on it's end, the pistols you spin-swip enemies with, and the rocket launcher and riffle are used like in Halo, you just smack-em upside the head :). Sadly though, the steam wagon is only used once in the game, and the horses

Entertainment: 9/10
I'll admit, at first I hated the game, but it has it's way of growing on you and becoming addictive, I've already played through the game twice in less than a week. The enemies die rather nicely, depending on where you shoot or melee an enemy depends on what happens to it. If you uppercut an enemy with your shotguns axe, it's head might go flying and it will go flipping. If you attack an enemy with the dual pistols you might knock off both of it's arms. This is very gratifying to see after an enemy took some of your much loved health. The game is very good at sucking you in, if you really take to the game, the hours will melt away along with what ever job you should have been doing ;)

Graphics: 9 /10
The graphics are extremely well done and only have a few flaws. The areas are beautiful (for what they are) and the lighting effects are superb. Every area has it's own special look and feel. Sometimes you might be going through caves with minimal light, other times you will be fidgeting enemies on horse back in the pail moon light Or battle against legions of the UN-dead in an empty ghost town. The areas, explosions, and most of everything is great. However, the "rag-doll" system is rather poor. When you kill an enemy it will go flipping like it has no weight, even when it lands it will sometimes have a body part off in the air. And the health items are floating with red mist coming off of it. But another good part is the unusually high frame rate. It's nearly as high as Metroid Prime's, so you will never need to worry about the game slowing down when there are a lot of enemies near by. Overall the graphics are great, but they are far from perfect.

Sound effects: 8/10
I've heard better. The sound is detailed enough so that you will never say "why the hell did those leaves sound like metal?", but the sound just seems to lack strength, it seems so dull it drags down the game if your the type who love good sound effects. Luckily though, as I said before, it is detailed. So the sound effects aren't 'that' bad. The sound does have some pluses though, the sound fire makes is very life like, along with the explosions and gun shots. If the sound had a little more 'power' and feel it would be worthy of a nine, but it sadly doesn't, so it lands just above an average seven.

Music: 4/10
Wow... I can't say the music was terrible, but why does it only get a four out of ten? Because there isn't much music at all! You'll only get to hear the occasional "DUM DUM" or an old sounding guitar. The music sounds very clear though, almost like it's really there. But there are only a few tracks in the whole game so it's really disappointing.

Replay Value: 8/10
The game is very addicting once you know what to expect. The enemies are fun to kill, and fun to mess around with. I played through on easy mode once just so I could kill lots of stuff without worrying about dying. Once you clear the game, there is a good chance you will be wondering "what would have happened if I had chosen the good side?" or the other way around. When that happens you may end up playing the last few stages just to see what will happen. Even after you've seen all there is to see you may get tempted to play again just to see heads roll. Overall you'll probable get ten to twenty hours of play time if you really like the game, and three to seven hours if you don't really care for it. It's worth beating though, I don't think anyone will stop playing because they hate it.

Overview: 8/10
I've played a lot of games, and I didn't see anything new here. The game's objectives remain like any other games. "Hit the three switches to proceed" is something you will be seeing often, though it may not always be in those exact words. I wish they had let you use the vehicles more, but they didn't, so thats another flaw. The games pluses however far out weigh the draw backs. The areas are great and have a good feel, the sound effects, though lacking are very detailed. And it's just plain fun. I was hopping for more than another Shoot Fest but it's what I got, I give it a firm eight out of ten.

Rent or Buy?
RENT! It may be fun and all, but you will probable beat it in less than four days and be done with it in a week. If you don't have much free time though you may consider picking up a used copy, or a new copy if you love most FPS.

Rating: 8

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