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Game review: Darkwatch

01 Nov 2005

Darkwatch is a first-person shooter action adventure that combines vampires and cowboys... if you haven’t run out and bought the game already based on that – you may not want to continue reading. You play Jericho Cross, an outlaw looking for a big score on a secret treasure train. On the night of the deed, Jericho makes his way to the safe, and inadvertently unlocks a captured vampire being transported by Darkwatch, an old organisation dedicated to defeating supernatural evils. After blowing open the safe, Jericho unlocks Lazarus, the oldest and most powerful creature of his kind. Out of empathy, he spares you, but makes you one of his kind. So with growing supernatural powers, you have to track down Lazarus and kill him before the ‘Curse’ contains you completely. If you win, you can get back your soul; if not, well...lets just say finding a good salad would prove to be difficult.

The game then consists of travelling the old west hunting down skeletons who are adept with scythes, gunslingers who could use a makeover, and snipers who like to wear capes. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you’ll also meet some unhealthy looking beasts who like to spit mud/vomit/pee—whatever it is that will burn you. Essentially there is a lot of shooting and plenty of neat effects that tie in with the supernatural theme around every corner. Who knew life in the Wild-West could be this difficult? You’ll soon be toting pistols, shotguns, carbines, nail guns, range rifles, and mounting horses and cannon turrets for a little mass poundage action.

One thing that many people will like (or hate) about this game is the nearly non-stop action and constant bullet-flying madness. The maps in Darkwatch are well laid out and not monotonous. Some paths are straight-forward, but more often than not, they can frequently open up into an area where you have to do some major battling. The dusty Old West atmosphere is detailed and interactive with gunslingers using wagon wheels and horse troughs for cover. All this game really needed was the ability to play poker at will. While the actual gameplay graphics were exceptional, cut scenes and secondary characters models were not - but this is a common problem with a lot of games, especially first person shooters. But any game that combines cowboys and vampires is worth a look. See ya ‘round pardner.