Watchmen: The End is Nigh, Reviewed

Watchmen: The End is Nigh is a new beat ‘em up tie in to the new movie available on the Xbox live arcade. A standard fighter, which features Rorschach and Nite Owl. Sadly Silk Spectre II isn’t in this, and good for her for not appearing, because movie tie in games are almost always pretty bad. Comparing this to it’s movie tie in cousins leaves it pretty run of the mill, and that is a bad thing because who can remember the last good movie tie in game?

Graphics:

For an XBox Live Arcade game it looks very good, it seems that this was developed using original Xbox technology which does make it stand out against other dated games populating the arcade’s library. But try to compare it to Soulcaliber, a game that came out ten years ago on a completely different system and it looks inferior, and Soulcaliber plays better too. This may be an unfair comparison, but aren’t games supposed to get progressively better over time compared to older games, especially games that have excellent examples to follow?

Controls:

Sluggish. I played both as Rorschach and as Nite Owl. Mr. Kovacs had better response than Mr. Dreiberg, but that’s like comparing melted chocolate ice cream to less melted strawberry ice cream. There really isn’t that much to say about it, you use two, maybe three buttons and both of those buttons respond like they’re recovering from a broken finger for mouthing off to the wrong person in a dive bar.

Story:

I downloaded the trial game so I don’t know the full story and I really don’t care to find out the rest of it. It does take place over a decade before the film/graphic novel. A hard date of October 13, 1972 is given by Rorschach and there is a riot at Sing-Sing. You can choose either hero to control, it doesn’t matter since it seems that the story is the same for either hero. Don’t expect this to be entered into the hallowed tome of Watchmen continuity.

Bright side:

It seems that there might be some new Dave Gibbons artwork to be seen, or at least someone really good at aping his style from that era. There is voice acting as well, but it’s easy to tell that the stars are just there for the paycheck or out of contractual obligation considering how bored they sound in the middle of a prison riot.

Dark side:

It costs 1600 Microsoft points or about twenty dollars to unlock the full game. Do yourself a favor, if you absolutely have to play this game, download the trial and get it out of your system. It’s a movie tie in and they’re almost universally terrible. This is no exception. Use that money to go see the movie, or better yet, buy the graphic novel.

Not Recommended.

[tags]Video Games, Watchmen[/tags]

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