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Watchmen: The End is Nigh (PC/360/PS3)

on . Posted in Video Games

{tab=Story} Watchmen: The End Is Nigh is an episodic video game series that serves as a prequel to the film adaptation of the comic book Watchmen. The game was originally announced for release in downloadable installments on Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3, with the first one released in March 4, 2009 to coincide with the film's theatrical release. The second episode was released on July 30, 2009. {tab=Review (PS3)} Now...the first red flag for most people on this subject is that it's a movie tie-in game. The second red flag is that it's based on one of the most influential graphic novels of all time, therefore it has a fanboy-expectation rating in the 10 digit-range. All I've been hearing is how bad it sucks balls and that everyone should avoid it. While I don't believe that EVERYONE should avoid it, just people with expectations in the 10 digit-range.

What we do indeed have here is a $20 download, and it's about 1.3GB (for the PS3 anyway). Upon seeing the trailer, it got my hopes up, because this gen has been seriously lacking in the brawler-game department. And I know why, because 3D brawlers usually don't sell well, and they're hard to pull off as a game to be taken seriously. Well, after playing this through, I find myself feeling satisfied, and not feeling ripped-off.

For a $20 game, the production value is me, I've played $60 games that look like crap compared to this. Character models look great. Textures look the way they're supposed to, and it has some of the best rain effects I've seen so far this gen. The sound is ok. You can tell a lot of the striking sound effects are stock, but it helps the game have a nostalgic feel to it. And it's beyond me why everyone's whining about the supposed "horrible voice-overs", because this is the first game I've heard the original actors reprise the voices and actually do a good job. Anyone remember Edward Norton in Hulk or Downey Jr. in Iron man? They sounded bored, monotone, and only in the studio to collect another bonus. Jackie Earle Haley and Patrick Wilson do a good job when voicing their characters, especially compared to the Hollywood talent as of late.

I am very thankful they went with the backstory of Nite Owl and Rorschach. It fits into the brawler setting and sets the appropriate tone for a city starting to go bad without desecrating and altering the actual "Watchmen" story. The comic-panel cutscenes are drawn quite well, and I like that they went with that format, despite people's whining about it. It feels right and it belongs, as it tells some of the story in its original format.

The control is a little different. Combos require a slight amount of timing and it helps keep it away from being a complete button-masher. The splitting up and pulling levers is a little redundant, but it helps relax you a bit inbetween battles.

All in all, this game gave me the beat-em-up fix I've so desperately needed for a long time. I feel it accomplished what it was designed to do, tell the story of these two crimefighters' past partnership and implement it well into a brawler. I had fun playing it, and I'm looking forward to the next chapter, even if no one else is. {slide= } {/slide} {slide=7.0 - Graphics} For a downloadable game, the graphics are nothing to complain about. It hits 60fps here and there, but the screen tearing shows rushed production {/slide} {slide=8.0 - Sound} Impact sounds are all classic stock effects, but that's not entirely bad. Good voice acting from the cast. {/slide} {slide=7.5 - Gameplay} Good combo system, timing helps shy away from "button-masher" label. Combat is fluid and visceral. The level designs are pretty plain. Puzzles are redundant. {/slide} {slide=8.5 - Fun Factor} This game gave me my brawler fix that I oh so desperately needed. Anyone looking for what Streets of Rage might've been this gen, this is probably as close as you're gonna get for now. {/slide} 7.7 Overall
(out of 10 / not an average) {tab=Images} {/tabs}