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Darkwatch has had to travel a long, hard road to make its way to store shelves. However, like the hero in most Western tales, the crew at High Moon came through in the end and has delivered a truly remarkable experience. And, while the game itself may not have broken any new ground, the world it introduces more than makes up for that. It will leave gamers hungry for more.
Darkwatch has been at the very top of my must-have list since the day I laid eyes on it—the premise and setting being what they are—but little did I know that this was merely set dressing for a deeply rewarding tactical FPS/adventure experience. This is no by-the-numbers see-(and-kill)-the-scary-monsters FPS (which would have sufficed), but a highly tactical first-person action-shooter with two delectably ill-intentioned added features: bone-crunching melee combat and an omnibus of vampiric powers. It also happens to contain multiple endings, gaming’s first unobtrusive sex scene (see inset) and enemy AI that would make Bungie blush. I ran across an arrow-shooting undead brave dug in about 50 yards out and, retreating to grab the range rifle I’d discarded a ways back, the brainy ghoul took after me while my back was turned. You would never expect an enemy to desert a post so far off, but these enemies don’t just see you, they smell you, and once they get a whiff, you’re on the menu.
Game industry News (GiN)
Thankfully the story is quite good and involves the horrors that people do, sometimes in the name of good as well as love and betrayal. All the good plot points that will keep you coming back for more action. There is a multiplayer element to the game that is quite fun if you want to see who has better shooting skills among your friends. You can play locally on the PS2 or on Xbox Live with the Xbox version. Who would have thought that cowboys and vampires would have gone so well together. Remember the name Darkwatch, because it is going to be a series that should be with us for a long time.
Cheat Code Central
Darkwatch is instantly compelling and will appeal to all gamers that want to experience something cool during this hot summer.
Darkwatch is one of the more solid first person shooters out there. Yes, there are many, and there are ones that deliver better in individual areas, but as an overall package, it comes through and takes its place near the top of the list. It is not going to dethrone Halo 2 on Xbox Live, but does offer another choice for the FPS fan who wants something different. Though the storyline does leave something to be desired, the sheer fun of the game more than makes up for that lack. Aside from a control issue here and there, and the lacklauster Steamwagon level, I enjoyed reviewing this game immensely, and when I want a straightforward shoot 'em up just for fun, rest assured, it is Darkwatch I will be reaching for. That said, I'll see you on Live. It's high moon, and this town ain't big enough for the both of us.....
Game Informer Magazine
In terms of gameplay quality, this may be another middle-of-the-road shooter, but the unique premise sets it aside from everything else out there. If you've grown tired of science-fiction or military-based FPSs, Darkwatch is definitely worth sinking your teeth into.
Manche Konsolenspiele sind wie Filme. Man kann sie klar einem Genre zuordnen. So gibt es Actionfilme, Komödien oder Horrorfilme und Western. Was aber, wenn zwei Genre aufeinander treffen? Genau dieser Frage nahm sich Entwickler der 'High Moon Studios' an. Was dabei heraus gekommen ist, darf diese Tage unter dem klingenden Namen 'Darkwatch' bewundert werden. Um euch einen Eindruck des aberwitzigen Zombie-Western-FPS zu vermitteln, haben wir für euch das schnellste Pferd gesattelt, und sind eine runde durch die mutantenverseuchte Prärie in die blutrote Abendsonne geritten. Hier unsere Ergebnisse.
Fed up with walking through those same research facilities over and over again in first person view? Seen enough mutated monsters? Sick of having to play that one Special Forces commando? The Darkwatch is the perfect FPS for you! You take on the role of Jericho Cross, en route through a world that mixes a western, a vampire tale and a horror movie. A game with fangs, or one with anaemia, read on to find out!
Trotz mehrfach wechselnder Publisher hat es Darkwatch am Ende doch noch zur Marktreife gebracht und dank Ubisoft auch nach Europa geschafft - und das sogar ungeschnitten sowie vorbildlich lokalisiert. Die Entwickler entführen euch in ein bizarres Horror-Western-Szenario, das frisch und unverbraucht wirkt. Spielerisch wird euch hingegen eher ein traditioneller Fun-Shooter à la Serious Sam vorgesetzt, der mit übersinnlichen Spezialkräften, einem Moralsystem sowie Fahr- bzw. Reitpassagen verfeinert wurde. Leider ist das vampiristische Wildwest-Abenteuer jedoch recht kurz geraten und der Mehrspieler-Part ein zweischneidiges Schwert: Während PS2-Spieler nur zu zweit, aber dafür auch kooperativ ans Werk gehen können, bekriegen sich Xbox-User online mit bis zu 15 Gleichgesinnten, müssen auf einen Koop-Modus jedoch komplett verzichten. Trotzdem hat man auf beiden Systemen auch abseits der Einzelspielerkampagne seinen Spaß - eine gleichmäßigere Verteilung wäre allerdings wünschenswert gewesen.
Darkwatch hat das gewisse Etwas. Obwohl es schon genug geradlinieger Schooter gibt, gefällt das ungewöhnliche Setting des Spiels. Wer durfte schon mal als Vampircowboy durch die Gegend ziehen? Die gute Musik und die gut gelungene Synchronisation tragen zum positiven Gesamteindruck bei. Nur die etwas kurze Spielzeit trübt die Wertung, Langzeitmotivation gibts dafür im Multiplayermodus. Zu viert offline oder via XBOX live darf man dann seinen Vampirfähigkeiten freien Lauf lassen. Der Vollständigkit halber sei noch erwähnt, das Splatterfans bei diesem Titel voll auf ihre Ksoten kommen werden, da der Titel ungeschnitten in den Regalen steht. Darkwatch hat also das Zeug zum Hit, sofern es sich gegen due gute Konkurrenz auf der XBOX durchsetzen kann.
Having been delayed for quite a while and then in a state of videogame limbo, Darkwatch had finally been released on the Xbox and fans of first-person shooters will finally have an Old West shooter worthy of the Xbox. Yes, there was Dead Man’s Hand but it was a seriously flawed shooter and the very entertaining Red Dead Revolver was more of an action-packed third-person shooter, but where else can you find gunslingers facing off against the armies of the undead?
I cannot remember the last time that I wanted to like a game so much, but just could not enjoy it. The story plot has so much untapped potential that it hurts. I would be lying if I said that I did not enjoy Darkwatch at all, it started out as a crazy trip but after about five hours the repetitive gameplay the initial infatuation with the game quickly faded. The only thing that kept me playing this game through to the end was the bit of hope that the game’s untapped potential would come to fruition. Hope is such a liar. So definitely pass up on this one; nine hours of frustrating gameplay and a weak multiplayer does not justify spending $50. Overall it would still be a good candidate if you are looking to rent a game and beat it in a couple of days.
Digital Press - Classic Video Games
While Darkwatch will of course be overshadowed by the major players in the genre, it's going to find an audience who can appreciate what it is. The single player experience offers a smooth and enjoyable experience worth wasting about eight hours on. This is calling for a sequel on the Xbox 360.
Want to run around the old West as a vampire with a loaded gun and a bad attitude? Then Darkwatch is your game. Every classic shooter fan will dig the unique Gothic Western theme Darkwatch provides. Darkwatch is cool fresh idea that has the goods to deliverer. Pick this vaquero up!
A very enjoyable game, hectic and fun gameplay combined with solid controls makes for a game that should totally be experienced. Hopefully the start of a franchise.
If you like nothing better than spending a couple of hours sitting in front of the television set competing in multiplayer sessions with your buddies, then High Moon Studios' long-awaited Darkwatch is exactly the game you're looking for. Intentionally designed as a cross between Halo and Silverado, Darkwatch was created by a dedicated team of first-person shooter fans that wanted to make an FPS for guys like themselves. Spend enough time with the game on your own and you'll be able to identify their enthusiasm for the genre too, as there are obvious references to titles such as Half-Life, Medal of Honor, and the aforementioned Halo everywhere you look.
Darkwatch, originally announced in 2004 by Sammy Studios, has had a development path as tumultuous as the journey in the game by its protagonist, Jericho Cross. The good news for those interested in Darkwatch's hybrid horror-Western theme is that the game seems no worse for the wear despite the behind-the-scenes chaos. If you're looking for an intense shooter experience, Darkwatch will not disappoint, offering crisp gameplay, an excellent presentation, and a varied campaign. It's also refreshing to have a shooter with a theme that isn't completely played out, and though a few primary aspects hold it back--including pedestrian multiplayer design and a brief campaign--Darkwatch is well worth checking out.
Irgendwie fehlt bei Darkwatch das gewisse Etwas. Die Vorraussetzungen zu einem sehr guten Shooter hat Darkwatch sicherlich dank unverbrauchtem Setting, eingängiger Steuerung und solider Technik, doch speziell aus dem Wild West-Szenario holen die Entwickler für meinen Geschmack zu wenig heraus. Die einzelnen Levels sind ziemlich lieblos aufgebaut und die immer gleichen Gegnerscharen ermüden auch über kurz oder lang. Als Budgettitel würde ich Darkwatch eine Empfehlung aussprechen, doch als Vollpreistitel bietet das Spiel aufgrund der extrem kurzen Spielzeit ein zu schlechtes Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis.
I guess all in all I liked this game; it didn’t take forever and it wasn’t too short. I got just the right amount of killing in for my twenty bucks. I am Jack’s satisfied customer. As I think more about it, there wasn’t really anything about the game I didn’t like. While certainly not the best game ever, I have to give it a solid recommendation, especially given its current price. If you’re looking to shoot bad guys, blow things up and hear Rose McGowans’ voice, definitely pick this title up.
The Video Game Critic
Darkwatch is generally entertaining, but some stages are better than others. You can get lost in the pitch-black mineshafts, and the aptly named "torture maze" truly lives up to its name. The four-player split screen game is a nice bonus, but for some reason the two-player split screen doesn't include a scanner, and that stinks when you consider how huge these battlefields are. At its core, Darkwatch may be just another first-person shooter, but it has a certain polish and style few can match.
Darkwatch isn't a bad game by any means, but it isn't a game that really stands out above and beyond other good first person shooters. The engine is solid, the graphics are great, the AI is smart, but there are too many things about it that work against it and oftentimes these problems are simply based on the fact that it is too similar to other games in the genre. The morality system would have been great if it really made a difference (there are two endings and neither one is really surprising) and the single player campaign needed a bit more added to it in order to really make it something fresh and exciting. As it stands, Darkwatch is a solid entry and certainly a fun game with a very unique style and take, but it's just another first person shooter in more ways than one and could have benefited with a bit more substance.
Is Darkwatch fun? Yes, especially in moments where High Moon Studios' creativity shines. It is just that getting there may be a bore to some. Does Darkwatch look great? Yes, it does, and its style is a refreshing change of pace from what the genre is used to. Is there replay value? Some - going through the game and making different choices will provide different outcomes and cutscenes, and the different powers you unlock does change how you play the game considerably. Is it worth buying then? I would have to say yes again. It is one of the best console FPS games to come out this year and has enough carnage, sex (yes - there is an interesting love scene), and of course gratuitous gore to make your palms sweat. High Moon Studios has a rich mythos here with a ton of franchise potential. I am looking forward to seeing the Darkwatch return again, even if it is in the future or past without Jericho.
Darkwatch provides a good quick weekend of fun, but that's it, and that's bad news for the guys at High Moon. You can't spend this long on a game that offers this little gameplay and expects gamers to scarf it up at $50 a pop. If Darkwatch were just a 15-20 hour game, or had multiplayer that made you want to keep the title around, this would be a solid Xbox buy, right up there with Halo and Halo 2. However, with the laughably bad art and writing in the cutscenes, and gameplay clocking in at less than a day's worth of casual play, I would MAYBE recommend this at a half-price purchase. This is a definite rental. You definitely should play this, but you definitely shouldn't pay for it.
Darkwatch is een degelijke shooter in een origineel duister jasje. Deze setting biedt een enorm potentieel dat spijtig genoeg niet benut wordt. De singleplayer is te eenvoudig en monotoon om van een topper te spreken. De multiplayer brengt ook geen soelaas, want het biedt slechts een fractie van wat andere FPS spellen in huis hebben. Darkwatch zit boordevol goede ideeën die men onvolledig of niet heeft uitgewerkt, wat op zich erg jammer is want nu dreigt het verloren te gaan tussen tal van andere middelmatige shooters.
Still, neither multiplayer scheme makes or breaks the game because the single-player is better than both of them, offering a fast-paced, good-looking first-person fragfest for either system. The default difficulty is a bit easy, but upping the challenge just one notch ensures a good ten to twelve hour romp in the dust. It took a while to get here, but we're pretty glad this vamp managed to see the light of day.
Darkwatch est un FPS qui doit beaucoup plus à son ambiance qu'à sa construction un peu trop linéaire et sans surprises. Quelques problèmes de jouabilité (lors des sauts notamment) peuvent agacer lorsqu'on se balade dans des niveaux qui peinent à se diversifier mais en règle générale on prend du plaisir à flinguer tout ce qui bouge. Au final, malgré l'IA en demi teinte ou le peu d'armes disponibles, le pistolero qui sommeille en vous devrait ressentir de bonnes sensations d'autant que les vampires, goules et autres morts-vivants vous donneront du fil à retordre.
Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM)
Fear not that the armies of the underworld are idle and wasting away. They're gainfully employed--thousands upon thousands of them--in Darkwatch, a gritty Old West shooter with an extra-crypty flavor. As an outlaw hero turned high-plains bloodsucker after a vampire curse, you'll face skeletal gunslingers, ax-hurling skeleton Indians, scythe-wielding skeletons--even the ghosts of skeletons you've blasted. Oh, you gun down a few other enemies, too--including witchy barmaids and morbidly obese, projectile-vomiting zombies--but mostly the game blends into one blah battle against the undead, with a few horse-riding, turret-manning, and vehicle-driving sections thrown in.
In the world of the creative arts, there's a very fine line between being inspired by a previous work and outright ripping it off. Changing a guitar riff by a few notes or finding a different way to say "It was a dark and stormy night" is an easy way of creating something that's different, but still familiar. Done clumsily, it's plagiarism. Done deftly, it is merely inspiration or an homage to the source material.