Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 78% (based on 40 ratings)
Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 16 ratings with 2 reviews)
- Very joyful gameplay - interesting multiple-choices system ( powers & 2 different endings ) - nice enemy &weapon design ( specially witches with erotic voice and style , fighting with those felt a mix of anger and lust :d )
- some fights sound pointless and irrelevant to story - some chapters are excessively hard
The Bottom Line
Worth playing again!
PlayStation 2 · by mohammad hossein karami · 2023
Darkwatch certainly sounds like an entertaining enough experience if you take it at its bullet points. Play a cowboy vampire with magic powers while fighting an army of the undead? Sign me the hell up. The aesthetic of a supernatural 19th century frontier land is both appealing and fairly well pulled off, aside from the overabundance of skintight black leather.
The guns too have a nice visual design to them, unsuited as they may be to the period. A winchester rifle may have won the west, but it wouldn't put a dent in the hordes of undead Jericho has to contend with. Bazookas, scoped rifles, and pistols with magazines twenty rounds deep are scattered throughout every level, and the weapons fill out the various roles that FPS weapons should.
The powers Jericho acquires throughout the game are all entertaining in their own right, like supercharging his melee attacks or turning enemies on each other, but realistically the powers function only as a panic button to hit when you're in a bad situation, and each works as well as any other to get you back out.
Simply put Darkwatch was not finished. It's not a published beta, but the signs that they had to push this out way before its time are everywhere. Jericho creates for himself a vampiric horse in the intro that is then used in a single gameplay section and a cutscene. A steamwork dune buggy with attached gattling guns shows up in one, and only one, mission. Jericho will lose his vampiric damage shield and abilities if caught in sunlight. Of course sunlight only appears in a single mission.
Never mind the jumps and skips the story goes through. The game offers plenty of pretty overt hints that there is more going on with the Darkwatch than first appears, and none of it is ever followed up on. The endgame is, at once, completely obvious and totally unexpected, showing up at least an act too soon. I shouldn't be so hard on an FPS for botching its story like this, but it really shows how they had to cobble the game together from what they had finished at the zero hour.
Of course what remains in the game doesn't exactly come off smelling like roses either. The damage shield and quick select grenades both come directly from Halo, but High Moon Studios didn't get why Halo had those in the first place. Halo is about advancing and retreating, always pushing to gain ground. Most of the combat in Darkwatch, on the other hand, comes in the form of locked down arenas, so the best strategy is always to find a cubby to hide in and take pot shots when your shield is full. Those arenas are also filled with way more enemies than they honestly should, another symptom of not having enough assets to pad out the already short (low side of four hours, including cut-scenes, loading, and retrys) playtime.
Speaking of poorly thought out gameplay features, Darkwatch has a "morality" feature built into acquiring new spells, but to call it that almost removes all meaning from the word. In each level you will happen upon a poor soul who has been tainted with vampiric blood. You then have the option of curing them or eating them, both choices helpfully labeled as being either good or evil. You'll also happen upon barely living people who have been trapped in a torture device which can be dealt with the same way. Choosing good or evil will add points to the good or evil experience bar used for getting new abilities, but offers absolutely no reward, punishment, or even recognition otherwise, aside from being berated by your ghostly CO while picking evil choices.
Oh my, I almost forgot about Cassidy. Cass shows up early in the game to bring Jericho up to speed on vampires and Darkwatch and so on. She gives constant help, wanted or not, on every possible point of interest she sees. She is mercifully killed by the end boss shortly into the prologue, but unluckily for Jericho, and the player, she decides to stick around and haunt him. From then on she'll be doling out mission objectives and combat hints that would be useful only if Jericho were blind, and as an added bonus it's all played in a spooky ghostly voice filter.
Can't really find anywhere else to say this, but I thought I'd mention the game also includes a sex scene where the girl is completely naked (not ghostly Cass. That would be weird. Instead Ghost Cass is just naked all the time) while Jericho is clothed head to toe. I guess some chicks dig the uniform?
The Bottom Line
Darkwatch barely survived a pretty nasty corporate reorganization when Sammy dropped their American development branch. For a little while there it looked like Darkwatch might become one of those holy grails of unreleased games. Too bad the legend would have been better than the reality.
Xbox · by Lain Crowley (6594) · 2010