I’ve never seen myself as a first person shooter (FPS) fanatic, well not since Counter Strike and Ghost Recon. But there’s something in Capcom/High Moon Studios’ Darkwatch that will convert non-believers. This cinematic FPS combines vampire-horror and Western genres into one explosive package that is sure to keep gamers thirsting for more.
You are Jericho Cross: an outcast, outlaw and loner. Living off trains crossing Arizona’s southern border, Jericho’s last robbery attempt turns disastrously wrong. His target: an armored train owned by a secret vampire-hunting society known as the Darkwatch. Their cargo: Lazarus Malkoth, an ancient Roman vampire-lord.
A stylish blending of an old Western with today’s brand of FPS, Darkwatch is an interesting combination of horror and shoot-em-up action.
– Team Xbox
As fate would have it, Jericho accidentally releases Lazarus and gets bitten in the process. Now infected with a lust for blood and mysterious vampiric powers, Jericho must join forces with the Darkwatch to prevent Lazarus from releasing his demonic powers over the world and to regain his own soul from damnation. Burdened by his past, trapped in the present and unsure of his future, Jericho Cross is the perfect archetypal anti-hero. This is reflected in the gameplay where you are forced to choose between good and evil decisions. The development of the game story and Jericho’s abilities and powers will depend on these decisions.
It’s the uncanny combination of shoot-em-up action and horror that puts this FPS above the others in its class. Most of the earlier attempts at fusing these two genres failed but with this game, they complement each other perfectly. When the action is slow, it’s the gore aspect of the game that brings it to life and vice versa. The in-game movies, artwork and musical scoring are superb. I played the game for three straight nights and I must say I still look behind my back just to check there aren’t any banshees hanging around in my room.
If you’re looking for an intense shooter experience, Darkwatch will not disappoint.
If there’s one thing I didn’t like about the game, it would be the rather short single-mission game. I suck at FPS yet I finished the game on normal mode in just over 12 hours. Replayability is not that high. There’s probably a reason for this. An entry in the Darkwatch website reveals that the Jericho Cross saga is set in the middle of Darkwatch history, so expect prequels (Ancient, the Dark Ages) and sequels (World Wars and the Future) in the next couple of years.
Overall, I’d say buy the game. The fun/fright factor is high, especially when you play alone at night 😉