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Watchmen: The End is Nigh

The job of turning the world’s greatest graphic novel into a videogame fell to Deadline Games, maker of tequila-slammin’, sombrero-catchin’ action game Total Overdose. But with just ten months in which to do it, making some grand Yakuza-style adventure wasn’t an option. “We had to come up with a concept that suited the timetable and the fanbase but also made sense as a game,” explains producer Soren Lund. “So we came up with a proposal to work with two of the main characters, Nite Owl and Rorschach, who describe in the novel how they worked together in the past.”

Put simply, Nite Owl and Rorschach are a good cop/bad cop duo who go their separate ways when the law turns against them. Nite Owl, a Bruce Wayne style gadget man, slips into retirement and grows fat; Rorschach, an ingenious street brawler and mentally scarred sociopath, takes his punishment of the underworld to brutal new heights. In their crime-busting past, developer Deadline saw the blueprint it was looking for: a good old-fashioned punch-up.

“What we did was say, okay, these guys are all dressed up to party, but when the novel actually takes place the party’s over,” says Lund. “In our game, the party’s still going on.” That party, then, is a downloadable beat-em-up for PSN that harks right back to games like Streets of Rage, Final Fight and Dynamite Cop. It’s six chapters long and deals with something the novel only mentions in passing: the search for an underworld kingpin aptly known as Underboss. Using sanctioned material from a pen-and-paper RPG, Deadline has fleshed out this historic character, along with another – a small-time hood called Jimmy the Gimmick.

Cast your mind back to when fighting in games occurred largely in alleys and sewers against waves of trash-talking thugs. Remember punching out increasingly complex button combos to pull off ever-nastier moves. Hit a crook and he drops his crowbar; pick it up and pummel everyone on screen. That’s the gist of the Watchmen game – nothing fancy, nothing clever. Bonus pickups boost your abilities, Rorschach’s being rage, Nite Owl’s being an electrical attack and defense. There are fast and heavy punches and kicks; throws and finishing moves. And unique abilities: Rorschach can unlock gates to reach bonus areas, Nite Owl gets the chance to use a grappling hook.

7 comments

  • Weasel - January 13, 2009 9:20 a.m.

    This actually looks like it could be fun, but I imagine that making it a Watchmen game instead of an original IP will probably turn away alot of people that might otherwise enjoy it. Though it also remains to be seen if it will actually be any good, with it's rather short development time, plus the movie tie-in factor...
  • jakery22 - March 8, 2009 7:55 p.m.

    i think it wuld be a better game if they made it to follow the paths of rorscach and nite owl throung the novel. but thats my personal opinion disagree if you want. :D
  • Prankster09 - March 1, 2009 1:41 p.m.

    dis game is going to rock
  • FancyRat - January 17, 2009 1:39 a.m.

    Bad, bad, bad, bad, BAD! The last thing this movie needs is a shitty beat-em-up tie-in!
  • Jimmyjammy - January 13, 2009 12:47 p.m.

    When you listed Rorschach's ability I read it as "rape", and I was like WTF?!? He's gone all Comedian on our asses! I was really ready to ignore this but it's not sounding incredibly terrible. Seems like they've gone for the safe option which is probably a good idea. Plus: It's episodic, It has the film's voice actors and Motion comic style cutscenes. They're all things that I like, and if gibbons is drawing new art work for the game then that's reason enough to buy it anyway.
  • cart00n - January 13, 2009 11 a.m.

    I actually think this might be a lot of fun. The ten month development time doesn't bother me so much in this case - it IS a Live Arcade game after all - some of the best of them only took a couple months to make! The designers were smart in creating a stripped down brawler about a simpler time in the Watchmen universe. Yet that didn't stop them from getting Gibbons to create some new art (yes!), nor from getting Len Wein to write it! As for Alan Moore, that guy needs to take that giant stick out of his ass - he's made an entire CAREER out of adapting other people's works (Batman, Swamp Thing, A League...) to fit his OWN vision, damning other peoples' attempts to adapt his work just WREAKS of hubris. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this man's work, but he really needs to stop inhaling his own farts...
  • Z-man427 - January 13, 2009 6:58 a.m.

    this does NOT make me happy. as much fun as it would be to go around as Rorschach beating people up, 10 months is nowhere near long enough to build a Watchmen game. The concept of going before the novel is a good one though. i just think they should have had longer and made it stuff that happened in the flashbacks, like when Nite Owl and The Comedian tried to stop the riots at the time of the Keane Act. Although the tenement rescue has fun potential. Evading police during the Keane Act would be cool too I just think they got this wrong and what the hell... first

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