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Watchmen: The End is Nigh

Depending on how big and angry a Watchmen fan you are, you could be either throwing up or ordering bullets from the internet by now. Or maybe just writing a really nasty forum post. But bear in mind the circumstances. “The scope of this title befits a downloadable game,” says Lund. “We think that’ll reflect positively in our reviews and should be great for guys who’ve seen the movie or the trailer and can then go online, try the game, and buy it if they enjoy it.”

Sure, Watchmen is a trivial game that would have Alan Moore tearing out his considerable hair – if he played videogames, which we suspect he doesn’t. It’s also a respectful, attractive, and in all likelihood cheap cash-in that doesn’t outstay its welcome. Consultation with Snyder and Alex McDowell, production designer on Watchmen and Fight Club, has given it the same dark, gritty tone as the movie. Consultation with Gibbons, furthermore, means that its cutscenes, rendered in a 2D “motion comic” style, bring the novel’s art style to its newly conceived backstory. Also, actors Patrick Wilson and Jackie Earle Haley (the movie’s Nite Owl and Rorschach) voice the characters.

Furthermore, while Lund insists there’s “no technology for the sake of it”, the straightforward brawling does enlist some advanced physics and heavily motion-captured moves – not great for the flow of a fighting game, perhaps, but a treat for the eyes. Until he stabs someone in the back or throws them to the ground and headbutts them, Rorschach strolls about the levels just as you’d imagine, head down and hands in jacket pockets, his inkblot mask changing with every frame. 

“If you look at the Watchmen universe,” says Lund, “there are so many different games you could create. There’s a Comedian game that could be like a shooter or a spy conspiracy game. You could do the detective/noir type of game. But then you’re taking on the entire novel and its complexity. You’ll always have people who react – we even had an email saying, ‘Don’t touch this game or you’re gonna die.’ But everything we’ve done ties into references anchored in the original novel. So from that point of view I’m not worried.”

Jan 12, 2009

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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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