Distributed by: Capcom
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
Darkwatch, created by Capcom, is the latest first-person shooter game available for the PlayStation 2 and X-Box. In this game you are Jericho Cross, an outlaw in the old west with a penchant for train robbing who accidentally stumbles upon a secret organization dedicated to saving America from the forces of evil. Your involvement begins when you mistakenly try to highjack a train that is carrying, not gold or valuables, but a super-powerful vampire lord--Lazarus--and release him. Before he escapes, Lazarus bites you, infusing you with supernatural, evil blood and granting you powers beyond your mortal limits. But it also leaves you bordering on becoming one of them, with a ravenous hunger for blood.
A Darkwatch regulator, Cassidy, takes pity on you and introduces you to the Darkwatch, promising that if you help them defeat Lazarus, you will have a chance to save your soul before it’s too late.
Here’s where the cliché of modern video games kicks in. As you go through the game you will run into other victims of vampire attacks. You’ll have the chance to either free them from their torment or indulge in your evil side—either way it spells out drinking their blood. The rewards for the choices you make are new good or evil powers and a chance to either destroy Lazarus and save yourself or succeed him.
You’ll have two beautiful female companions throughout your journey, Cassidy and Tala. Each have their different personalities and will guide you in different ways, and in the end, you must choose—of a sort—to side with one against the other.
Darkwatch is a good solid game for its genre. I liked the mixing of cowboy noir with vampires in this first-person shooter style. The graphics are great and the gothic style of both the environment and the weapons are visual eye candy. The blood vision—the equivalent to a zoom-in—is fun and very practical and the extra vampire powers really come in handy in a pinch.
My only real complaint about the game is the pathetically short game play time. There were too many unnecessary scenes sandwiched in-between the far-too-many loading screens. With barely twenty-hours of play-time, excessive loading screens just aggravate the player and slows down the otherwise fun and fast paced game. Though the multiplayer option is worth a go, the game is otherwise devoid of any replay value. All in all, Darkwatch was a great game that was just far too short for its own good. It’s definitely a rental, not a keeper, because trust me, anyone with a handful of spare time and decent vision can beat this game before the return date. But for the time you do have it, enjoy and mourn another could-have-been-great-if-they’d-only…game.