|System: X360 (XBLA), PS3 (PSN), PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Deadline Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 4, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The co-op in the game functions well enough if you can get past the split-screen. With a fighter like this, it would have made more sense to not have the split-screen. Not only does it remove more than half of the actual environment, but it makes it very confusing if you ever casually glance over to the left or right, as it uses a vertical screen. If there was a need for split-screen, I think it would have benefited from horizontal split-screen.
The game's two strengths reside in the graphics and the sound work. Graphically, this title is top-notch by any downloadable game standard. The environments are fluid with the tone set in the graphic novel. They add a sense of realism to the underbelly of 1972 New York that sets the overall tone of the game. The character models accurately depict the characters, with the exception of the countless clones of enemies you will face. The animation, at times, seems a little staunch as well. However, the lighting and weather effects in the levels help the characters really come to life. The cutscenes are delivered in the same style as Dave Gibbons' art and uses the flash animation style of the movie.
Having the actors reprise their roles for the voice work was a smart choice. However, as much as I like the actor portraying Rorschach in the film, I found it mind-numbing hearing him dribble dialogue in the game. It came so often and so frequent that it was more distracting than appeasing. The other complaint I have about the dialogue is the use of certain curse words. Normally, dropping the "F-bomb" in a game and other colorful sentence enhancers is ok, but when you have a movie that doesn't use the same vein of language it can be harmful on both sides of the spectrum. It's like having Mickey Mouse in a Looney Tunes game.
Watchmen: The End is Nigh deserves to be called a great downloadable game. However, I can't give it that nod for one main reason: the price tag. Twenty bucks for a game that is no more than three hours long, with simplistic control schemes, and a less than meaningful story is not a smart choice. It functions as fan service more than anything else. If there was more meat to this game, the price could be rationalized. Unfortunately, most will rather save their money to see the feature film than to experience an adventure with Rorschach and Nite Owl before the events of Watchmen.
CCC Project Coordinator