Developer: High Moon Studios |
Publisher: Capcom
Players: 1 Player Game |
Genre: First Person Shooter

Release Date: 08/16/05

With such a fascinating premise, Darkwatch is a game that immediately stands out from the rest when browsing previews. The dust jacket story is more like a thorough novel that details exactly what this fresh taste added to an otherwise dried-out genre is. To be honest, sci-fi has taken first-person shooters to great heights, but once it has been dominant for so long, it is nice to have an alternative the fans of the genre can flock to. Darkwatch is this alternative.

It is almost impossible to find a genre of gaming that Darkwatch doesn’t take inspiration from. It is a solid mix of mostly western themes, vampire characters, numerous firearms, deep background stories, and fast-paced action. Not bad, as it borrows elements from all around the gaming table and mixes them to a seemingly desirable resolve, but we here at have been unable to test those results just yet. However, this Darkwatch preview will allow you to get a great look at what is to be expected from this highly anticipated title.

The story revolves around character Jericho Cross, who you control during the game. He is a tough train-robber who resides in the west during hectic times of outlaw. During his supposed final robbery, he makes a mistake and attacks the wrong train. It was a train housing an evil Vampire Lord of the Undead. Accidentally letting the demon free, it bit Jericho and began an internal transformation into a vampire, eating away slowly at his doomed soul. Jericho’s only hope to save him from turning into a vampire is to track down the evil Lord and take back his soul. This twist of fate would land him in a position among the Darkwatch elites. The Darkwatch are a group of allies that hunt down the undead fiends disturbing the land. The undead are all skeletal, ghastly, or gruesome monsters that survive off the blood of the living. If this has gotten you interested at all, you can find all the juicy details on this story at the game’s official site There is a gold mine of information about the Darkwatch alliance and all the enemies.

Darkwatch interestingly places you in the first-person view of Mr. Cross as he fights through the hordes of disturbing enemies. You have an array of impressive firepower at your disposal, including token shotguns and rocket launchers. But there are game play elements that definitely
improve standard first-person action. Jericho’s abilities effect his life regeneration and actions such as jumping or double jumping. His abilities are furthermore affected by in-game decisions you make as the story progresses, and determine whether or not you will want to stay in the dark
or come out into the light. Very interesting “choose your own adventure” role that has you picking if, as Jericho, you would turn more towards the vampire side or try to keep a clean slate by doing the more human actions at certain points. Add on to that a very promising horseback mounting
battle system that gives you a third-person perspective and allows you to take cover behind your horse while under fire, and Darkwatch has a ton of potential to be an extremely solid game that delivers from start to finish.

While mainly pertaining to the Xbox version, a lot of effort has been made on a multiplayer mode for Darkwatch. Split-screen and Xbox Live deathmatch and other game modes promise to kick up the replay value and give gamers even more for their buck. But PS2 owner’s need not feel left out, as only the PS2 version has a co-op mode from start to finish, and an additional horseback mission to play through. All being said, I think that was a fantastic effort by High Moon Studios to deliver for both platforms. Darkwatch has a lot to offer no matter which system you buy if for, and we’ll let you know what we think of each in time. Stay tuned to for final reviews of this title.

This article appeared in the August 2005 Issue of CVGames. You can view this Issue by clicking here.

By Keith Schaefer – 08/10/05
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Sexual Themes

Screenshots for Darkwatch