'Watchmen: The End is Nigh' - Game Review


(With apologies to Alan Moore...)
Rorchach’s Journal: March 4th 2009 – My game came out today, Watchmen: The End is Nigh.  Thought Warner Brothers would take story seriously.  Instead, they produce a tie-in video game, set in 1970’s, before the Keene Act made the masks disappear.  Original story by Len Wein, who co-created Swamp Thing and Wolverine.  Hurm.  Maybe this won’t be so bad after all.

Game cost 1600 Microsoft Points.  That’s twenty dollars.  I guess if WB is going to make me a whore, they’re making me an expensive one...

Game’s downloaded.  Hurm.  Cutscene looks good, just like Dave Gibbons’ artwork, or the recent Watchmen Motion Comic.  It shows Nite Owl and I having a conver—Wait, do I really sound like that?  Wein’s written me talking in fragmented sentences.  I may be terse, but I don’t talk like the Hulk…do I?  Further self-investigation required.

Actual game has started.  You choose between myself or Nite Owl for characters.  I chose myself, of course.  Dan is a good friend, but far too soft and liberal on the scum that plague the streets.  Game looks good, very good.  It’s hard to believe this is a downloadable title.  Nite Owl and I have to stop prison riot at Sing Sing.  We have to put these rabid dogs back in their cages.

Hurm.  For such a pretty game it plays like Streets of Rage, but not as fun.  Basically keep mashing X and Y for punches and kicks, B for throws, and shoulder buttons for other moves.  Prisoners keep coming, using same tactics.  Not surprised.  Scum like them are stupid, feed off each other’s stupidity.

Prisoners are back in their cages, but prison isn’t cleansed.  Never will be.  Riot was a diversion so Underboss could escape unnoticed.  Nite Owl and I have to go to the Rumrunner for information, but have to fight bikers in our way.  Fight just like the prisoners.  Topknots after this do the same.  This is starting to get old.

This doesn’t feel like Watchmen.  Len Wein is a fantastic writer, but he doesn’t understand what makes story so popular.  Instead, we get reduced to cleaning scum for six levels.  Dialogue is bad.  Game is boring, even at less than three hours it took to beat it.  This is not worth twenty dollars.  WB is worse than Ozymandias.  At least he only made himself a prostitute. 

The Watchmen movie is an extended gutter and the gutter is full of licensing opportunities and when the drains finally clog with the t-shirts and statues and action figures, all the Watchmen fans will drown. The accumulated filth of all their merchandise will foam up about their waists and all the fans will look up with near-empty wallets and ask "Should I purchase this game?"

... and I'll look down and whisper "No."