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Watchmen: The End Is Nigh – Complete Edition (PS3)

Watchmen: The End Is Nigh – Complete Edition (PS3)

One of the most successful movies this year is the Watchmen movie which is based on a critically acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore. Today we look at the obligatory video game tie in which is available in two parts as The End Is Nigh: Complete Edition on the Playstation 3.

Watchmen: The End Is Nigh was released on the PSN earlier this year and this new retail bundle contains that game as well as the second part in the series. Part 2 has yet to be released on the store yet so if you forked out the cash before for the first and buy this, you are effectively paying part of the cost for a game you already have. Not a very well thought out idea from Warner Brothers, it has to be said.

The End is Nigh provides backstory for both the movie and the comic which focuses on the escapades of Nite Owl and Rorschach. It would be fair to say that the game doesn’t really stay true to the ethos of Alan Moore comic books and hardcore fans will be less than impressed. Held ten years before the events of the comic book you take control of either Rorschach or Nite Owl and this decision means you will play with a very different combat style. Nite Owl is a specialist fighter who prefers a one on one situation and Rorschach prefers the headlong charge with multiple enemies.

The combat works in a similar vein to the Streets Of Rage game with button mashing very much the order of the day – you grab enemies, punch or kick and throw them. It has all the finesse of a sledgehammer in the face. A power up meter is available for special moves and when you do this Rorschach goes mental for a few minutes causing severe damage to anyone in his path. Nite Owl uses electrical attacks via a charged kinetic suit to inflict his wrath on the enemy. The gore mongers amongst you will like the finishing movies because they are extremely graphic. After an enemy is weakened to a specific point you can press a button that appears on screen to perform the corresponding death move.

The gameplay is quite bland and the first series of chapters pit you against an array of nondescript bad guys who behave like mindless cretins from a Doom game. The only variety given are basic environmental tasks, such as pulling a lever or opening a door. It is not that the game is that bad as a concept, it is just that the variety is very limited and you play against the same enemies right until the end with very little variance in difficulty. After a few hours I was almost ready to just hit my head on the screen as I had entered into an almost carnal like dream state. Yes, the game had turned me into a caveman – it really is that mindless and repetitive.

Surprisingly (and breaking with tradition) there are no boss fights – until you reach Chapter 11 which features a guy called the Underboss. I would love to say it was a great battle of wits pitting gladiator against gladiator, but it was over in a few minutes and was as mundane and sterile as the rest of the game.

Graphically the game is decent enough and the level of presentation is very high with a ton of cut scenes which look as if they are lifted from the brilliant comic books. The textures are quite impressive and the character modeling is very good. Overall the graphics really do the franchise justice, however it is the creative element of the game which is sadly lacking in a variety of areas.

Voice acting is equally as impressive as they have used the actors from the movie to add dialogue to the experience – this creates atmosphere in abundance, but only if you can overlook the complete mediocrity of the game play element.

The game redeems itself slightly by offering cooperative game play so you can enjoy the experience with your friend, but only in the same room, as there is no online element.

I completed the first game on my own in the space of around 3 and a half hours which I wouldn’t say was offering value for money, apart from the fact that I was glad when I finished. There really is only so long you can enjoy bashing in the faces of mindless idiots.

Part 2 is a continuation of the storyline which is considerably darker than the first. Nite Owl and Rorschach are back fighting the same retarded enemies throughout a series of strip clubs and brothels – not exactly something you would want your 10 year old son to be seeing. It actually reminded me a little of Duke Nukem without the tongue in cheek humour. In Watchmen Part 2 you battle against dominatrixes and slimy looking perverts who are clearly annoyed that you are ruining the peaceful tranquility of their private thoughts. In Part 2, taking Rorschach is much more enjoyable as he is more violent to these sleezeballs and uses a variety of weapons to pulverise them into the ground. Nite Owl is considerably more girlie in his approach and even his set of combo attacks don’t really impress.

Sadly, the second episode suffers from the same faults as the first, in that it is just more of the same from level to level with very little creative direction and variation. The AI is just as appalling as before and the only variety from removing your boot from someone’s corpse is to walk through a door. As before it can be played cooperatively on the same screen with a buddy in the same room – nothing is available for online play. The only extras I unlocked was the ability to fight the two anti heroes against each other.

Part 2 is shorter as there are only three chapters available and there are less of the dramatic and effective cutscenes to break up the monotony. The story line is slightly weaker and the characters get less scripting to enhance the immersiveness. I also grew very weary of the continual sexual innuendos as they progressed through the seedy districts. Perhaps if I was 16 again I would have found it entertaining, but anyone with half a brain would yawn with indifference before knocking a few more brainless foes to the sidewalk.

The disc contains both episodes but incredibly the only way to play the other game after initial selection is to exit to the XMB using the Playstation button! There is no way to quit the game or move between the two parts without exiting to the console interface.

The ‘complete experience’ edition is bundled with a Bluray disc of the movie but bear in mind it does cost $20 more so there are very few benefits in regards to value for money. The movie is great so I suggest you just forget about this game completely and pick up the Blu ray of the film.

Watchmen: The End Is Nigh is sadly a poor implementation of a great movie, based on a superb series of comics. No fan of the movie will find this a rewarding or fascinating journey and the only aspect of the game I enjoyed were the cut scenes and cinematic presentations. Unless you have the IQ of a garden snail then this game will become insanely boring within the space of an hour.


Punch, kick, throw. Ad infinitum.
Impressive technically. Nice use of textures
Good voiceacting from the movie actors.
Wham, bam, thank you mam.

Move on, nothing to see here.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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