Developer: Deadline Games (“Total Overdose”)
Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive
Available on: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Reviewed on: PlayStation 3
Over the years, many video game sequels have been dismissed for just recycling the same game over and over. Take the original, add at a number—or maybe a subtitle—to the end, and you’re done. Such is the case with “Watchmen: The End is Nigh Part 2,” which is exactly the same as “Part 1.”
Of course, it makes sense that they wouldn’t change much, since the follow-up’s release is a mere four months later—“Part 1” was released to coincide with the film’s theatrical release in March; “Part 2” comes on the heels of the movie’s release on DVD and Blu-ray this week. But after playing the second installment, we kind of wish they’d made the effort.
Like “Part 1,” “Part 2” is an old school-ish beat-’em-up, involving a series of fistfights occasionally broken up with a bit of problem solving. Gameplay is fairly straightforward and done rather well. The solid controls include a timing-based combo system that steer clear of button masher territory—you throw punches, pull off finishing moves and toss guys around like rag dolls. The two playable characters, Rorschach and Nite Owl, even have their own styles, with the former being a refined martial artist and the latter (and more fun of the two) more of a raw bar brawler.
Of course, because “Part 2” is so much like “Part 1,” it also has the same problems. There are a variety of bad guys and moves to take them out, but the game’s simplicity makes it kind of redundant towards the end. It also doesn’t reflect its celebrated source material any better than “Part 1.” The book was a complicated, intellectual affair; the game, set up as a prequel to the movie, is a simple brawler with no depth beyond the fighting combos.
In fact, the most complicated thing about the game is how you get it. As with the “Part 1,” “Part 2” will be available as a digital download from the Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Store, or for PCs from watchmenvideogame.com. But if you couldn’t or didn’t download “Part 1,” you can buy both on one disc. The PS3 version, dubbed “The Complete Experience,” even includes the director’s cut of the film.
For some reason, the disc versions hit stores this week, while the downloads won’t be available for another week on the PS3 and PC, and two more weeks on the 360. Which seems counterintuitive and unfair to downloaders who have been waiting patiently for the sequel. Isn’t it quicker to put the game up on a web server than it is to manufacture copies and ship them to stores?
Bottom line: Good for what it is, but it should’ve been so much more.
'Watchmen: The End is Nigh Part 2' video game review
Beat 'em up as Nite Owl and Rorschach...again
By Paul SemelSpecial to Metromix
July 20, 2009