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Overview

Rorschach and Nite Owl
The Watchmen downloadable games act as prequels to the Zack Snyder's feature length adaptation of the graphic novel.  Director Zack Snyder is a big fan of video games such as Gears of War and wants the Watchmen video game to be "more than a movie". The game is being developed by Deadline Games and is described as a brawler with "visceral superhero combat". The game is to be written by comic-book writer Len Wein and original Watchmen artist David Gibbons is responsible for the animated graphic novel sequences that tell the story between chapters. The game will follow the exploits of Rorschach and Nite Owl before the public's hatred of costume superheroes began.

Let's beat'em!
An episodic release of at least two installments is planned. The first episode released the week of the films theatrical release (March 4, 2009). The second episode is planned to launch at the same time as the movies DVD release. Warner Brothers have said they would be interested in making more episodes if the releases are successful. 
Originally, BottleRocket Entertainment ( Rise of the Kasai) were asked to work on the Watchmen games, but they eventually passed over the project.  A few pieces of concept art done by Roger Robinson were later released on Robinson's Hardboiled Ronin blogspot site.

Gameplay

Rorschach Fighting

 Picking a lock.
The first installment is divided into six chapters. The player can choose between Nite Owl and Rorschach as playable characters. The gameplay revolves around fighting crowds of enemies, using crowd control effectively and countering incoming attacks. New combos are unlocked by collecting tokens scattered around the levels. Rorschach has a Rage meter that can also be increased by collecting Rorschach cards hidden throughout the levels. Once full, he can go into Rage mode, increasing his speed and damage output, and eventually automatically countering all incoming attacks. He can also expend a part of his Rage meter to perform a Bull Rush, knocking back enemies and dealing damage. Rorschach can also use enemies' weapons, whereas Nite Owl cannot. Nite Owl has a Charge meter which fills up over time and allows him to use Concussion Grenades which daze all enemies around him. When the meter is full, he can unleash a wave of electricity damaging and knocking back all enemies around him, in addition to dealing extra electrical damage with each attack for a time.

The game also features local two-player split screen co-op, but no online functionality.

Story


There's crime going on here.
The story takes place in 1972, several years before the graphic novel. Nite Owl and Rorschach were still operating as costumed vigilantes, as the the bill that illegalizes vigilantes hadn't been passed yet. Upon hearing a police bulletin, Nite Owl and Rorschach make their way to Sing Sing prison to help quell the rioting that has erupted there. Once there, they find out the riots were a ruse to cover up the escape of The Underboss, a crime lord. They make their way to a bar, the Rumrunner, and question one of the patrons to find out who orchestrated the escape. They find out Jimmy the Gimmick was behind it, so they chase him down the docks to an abandoned amusement park. They corner him on the tracks of a roller coaster, where someone activates the carts to try and kill Jimmy. Nite Owl holds them back with his grappling hook but a mysterious sniper shoots the cable, causing the carts to fly right into Jimmy, causing his death. Before dying, Jimmy managed to tell them the Underboss is in his old hideout in the sewers, so that's where Nite Owl and Rorschach go. They don't find him, but they do find the missing FBI associate director, Mark Felt, tied up and bleeding heavily, seemingly tortured. He tells them the Underboss means to kill two reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, the would-be informers of the Watergate scandal. Upon leaving the sewers, Nite Owl and Rorschach are ambushed by the police, Rorschach chiming in that they've been set up. They fight their way through them to get to the construction site where Felt told
"Sing Sing Prison" Chapter Cutscene
them Underboss is, only to find that the reporters are already dead. Underboss claims he had nothing to do with it, that he was set up. The duo chases him up the construction site and manages to corner him, but the Comedian snipers him from afar. It turned out the Comedian was the mastermind behind all the events, which means the United States government was involved, as he works for them. Presumably to be concluded in the next installment.

The rest of the Crimebusters Dr. Manhattan, Silk Spectre, Ozymandias, and The Comedian make Cameo appearances in the game's cutscenes.

Pricing

Watchmen: The End is Nigh is out on Steam, Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network for $20, or the equivalent (1600 Microsoft Points). The game, weighing in at 1.36 GB, also sets a record for biggest game on Live Arcade, which is unsurprising considering the game's high-quality graphics. It also includes a Blu-Ray of the movie in special editions. The game was also later released on disc with Part 2.

Xbox 360 HD Installation

 The optional installation requires 2.2 GB of hard drive space.    

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