Watchmen: The End is Nigh is the game of the movie of the hugely popular graphic novel.
A treasure constantly blurring the lines between "graphic" and "novel", Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' 1986 mini-series forever revolutionised the way that comic book stories were told.
After heralding Watchmen as a literary masterpiece and landmark for the comic book industry, it's a bit of a culture shock to be handed a video game based on the seminal story.
Thankfully, independent developer Deadline Games of Total Overdose fame pulled off Watchmen's conversion to third-person brawler with surprising finesse, managing to capture the essence of the renowned comic into a short but sweet, must-have title for even the most hardened and stubborn Watchmen fans, all the while leaving it entirely accessible to newcomers that don't know Dr Manhattan from Dr Seuss.
Watchmen: The End is Nigh - Partners in CrimeBusting
Watchmen: The End is Nigh takes place in 1972, over a decade before the events in the graphic novel and five long years before masked vigilantes are forced to retire their capes and cowls.
The dynamic duo of Nite Owl and Rorschach are mulling over a recent political scandal involving the infamous Watergate hotel when a police bulletin announces a prison riot at Sing Sing Prison. Within minutes, the masked heroes are on the Owlship and en route to break up the commotion.
Upon discovery that Underboss, a villain mentioned only in passing in the comics has escaped from Sing Sing, it's up to Nite Owl and Rorschach to explore the seedy underbelly of New York City in order to take the criminal mastermind down for good.
Watchmen is designed as a third person brawler, allowing you to play as either Nite Owl or Rorschach at any given time - each character with their own unique abilities, moves and special attacks.
See also: Xbox 360 review
See also: PlayStation 3 review
Where Nite Owl takes down goons with a combination of martial arts prowess and innovative gadgets, Rorschach has no problem fighting dirty and cracking thugs' skulls in with whatever weapon he can find lying around. It's these distinctions between the selectable heroes that really makes The End is Nigh a memorable experience.
For instance, where Rorschach has a "Rage" meter that allows the fedora-clad vigilante to release his pent-up anger with the squeeze of a trigger, Nite Owl has a "Charge" meter that lowers with each gadget he uses, ranging from smoke-bombs to electrifying his suit and shocking the surrounding foes.
Combat isn't the only thing affected by your character choice: where Rorschach can shimmy up drainage pipes and squeeze through small openings, Nite Owl can grapple onto roof-tops and lift heavy gates. Watchmen has a real emphasis on teamwork, and with either the game's expert AI, or more ideally, a good friend by your side for the split-screen co-op, you'll never be forced to fight alone.
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