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Darkwatch Rides Into Stores

It's the Old West! With vampires! And spo-o-o-ky first-person shooting!
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: August 16, 2005
You probably didn't see that episode of Gunsmoke where the guy unleashed an ancient vampire Lord and endless waves of the undead upon the Old West, and that's probably because it never actually happened. Luckily, where Gunsmoke failed to reproduce history accurately, High Moon Studios' Darkwatch seems pretty up to the task.

If the name sounds familiar, it's probably because you remember the story of Jericho Cross, a no-good outlaw that unwittingly releases an ages-old vampire and is bitten in the process when it was told to you as a bedtime story. Remember the part where Cross is then recruited into the ultra-secret Darkwatch society and tries to repair the damage he did to mankind while hoping to win back his soul from eternal damnation? Yeah, that was pretty cool.

It might also be that Sammy was originally going to be publishing the game, and spent quite a bit of time promoting it before effectively breaking free from the Japanese wing that gobbled up Sega a while back, then began shopping the title around for a publisher. The end result is that Capcom picked it up here in the US (and Ubisoft in Europe), the newly-renamed High Moon Studios (now sporting a Sammy-free moniker) finished coding the whole mess and bingo bango bongo, here we are staring at boxes of the game shipping out to stores all over the nation.

"Capcom is set to turn the first person shooter genre on fire as Darkwatch is released upon the masses," said Todd Thorson who should know because he's director of marketing at Capcom Entertainment. "Featuring blood thirsty vampires, the old wild west, stunning visuals and spot on gameplay, Darkwatch will be an experience that gamers can't wait to sink there teeth into."

"This is the ultimate milestone for every game development company," said High Moon CFO and COO Rick Olafsson in decidedly less punny fashion. "Today is when our video game, one that has been years in the making, leaves the hands of its creators hopefully to affect the hearts and minds of many gamers. With all of the elements of a high-caliber, memorable entertainment experience in place, and with the great support Capcom has given the title, we believe Darkwatch will establish itself as a successful franchise."

The PS2 version even gets a couple of extra goodies -- including a PS2-only level, co-op gameplay and a special kind of grenade. The same ability to choose to be good or bad that we've been hearing about for a while, as well as the powers you gain from your choices, all that's in there too. Oooh, and did we mention there's a lot of demon-popping aided by a little Havok physics action? Well, we just did Mr. Sassy.

We're neck deep in the hordes of the undead, and we'll have a review for you in a matter of days, so check back soon to get the scoop on this mix of Anne Rice and Louis L'Amour.