DARKWATCH

By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on August 14, 2015

Another two weeks have passed, so itís time for another Big Red Timemachine. Although it probably wonít measure up to all the awesomeness we saw at GamesCom 2015, I decided to give it a shot anyway! So bare with me as we once again travel through time, in search of some of the coolest games ever!

After our busy time at GamesCom, I decided to do something fun, together with the entire time-travelling crew. You know, just go out and have some fun. So we took the timemachine for a spin and ended up in England around 2300 BC. I thought it would be fun to build an enormous copyright symbol, made up out of big boulders. So we unloaded the forklift and the digger from the timemachine and started building it. After finishing it, we had a big party, filled with booze and dancing around the stones in the moonlight. Let me tell you, we gave the people that lived in the neighbourhood a good scare. They mustíve thought we were giants or even aliens. Some of them apparently thought it was fun, because they joined in and danced with us until the sun came up.

Although it came out pretty damn good, some of my staff didnít quite follow orders and cut corners during construction, so it doesnít look as good today as it did when we actually erected it. But what the heel, I had fun building it and am still having fun, hearing people discuss why and how it was built. Oh well, the world doesnít need to know everything, do they? In any case, we had a lot of fun and the party was awesomeÖ letís just leave it at that! The only thing I donít like about it is the name people have given the damn thing: Stonehenge! What kind of name is that?! I called it the ďSadhonkerís Mighty Copyright Symbol of DoomĒ, but noooo. Oh well, I think the people we met there were too wasted to remember that. Damn! I knew I had to make them write it down.


So now, jetlagged and hung over, itís time to attend to more serious matters. We have set our sights for something a little closer to home, but equally fun. We are heading towards 2005 to play a FPS that took a slightly different approach to things than other games at the time. So get ready for blood, bullets and babes; itís time for some evil vampiric fun, itís time for: Darkwatch!

Developed by High Moon Studios and released in 2005 by Capcom and Ubisoft, The game mixes western, horror and steampunk genres, telling the story of Jericho Cross, an outlaw gunfighter in the late 19th-century American Frontier who has been turned into a vampire and then forcibly recruited by the titular monster-hunting secret organization to fight against supernatural forces.... sorry, ladies and gentlemen, I stole almost this entire section from Wikipedia. But in my defense, I couldnít have put it better myself.


You play as Jericho cross, a not very nice guy that usually shoots first and asks questions later. Jericho is currently planning on robbing another train and make some money. But as luck would have it, Jericho robs the wrong train and inadvertently unleashes the worst of all evils, the vampire overlord: Lazarus Malkoth. And trust me when I say, this guy is no fun at all! He bites Jericho, condemning him to slowly turn into a vampire. In a blood-frenzy, Jericho attacks one of the horses also present in the train and in doing so, creates a vampire horse that is to be his preferred mode of transportation.

Darkwatch really looked amazing at the time, and played like it looked. It added a double jump as well as a regenerating shield and a kind of heat vision to spot enemies to the usual mix of standard actions in a FPS game. The soundtrack of the game starts with a remixed version of Ennio Morriconeís main them from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The rest of the tracks used are specifically written for the game, and fit its vampire / Wild West theme perfectly. The story keeps driving you onwards towards destinations unknown and horrors untold but never, I repeat: never, fails to incite a feeling of purpose. Itís fantastically written and supported by grade A voice acting. Everything in the game was aimed at giving you the best gaming experience possible at the time, and it definitely succeeded in doing so!


So wait, we covered bulletsÖ bloodÖ oh yes, babes! Right after being turned into a vampire by Lazarus, we meet a sexy fair-haired, impossibly long-legged girl named Cassidy Sharp. Cassidy works for the Darkwatch, a shadowy organization that fights evil all over the planet. You are being drafted to join their ranks and start to make your way towards the Darkwatch Citadel. Once there, you meet General Clay Cartwright, the leader of the Darkwatch, as well as your new partner: Tala, a dark-haired Native American girl with an ample bosom and a lust for vengeance and power (and, as would later become apparent: you). Now, I donít know about you, but for me, Tala and Cassidy would be the perfect incentive to stop thinking all together and just join a creepy organization Iíve never heard of before, putting my life on the line every second of every day... As long as I got to work with either of them... or, preferably, with both of them at the same time. Both Cassidy and Tala were so insanely, mind-numbingly hot that several naked pictures of them appeared in Playboy's "Girls of Gaming" series in October 2005.


Aside from my fanboy ramblings, I would just like to stress that Darkwatch is a very good game in terms of story and action. Itís a game you can really sink your teeth into (pun intended) and have fun with for hours on end. It features two separate endings, depending on the choices the player makes in the end. All in all, a really cool game that I (and Iím sure a lot of people) have fond memories of. So if you havenít already played it and happen to own a PS2, whatís stopping you? Unless you areÖ scared?


DARKWATCH
High Moon Studios, Capcom and Ubisoft
2005