Watchmen fever has hit the world over with the release of the film adaptation of the groundbreaking comic book from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. So what better way to get in the mood for superheroes saving the world from extinction than to download this, the first part of Watchmen’s prequel to the film from PlayStation Store.
Watchmen: The End Is Nigh is the first in a series of chapters that takes place a full ten years before the events that unfold in the dark and gritty film and the signing of the Keene Act, an important milestone in the Watchmen’s crime fighting history that saw superheroes outlawed throughout the world.
Cleaning up the streets
Taking control of one of two characters you can play as either the ink-blotted masked vigilante, Rorschach, or hi-tech tooled Nite Owl during their early years as partners cleaning up the streets of New York. The story itself unfolds through the use of moving comic panels in keeping with the look and feel of the original comic, and series artist Dave Gibbons has served as a supervisor during the crafting of these to ensure everything stays true to the world of Watchmen.
Both characters can be controlled in offline co-op play as they brawl through the rain soaked streets, a rioting prison, sewers and a huge construction site where you meet the game’s final foe, Underboss. Both Rorschach and Nite Owl have two very distinct styles of fighting for you to get to grips with, and neither are overly complicated to master.
Rorschach is more of a street brawler, preferring to smash headfirst into enemies using powerful shoulder charges and bone crunching combos. The deeper you progress into the game, the more moves you unlock including the ability to stun, inflict massive amounts of damage through a flurry of furious punches, throws and devastating counter-attacks that can floor an enemy in an instant.
Mastering your hero
When performing combo attacks a series of on-screen prompts show you which attacks you’re performing. Each combo can then be accessed from the game’s menu by pressing SELECT, just in case you need to refresh your memory in the middle of a fight. While chaining combos is hugely effective, the most important moves to master are the counter-attacks.
Performing successful attacks and counters generates power in your character’s power up bar, which can then be channelled by tapping L2 button, transforming Rorschach into an unstoppable force of nature as he tears through enemies in much larger numbers.
Nite Owl, on the other hand, is a more refined fighter; a practiced martial artist who prefers to tackle enemies one on one. He packs a series of swift kicks, punches and flying kicks to take down enemies. And like Rorschach, the more bad guys you take down, the more his power meter charges, turning his suit into a kinetic weapon that allows him to send out an electrical burst of energy, fire stun bombs and set his suit to shock, which frazzles anyone who dares come close enough to strike him.
Crime fighting duo
If you’re playing the game with a friend, things are juggled nicely by sending each of you off on different routes of exploration at various points in the game. For example, Nite Owl has the power to life heavy gates using his suit so there are times when you’ll have to pry a gate open by tapping the X button so Rorschach can slide under and head off in a different direction to open a gate for you. Other times you’ll set off on another path using your grappling hook to haul you up to ledges, balconies or walkways and meet up a few minutes later after dispatching separate waves of enemies on route to your common goal.
Weapons play a big part too, especially for Rorschach, whose style of fighting is perfectly suited to wielding iron pipes, crowbars and knives. Of course, you’ll have to disarm your enemy first before you can grab one, which again is why perfecting counters is paramount to the most effective takedowns in the game.
For fans of the comic and the film, this is an excellent way to bridge the gap between the events of both, shining a light on the partnership between both characters before they end up going their separate ways later in the story. And for anyone looking for a solid action game, there is plenty here to get to grips with too, especially with the addition of co-op play that offers up plenty of replay value for those looking to master both character’s moves and special abilities. And when the credits roll on the final stage of The End Is Nigh, you’ll be feverishly craving the next instalment in this unique chapter of Watchmen history.