9.0

Darkwatch: Curse of the West review
Unique Western tale with Vampire Horror twist!

The good:

Regeneration of health
Horse-riding
Graphics
Story
Music & Soundtrack
Special moral choices & consequences.
Multiplayer
Special Karma powers.
RPG elements.

The bad:

Can seem unforgiving on hardest difficuty
No on-line or AI-multiplayer

Summary:

++DARKWATCH: Curse Of The West (PS2)

DARKWATCH: Curse Of The West, the debut title from Sammy Studios Internal development, is a cinematic 1st person shooter (FPS) with an original premise that blends Vampire-horror and Western genres. I am going to tell you this unbiased & spoiler-free review of the PS2 FPS(1st Person Shooter)/action-adventure/horror/western game- 'Darkwatch: Curse Of the West' to help you in making the right decision about buying/renting this game.

  • Only for 18+ :

This game contains strong bloody violence & gore.Also have some suggestive & sexual themes. Nudity & occasional bad language is also present.So, only persons of or above age of 18 yrs. should be allowed to play this game.
  • Story (without spoilers):

Unlike modern day FPS games (Like Call Of Duty games) which rely heavily on On-line mode for replay value, this is PS2 era FPS game that's why story is very long, compelling & interesting. You can play this game's story mode again & again to unlock bonus materials in the bonus menu.The story is a Western epic which combines Vampire & zombie horror elements to it.As you have guessed, this game have lot's of cow-boys, cow-girls, zombies, witches & Vampires.
All the material for a Superhit Hollywood movie needs.
  • short description of story (without spoilers):
You play as Jericho a cowboy who happens to be a train robber. When the game starts, Jericho is robbing a train which he thinks have lot's of gold but is actually a Darkwatch train.Jericho foolishly destroys the main safe of the train and finds that the safe actually contained the most dangerous Vampire Lord instead of gold! You accidentally set him free & while battling him he bit you and now you are turning into a Vampire...
Now while Jericho was weak, a Darkwatch member helps you and asks you to join the Darkwatch. The Darkwatch- a vigilant strike-force that has protected man from evil incarnate since the dawn of civilization.They are good guys who grind their enemies to create weapons, costumes and use them against ghosts, zombies, Vampires & many other evil forces.
You have to save the world by not only stopping the Vampire Lord but also preventing yourself from becoming one of the most feared and unfortunate creature- Vampire.

The story is very interesting, have multiple endings and narration is very nicely done.The story is fast-paced and there are well placed boss fights and great cinematic cut-scenes included. A real treat for Western, Vampire, Action & Horror movie fans if you ask me!
  • Gameplay:
  • Uniqueness of DARKWATCH FPS gameplay:


(a) RPG or FPS?:

This game has RPG (Role play game) elements in it.There are two type of meters- Good Karma or Evil Karma.Your every decision adds some more energy to the meter, when one of two meter is fully filled with energy, you get that type of special ability for example- if you chose lot's of good choices, you will get abilities given by Holy spirits/Darkwatch OR if you chose lot's of bad choices, you will get deadly Vampiric abilities.Depending on your choices, you fill either Good or Evil meter.Sometimes, none. It's like 'inFAMOUS' PS3 game in 1st person perspective & western-Vampire horror genre!

(b)Multiple endings & choices and different outcomes on certain situations:


Like 'inFAMOUS (PS3)' or RPG games, this game makes you choose between good, evil or neutral moral choices.These choices highly affect the gameplay and story. Sometimes a certain cut-scene will play differently if you choose a different choice.Also, this game has multiple endings.
This all adds to the replay value.

(c) Health system:

This is a last generation game, still has the health regeneration feature.Not actual health is regenerated, only BLOOD shield regenerates.But still it's better than most of the FPS games of last generation era & this feature helps a lot.
  • HUD:

HUD includes- human-health bar, Blood shield indicator, good & bad meter, special ability icon & special ability meter.HUD is quite helpful and never misleads you.
  • Guns/weapons:

The game gives us wide variety of stylish, destructive & truly powerful weapons.And most importantly, these weapons aren't your regular version of weapons. Each weapon is pimped out by the Darkwatch force and given special abilities, extra firepower and special style and handling.
As for guns, there are- Shotguns,Special gun called-Redeemer,Rifles,Sniper rifles, Rocket launchers, Explosive cross-bows and many more.
For throw-ables you get- Western style Dynamites, Special grenades etc.
  • AI:


The Artificial Intelligence (AI) of the enemies and allies is remarkable.Allies really help you & enemies are ferocious and are raging towards you like any horror movie!
  • Off-line multiplayer:


You can play this game with up-to 4 persons sitting with you.But unfortunately, there is no off-line multiplayer with AI enemies nor there is on-line support. Guess there was not enough space left for these features, anyway you'll be busy with story & other things that you'll never need on-line or AI multiplayer.And it's fun to play with real friends, isn't it?
Flaw is, you can't play as zombies or witches which would have been awesome instead of getting normal random Darkwatch members.
Xbox version have on-line feature but apparently the servers aren't working.I hope this feature gets fixed in Darkwatch 2!
  • Other important things:
  • Graphics:

Graphics are great for a PS2 game.The atmosphere and environment adds to the horror effect and Western style.Enemy and other NPC textures and models are nicely done and most of the time they look realistic.Character models are good too.Every zombie, human, ghost look as they should. Cut-scene animation & graphics are nice and cinematic.Lighting effects are very nice.Truly captures the game's mood.
  • Level design:

Each & evry level is done precisely.There is good depth in each of them.They all vary from each other thus this game never feel repititive.You'll find yourself playing certain levels for enjoyment.That's how good gameplay and levels are.Also, after completing game, you get to choose any chapter you want to play and can set new records, choose different moral choice etc.
Nice job there.
  • Sound effects,voice acting :

Being a western epic, music is a masterpiece to be honest.The sound effects are nice, compliments the situations and add horror/tension to the mood.
  • Replayability:

Replayability is very high. You can play each level again for some records likes- Shortest completition time, Maximum deaths, Enemy count etc. these records give you bonus material in the bonus menu. Also, you can complete this game on the hardest difficulty and play it again & again to see how your moral choices affect story and gameplay. Also, you can play with upto 4 other players in the off-line multiplayer mode.Really, you'll rarely get bored while spending time with this game.
  • Summary:

This is a unique game which combines Western cowboy style with Vampire horror.Also, there are many ghosts,witches, zombies in this game. Really, we should thank Sammy Studios Internal Development for creating such a great epic game which High Moon Studio/Capcom published. This is a must try type of unique FPS game unlike any other.Believe me, you will not regret after buying this game.
But still, if you are unsure, at least rent or borrow it to experience such a unique tale which is not smaller than an epic Western movie.
  • Scores:
Story length/depth: 4.5/5
Music: 4.7/5
Voice acting: 4/5
Gameplay: 4/5
Graphics: 4/5
Production Value: 4/5
On-line: 4/5
Replay Value: If you are a fan of Western movies or you'd like to play every difficulty modes & off-line multiplayer or want to experience horror again & again , then - 4/5. If you are a casual player, then- 3/5.
  • Final Score:
On the scale of 5, this game gets: 4.5/5
On the scale of 10, this game gets: 8.5/10
On the scale of 100%, this game gets: 88%
On the scale of 50, this game gets: 40/50
  • This is an excellent game which is worth a try.Because you will not find some gameplay elements in other games.
Thanks for reading this review.I hope you found it useful.

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