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Darkwatch

Platform(s): PlayStation 2, Xbox
Genre: Action
Publisher: Ubisoft Europe / Capcom
Developer: High Moon

About Judy

As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games...

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'Darkwatch' (PS2/Xbox) Gets Musical

by Judy on Dec. 21, 2004 @ 12:14 p.m. PST

Darkwatch is a cinematic (FPS with an original premise that blends Vampire-Horror and Western genres. They grind their enemies for fuel, fashion their skin into protective cloaks and create weapons designed to exterminate en masse, and they are the good guys. They are the Darkwatch, a vigilant strike-force that has protected man from evil incarnate since the dawn of civilization.

“Our approach with 'Darkwatch' has been to create a video game with big hit potential,” said John Rowe, president and chief operating officer, Sammy Studios, Inc. “'Darkwatch' has tremendous production value from a game development perspective, and a compelling, original premise that bears all of the hallmarks of an enduring entertainment property. Enlisting established musical artists brings that same caliber of production to an area we believe is important to bring the property to life, and ultimately make the game a memorable experience.”

"Darkwatch" will introduce a new take on the popular FPS genre, featuring a unique horror twist on the Wild West, and featuring play mechanics not often seen in shooter games. Among its innovations is a reputation judgment system that brings a role-playing game element to a FPS. Players, in the role of outlaw gunslinger turned half-vampire Jericho Cross, will encounter situations in the game where they must decide whether Jericho will overcome or succumb to his predilection to commit acts of evil, dictated by his need for the blood of the living in order to survive. The compass points in this morality conflict are two female characters, each of whom conjure up memories of past wrongdoings in his life; Cassidy, representing ‘good’ as Jericho’s fellow agent in the vampire-hunting Darkwatch organization, and Tala, the half-vampire femme fatale who wishes Jericho to join her in a reign of evil. How players react to the relationship in this trinity, and ultimately direct their gun-toting, blade carrying protagonist dictates how they will experience "Darkwatch" each time they play.

Enhancing this cinematic game experience will be an original soundtrack composed by the musical team of Sierra and Reagan. Asdru Sierra is the co-vocalist and trumpet player for Ozomatli, the multi-ethnic Los Angeles band known for a self-described “Afro-Latin-and-beyond” sound. Ozomatli’s unique musical style has garnered them a 2001 Grammy Award for the album “Embrace the Chaos,” a 2002 Billboard(R) Latin Award nomination, a 2004 Billboard Award, and most recently a nomination for this year’s Grammy for alternative Latin Rock. Sierra is joined by Mike Reagan (www.mikereaganmusic.com), a veteran composer, songwriter and sound designer whose work has been featured in dozens of films and television commercials and over sixty video games. Reagan’s musical work has earned him various honors and awards, including an Academy Award(R) nomination and a 2000 Grammy Award for “Best Children’s Soundtrack.”

“There is immense depth in this game, and our approach to the music in 'Darkwatch' reflects that,” said Reagan. “After feasting our eyes on the artwork and experiencing our first taste of game play, we knew the 'Darkwatch' team had tapped into something truly breathtaking. There is nothing like being awestruck to serve as the fuel for a compelling soundtrack.”

Added Sierra, “Our goal is to help connect the audience with a conflicted character, one who alternates between moments of providence and misguidance, and accomplish that with a musical score of cinematic proportions.”

“We are very excited to have two musicians of Mike and Asdru’s caliber composing the soundtrack for 'Darkwatch,'” said Gene Semel, audio manager, Sammy Studios, Inc. “They’re creating a very memorable and melodic score to drive the emotional connection players will have with the characters, and the intense action they will experience when playing the game.”

They grind their enemies for fuel, fashion their skin into protective cloaks and create weapons designed to exterminate en masse, and they are the good guys. They are the "Darkwatch," a vigilant strike-force that has protected man from evil incarnate since the dawn of civilization. Their newest and deadliest agent is Jericho Cross, an outlaw gunslinger pulled into their ranks by an unfortunate close encounter with a vampire lord. To save the West, and to retrieve his soul from the damned, Jericho must hunt down the vampire and destroy the evil minions he has unleashed on the American Frontier. "Darkwatch" promises to be a memorable entry into the FPS genre, inviting players to blast through a visually sensational depiction of a haunted Wild West with unique weapons, powerful assault vehicles, horse-mounted gun fighting and special vampire abilities.

Darkwatch is slated for simultaneous release on the PS2/Xbox in May 2005.

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