The End is NIgh: Producer Talks Watchmen Game

Mon, January 26th, 2009 at 11:28am PST | Updated: January 26th, 2009 at 2:17pm

Video Games
Brian LeTendre, Contributing Writer

"Watchmen: The End is NIgh" on sale in March

This March, filmmaker Zack Snyder's take on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' classic DC Comics graphic novel “Watchmen” will finally be hitting the big screen. Coinciding with the release of the movie will be a new downloadable game that serves as a prequel to film, entitled “Watchmen: The End is Nigh.” Developed by Deadline Games (“Total Overdose”) and written by “Watchmen” editor Len Wein, the game will be released on the PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms.

“Watchmen: The End is Nigh” is a co-op brawler that is set several years before the events of “Watchmen” and centers around Rorschach and Nite Owl. The narrative of the game will be presented in the form of animated comic book panels, and actors Patrick Wilson (Nite Owl) and Jackie Earl Haley (Rorschach) will be lending their voices to the game.

Additional details have been scarce thus far, but CBR News managed to track down Jerry Pritchard, Associate Producer at WB Games to ask him a few questions and get an exclusive look at some of the artwork and screenshots from the game.

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CBR: You guys are entering into pretty risky territory here. Fans of “Watchmen” are very protective of the story, and games based on licensed properties have a shaky history at best. What do you say to fans that are skeptical of a “Watchmen” game?

Jerry Pritchard: “Watchmen” fans will be pleasantly surprised of the quality of the game and how it plays. This isn’t another generic movie-game or comic-game; we really worked hard to make it an adventure.

Screenshot from "Watchmen: The End is Nigh"

Developer Deadline Games is probably best known for the over-the-top adventure games “Total Overdose” and “Chili Con Carnage.” What makes Deadline a good fit for this project?

Deadline was a perfect choice to develop the game; they have proven to be capable of delivering the sort of high quality game and visuals needed to accomplish a game of this type. Working with Deadline on the project has been very rewarding.

“The End is Nigh” is a prequel set years before the original “Watchmen.” What about the characters' past led you to build the game around that time period?

As all “Watchmen” fans know, Rorschach and Nite Owl II were partners in the past and this intrigued us as fans so much that we wanted to explore more about these two characters, what sort of adventures they had and why they parted ways.

“Watchmen” editor Len Wein penned the storyline for the game. Can you give us any details about what we can expect?

While we don’t want to give away any spoilers (play the game!), the writing style and story are nearly identical to the original and everything that made the original great is back for more.

EXCLUSIVE: Screen-clip from "Watchmen: The End is Nigh"

We know the game will be episodic. What can you tell us about pricing, how long the episodes are in terms of gameplay, and how many will there be overall?

Pricing will be on-par with current online marketplace offerings and we’ve packed a lot of game into a tight little package. Players can expect to play as Rorschach, Nite Owl and together in co-op in a hefty 5 to 6 hour adventure, per character.

Hearing the game described as a co-op brawler evokes memories of old-school games like “Streets of Rage” and “Double Dragon.” How would you describe the general gameplay and mechanics?

The game play is very tactile; you really have to “feel” how the game plays to master it, which makes for an amazing experience. The co-op gameplay does have some “old school” roots, while maintaining a balance of fun and challenge. There are more than enough criminals to punish with your fists, so the player will never run out of action.

Rorschach and Nite Owl are the two playable characters, and each plays uniquely. How will the gameplay differ depending on which character you choose?

Each character’s fighting style is unique to their personalities, which was one of the primary objectives by the development team. We wanted Rorschach to walk, fight, and act like a madman, whereas Nite Owl uses more conditioned and trained attacks based on traditional martial arts in combinations with some pretty wicked gadgets.

Screenshot from "Watchmen: The End is Nigh"

What sort of enemies will Rorschach and Nite Owl be facing off against in the game?

The usual filth that thrives in the underbelly of the city, and that includes crooked cops. Players can expect to fight various gangs of thugs, hired mercenaries and convicted felons.

Can players expect to run into other iconic characters from the “Watchmen” universe? Any chance we’ll be able to unlock playable versions of them?

Our story and action is hand crafted for specifically Rorschach and Nite Owl. However, other characters do make an appearance.

Will there be online co-op in addition to the split-screen co-op we've heard about already?

Not at this time.

Patrick Wilson and Jackie Earl Haley are providing voices for Nite Owl and Rorschach, respectively. What other elements from the movie were you able to work into the game?

The game blends visual looks of both the comics and upcoming film, while maintaining the story elements that makes “Watchmen: The End is Nigh” an intriguing companion piece to the film and other “Watchmen” materials.

Screenshots from "Watchmen: The End is Nigh"
EXCLUSIVE screen-clips from "Watchmen: The End is NIgh"

“Watchmen: The End is Nigh” is currently scheduled for a March 2009 release. For updates about the game, head over to developer Deadline Games' site at www.deadlinegames.com. The game's trailer can be viewed below:

TAGS:  watchmen, watchmen game, watchmen: the end is nigh, dc comics, watchmen2009

 
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