Who Watches The… Ah, Fuggedit: Screenshots!

By Alec Meer on November 17th, 2008 at 12:22 pm.

Either Tiscali Games is the most powerful journalistic force in the videogame industry, or it’s just really good at… Well, I’ll leave that potentially trouble-making sentence unfinished. Anyway, as is so often the case, the Czech site is hosting the first online images of a brand new electric videogame – in this case Watchmen: The End Is Nigh.

Which isn’t a bad subtitle for a game reportedly documenting wobbly-faced paleocon anti-hero Rorshach’s earlier, criminal-hunting exploits. The screens themselves, though, seem to confirm Watchmen fans’ fears that it’s just a big dumb thumpy thing, though it certainly matches the Dark Knighty aesthetic of the movie. Too early to judge, clearly, but hopefully there’ll be some extra dimension that means not it’s purely about an extreme right-wing thug meting out horrific violence to America’s underclass.

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75 Comments »

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  1. Quater says:

    Surely it’s more a case of the Dark Knight being informed by the tone of the Watchmen?

    Also; there’s no way in hell this is going to be a good game. I’ll still play it anyway, of course. So long as there’s a “pinky-breaker” move.

  2. noexes says:

    Is it a problem that this angers my inner fanboy more than the movie?

  3. Bobsy says:

    Quick-time events for finger-breaking interrogation?

  4. Jonas says:

    Though it sounds suspiciously like sucking up to the RPS hivemind, I think they should’ve hired Kieron to write this game. Considering the deconstructive nature of Watchmen, a game that did the same to the video game medium would only have been appropriate. He was sort of going in that direction with Cassandra, so I’d have liked to see what he could’ve come up with if somebody had thrown actual money at it.

  5. Quater says:

    It’s got a meter marked “RAGE” :( 3/10

  6. Dizet Sma says:

    You’re saying that Rorshach has an extra dimension other than meting out horrific violence? After the kidnapping case, he says, trying to avoid spoilers, he has no other dimension – take the “I’ll count to three” using the knot-top’s fingers: one; >snapsnap< etc.

  7. phuzz says:

    They can make this game as crap as they like as long as they (please, please!) don’t screw up the film.
    Deal?

  8. Quater says:

    @Dizet Sma:
    Maybe if the meter was marked “Emotional Stuntedness”, Moral Absolutism”, or “Oedipal Angst” I’d be less dismayed ;)

  9. cullnean says:

    another game i wont play, due being on over protective fan boy who hates seeing somthing like the watchmen become a cashcow

  10. phil says:

    Playing as Dr Manhattan would provide a nice ‘in cannon’ approach to using god mode.

    I wonder what Alan Moore makes of it, though he’s possibly working some particularly dire hexes as we speak.

  11. Pags says:

    Fuck it.

    That is all.

  12. Lu-Tze says:

    The screens themselves, though, seem to confirm Watchmen fans’ fears that it’s just a big dumb thumpy thing

    I’ll be the eternal optimist and say that, of course, the screenshots are going to show the thumpy bits because it’s hard to convey all the other not so thump happy parts without context. My eternal cynic would say “It’s the standard superhero thumpy game with different models for the characters”. But he’s on holiday.

  13. RaFannie says:

    So what the hell am I looking at anyway?

  14. Paul Moloney says:

    Having seen the trailer, my hopes for even the movie aren’t good; it has the form of the novel without, it seems any of its soul.

    P.

  15. James G says:

    As someone who has never read any kind of comic, or graphic novel, whatever, what is it about Watchmen that seems to get people so excited? (A genuine question, I’m not trying to imply anything.)

  16. Pags says:

    James: Deep, flawed characters that deconstruct the superhero archetype; intelligent use of symbolism and repeated imagery; creative structuring and a reflection of contemporary society’s ills/fears.

    There’s also the heightened realism and rather lovely use of secondary colours that made it the most unique looking comic of the time.

  17. Pags says:

    ps. I’ve no idea whether I’m in the minority or majority, but I’m one of the fanboys actually looking forward to the movie.

  18. cullnean says:

    i have 2 in the car at all times ready for emergencys

    watchmen and house of m

  19. cullnean says:

    oh an dark night returns one and 2 under the sofa, a must really what with the return of “im a Supposed to be a celebrite get me out of here”

  20. NoahApples says:

    That looks horribly disappointing, but I think the real problem is that:
    My expectations for a Watchmen game >>>> Any game I can actually conceive of in my head

  21. phuzz says:

    @pags: I’m an not-very-hardcore fanboi and I’m looking forward to it.

  22. cyrenic says:

    an extreme right-wing thug meting out horrific violence to America’s underclass.

    What’s not to love!?

  23. sockpuppetclock says:

    Hope for the best, prepare for the worse.

    In other words this is gonna be bad.

  24. Dracko says:

    Hahahahahaha!

  25. The Klugman Revolution says:

    What a chronic series of misjudgements by all concerned.

    The game that is. Not you wonderful chaps!

  26. mandrill says:

    James, if there is one graphic novel that everyone should read, it is Watchmen. It is a novel, calling it a comic is like calling EVE online a shooty space game. Read it, I beg you.

  27. phil says:

    @mandrill

    With respect, it’s brilliant percisely because it IS a comic, it’s rooted in the conventions, tone and the look of superheroics though it strives for a realism, psychological accuity, symbolic density and subtley that never existed in the medium before.

    @James, just like everyone should see the original King Kong, read Moby Dick and listen to the Beatles, if only to have a opinion on them, everyone should read Watchmen, it’s like a pop culture Platoic ideal.

  28. manintheshack says:

    @mandrill: It always amuses me when people try to distance themselves from the nerdy or immature stereotype by using the term ‘graphic novel’. The truth is that Watchmen is a comic, it’s just a superbly written one. You may as well refer to computer games as ‘interactive movies’ to avoid the embarrassment of admitting to people that you like playing them…

  29. James T says:

    Watchmen good. Cash-in… risible.

    Going by the trailer, the movie’s visually more ‘Batman & Robin’ than ‘Batman Begins’.

  30. Gorgeras says:

    Stan Lee wrote Spider-Man because comic stories were disappointing and portrayed heroes we were supposed to aspire to be like, rather than relate to.

    A couple of decades later, Alan Moore decided that comics were still not good enough and he knew they could be better if only writers would try. So he wrote Watchmen. Both Spider-Man and Watchmen are Citizen Kane moments. Reading them now, they don’t seem like much because we’ve been spoilt by the aftermath of their success.

    If you watched Citizen Kane, you wouldn’t be impressed by Charlie Chaplain’s The Tramp, but The Tramp would have blown your socks off if it was the first moving picture you ever saw. If you watched Wrath of Kahn, you wouldn’t be impressed much by Citizen Kane anymore. Superman blew away Wrath of Kahn. The Matrix was so revolutionary it made Superman look like Superman IV. Now The Dark Knight arguably makes The Matrix look like Matrix Revolutions.

    Watchmen fits into that but for comics: Superman to Batman, Batman to Spider-Man, Spider-man to Watchmen. But with comics the revolutionary step is much less often and more drastic when it happens. The most successful comic book films right now are those that borrow something of the ‘grounded in reality’ feel of Watchmen. Watchmen says that Stan Lee’s Peter Parker as a relatable ordinary guy didn’t go far enough because he was able to escape into his alter-ego; escapism has to come at a cost.

    It’s hard to understand how important Watchmen is when it has had such a profound effect on story-telling since the first publish. Just as slow-motion camera swirling in a world of philosophical analogy isn’t so impressive since the Matrix got everyone doing it.

  31. Taxman says:

    /Film states the game is a prequel set in 1972 and also episodic too.
    http://www.slashfilm.com/2008/11/17/first-look-watchmen-video-game/

  32. Colin Hansen says:

    Urgh. I’m holding out for the movie being excellent, but I think I can safely give up on this game.

    As others have said, do not under any circumstances not read Watchmen. Everyone’s telling the truth when they say it’s the best thing they’ve ever read.

  33. manintheshack says:

    Yes, read it or we’ll break your fingers. Oh, lolz.

  34. Alex says:

    Let’s hope that the health/stamina system involves you breaking into your associates’ houses and stealing odd bits of food.

  35. elefaire says:

    So, you’d recommend Watchmen to someone who doesn’t like comics at all and doesn’t enjoy or connect with superheroes? When the draw is deconstruction don’t you have to be knowledgeable about and appreciate the form to start with?

  36. Nick says:

    eh, so don’t read it, it’s entirely your loss.

  37. cullnean says:

    @elefaire, not entirely and the whole deconstruction lark is overhyped to be honest.

    its a one of the best stories within the bounds of the medium wether the structure/style can come across on film is another much debated topic

    if terry gillingham dropped it at one point citing it as unfilmable thats gota mean something.

    also if people cant be arsed with comics due to history/knowlegde i suggest checking out the ultimates range(a marvel reboot and what the recent movies ironman/hulk seem to be tied to) or anything by Grath Ennis is pretty good and less superhero’ish and stuff

  38. Quater says:

    Count me among the people still hoping the movie will turn out good. I haven’t seen any real evidence so far that it’ll be anything other than a pretty much completely faithful filming of the comic. Plus, see how Snyder gave the “shoot the comic, frame-for-frame” approach to 300 – with Watchmen as source material, that approach can’t really fail.
    The game, though – instant fail. There’s yet to be a really good game adaptation of a classic story – the Godfather was a pretty good game, but as an adaptation it’s a bit of a disgrace.

    @ Colin Hansen: er, well it’s not the best thing I’ve ever read, but it is the best comic by a pretty wide margin.

  39. Tei says:

    I think Ozymandias would be proud of a Videogame about himself. He already have other toys, so a videogame really fit-in.

    “WATCHMEN, from Ozymandias Industries”. Really fits-in.

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    James G says:

    @elefaire

    That was what I was wondering, as it seems part of the appeal of Watchmen — from what people were mentioning — lies within its association with the rest of the media. Just as a non-games player wouldn’t appreciate the styling of Darwinia, or would take the ‘twist’ in Bioshock at a much more superficial level, I’m wondering if as a non-comic reader I’d actually end up appreciating what Watchmen was trying to do.

  41. cullnean says:

    James G and elefaire

    most pulic libaries stock it these days, grab it and try it

  42. gattsuru says:

    You don’t need to be a comic reader to understand the overarcing tones of the plot; heroes and superheroes are such a basic part of modern culture that anyone who goes to movies can understand it. The in-jokes, single-panel punchlines, and formatting of a comic will throw off anyone not used to comics, but the plot and soul of the work is not reliant on just comics.

    That said :

    paleocon

    I don’t think that word means what you think it means. I like Rorschach, but he’s a strawman Objectivist, and there are some pretty impossible metrics in the middle of the two matters.

  43. andy says:

    so um, what’s with the browser title on the home page? “Rock Piracy Shotgun, Piracy since 18 Pirare Pirate…”?

  44. Toastmodernist says:

    Watchmen was the first comic i had read since i was a wee boy and i had no problem loving it without having an in depth knowledge of the media.

  45. mandrill says:

    @phil and manintheshack:
    You miss my point. Watchmen may be presented in the same medium as comics (such as X-men et al) and as such can be called one. However, it transcends the stereotypical image of what a comic is by such a huge amount that it deserves to be called a graphic novel. I.e. a work of literary fiction told using pictures. Comics are the measly pulp that Marvel and DC churn out every month which are little more than soap-opera’s with superheroes.

    Also I would never try to belittle what games are by calling them interactive movies. Games are an artform in their own right and I’m proud to be a Gamer. :P

  46. Pags says:

    James G: it works well on it’s own as a story, as well as it’s intended purpose of being a deconstruction of the genre. In the same way that you can enjoy Candide as a novel without having traditional assumptions of narrative and structure, so too you can enjoy Watchmen.

  47. Solario says:

    Yeah, unless it’s from Veidt Enterprises, I’m not really interested.

    And of course it had to be Danes, who are going to massacre it. Great.

  48. cyrenic says:

    Having recently read Watchmen for the first time, I can say you can enjoy the novel itself and the deconstruction theme even if you’ve never been into comic books. As long as you’ve been exposed to super heroes in movies or TV at some point. Watchmen was the first graphic novel I’ve read and I enjoyed it immensely on many levels.

  49. hydra9 says:

    The game looks a bit like Rockstar’s The Warriors – Though I doubt it will be even a fraction as good.

    To anyone who hasn’t: Read the graphic novel – It’s great! Oh, and I’m looking forward to the movie, with fingers crossed.