Maybe it’s coming off from playing RB6: Vegas 2, G.R.A.W., and Splinter Cell: Double Agent, which all demand slow, methodical tactics and trial-and-error gameplay, that made Darkwatch, a western/horror hybrid shooter with simple, good old-fashioned run-n’-gun (and occasionally bludgeon) FPS action, so enjoyable and such a welcome relief from Tom Clancy overkill.
The game shouldn’t work as well as it does, because there isn’t actually that much to it, but it does almost everything right and nothing completely wrong. The fusion of spaghetti western, gothic horror, and steampunk works beautifully, and makes up for its lousy story. The controls and weapons are extremely solid – except the super jump, which feels slightly off – and shooting, bludgeoning, and blowing shit up in this game never gets old. And the biggest surprise is the quality of the voice acting, especially noteworthy in a game published by Capcom. Don’t ask me why, but Cassidy Sharp sounds exactly how a spectral presence of an undead fightin’ cowgirl should.
It’s second only to Crimson Skies, in my opinion, for the most original, compelling game world that hasn’t – and probably won’t – receive the sequel it deserves. Like the first Halo and Gears of War, Darkwatch needs another chance to get everything right.