This will be the first of a new type of feature. Dread Central figured since game reviews are rather lengthy endeavours, First Bites can serve as a sampling of first impressions on a title to help you decide whether or not to pick it up without having to wait for the full review. It also gives you something to read in the meantime.
They spent a couple of hours playing Darkwatch, and so far they're having a fun time. Word of warning though: Right now they're pretty annoyed at Capcom for not having any High Def support in this game. Obviously only people with high definition TVs or VGA adaptors will be truly annoyed by this, but the difference in how the game looks is huge. This is more of a crime on the XBox, where 99% of games support this. So few games support it that they didnít think to check the box, so firing it up to see it running with an interlaced picture was a real letdown for them.
Still, they're trying to see past that right now, and fortunately theyíve been able to so far. They may have skimped on the graphics, but they donít seem to have skimped on the sound. Full surround sound support is always a plus, especially for a first person horror themed shooter.
The game gets off to a good start. The controls are really tight and intelligently laid out. It shouldnít take any Halo player long to adjust to the deviations to that control scheme. You still have to wonder why they didnít stick to the Halo standards, but itís not big problem. The controls definitely get my thumbs up. You begin with some rather basic shooting in a train before being dropped into an early boss encounter on top of the train. Itís not overwhelming, and it works rather well for the story, which is looking good so far.
For a lot of the early part of the game, youíre fighting with a companion, and thereís a good number of short story-based cut scenes to let you know whatís going on. The dark western thing really does give the game a distinctive feel, and the horseback shooting section, complete with another boss encounter, works rather well and is different from anything else played lately.
Gameplay is pretty much standard for a post-Halo console-based FPS. Two weapons at a time, swap them with any weapons on the floor or that the enemies drop. Melee attacks do a lot of damage...and you do have a few interesting vampire powers and something called "blood" vision. Itís a slightly zoomed in mode that highlights any enemies and pick-ups.
Obviously at this stage itís hard to say how the gameplay is going to hold up, but so far, so good.