In March of 2009, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Deadline Games brought us the first installment of "Watchmen: The End is Nigh." The downloadable brawler was set several years before the events of "Watchmen," and Len Wein's storyline featured Rorschach and Nite Owl dealing with the escape of the criminal Underboss from prison.
Part 2 of "The End is Nigh" will be debuting this month, and in addition to being downloadable, the complete game will be available through retail as well.
Executive Producer Andy Abramovici from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment recently talked to CBR News about what fans can expect from Part 2 of "The End is Nigh" and gave us the details on the retail versions of the game.
CBR: What are your thoughts on the reaction to "Watchmen: The End is Nigh" Part 1? Did you receive a lot of feedback from fans?
Andy Abramovici: When we spoke about the first episode, we talked about the game in terms of it being a straight-out, no-bones-about-it, balls-to-the-wall brawler. And we spoke about it having high production values. And most importantly, we talked about it being firmly and undeniably set in the "Watchmen" universe. I feel like the game delivers on all of these initiatives, and I think that the reactions of the players who shared these expectations were pretty fair and positive. At the same time, there are a lot of ways to go with the source material, and being that we always expected to be a fairly concise downloadable experience, other genres and directions were probably not a reality for the scope of the project.
So, for fans that played, they were often impressed that the world did seem true to the source material. And for gamers, those that could accept Part 1 on the basis of its strengths got what they wanted out of the experience. But to be honest, those fans that in their hearts wanted a 'Dr. Manhattan simulator' or something other than a brawler were not going to get that experience from this particular product. It doesn't mean that they are wrong for wanting that... far from it. But those fans have probably judged Part 1 for what it is not rather than for what it is. With all that said, we demoed Part 2 at E3 last month and got a lot of continued interest both from new players and veterans of Part 1.
What can you tell us about the story in Part 2 and how it ties-in to the events of the first episode?
Part 2 delves further into the partnership of Rorschach and Nite Owl before the hero-banning Keene Act. As the story begins, Rorschach contacts Nite Owl to get his help in solving the case of a missing girl, Violet Greene. Along the way Nite Owl uncovers that a woman from his past is involved with the disappearance, leading to a significant conflict of interest between the partners. As the story concludes, we see that in a sense Part 2 will have served as a bridge between the status of the characters as they appeared in Part 1 and their state of mind as the movie narrative kicks off.
Will someone who hasn't played through the first episode be able to jump into the second with no problems?
Part 2 can be experienced as a stand-alone piece for those who have not played through Part 1. It includes gameplay tutorials for new players, and story-wise it stands on its own as a unique episode.
Does Part 2 bring any changes or additions to the gameplay (new attacks, gadgets, etc.)?
Part 2 features several new enemy types and finishing moves for each character, as well as a few new weapons for Rorschach to use.
Will you be introducing more characters from the "Watchmen" universe in the second episode?
Yes, we have brought in at least one character from the "Watchmen" mythology to play a major role in this episode. However, similar to the first episode, we feature Nite Owl and Rorschach as our playable characters.
What are the details on the different versions of "Watchmen: The End is Nigh" that will be available through download and retail?
"Watchmen: The End is Nigh The Complete Experience" is an innovative, retail Blu-ray Hi-Def game and film hybrid which will include "Watchmen: The End is Nigh" Parts 1 and 2 and the "Watchmen: Director's Cut" on Blu-ray. This new cut of the action-packed blockbuster includes an additional 25 minutes of footage not seen in theaters, available only on Blu-ray and DVD. The two-disc collectible set will also feature exclusive artwork in a premium package. The game will be playable on the PlayStation 3, which can also play the Blu-ray disc of "Watchmen: Director's Cut." The "Watchmen: The End is Nigh The Complete Experience" will be available on July 21 for a suggested retail price of $49.99.
"Watchmen: The End is Nigh" Parts 1 and 2 will be released as a single game available for the Xbox 360 on July 21 for a suggested retail price of $29.99.
"Watchmen: The End is Nigh" Part 2 will be available for download on PC on July 29 and PlayStation Network on July 30 for a suggested retail price of $14.99 and on Xbox LIVE Arcade for the Xbox 360 on August 26 for 1200 Microsoft Points.
Was a retail release for the game part of the plan from the beginning, or something that came together after the release of Part 1?
The retail release is an amazing opportunity for us to use the PS3 as platform to showcase both the game and "Watchmen" film together. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment worked closely with Warner Home Video throughout the campaign on the complete experience PS3/Blu-ray SKU, and the other retail SKUs were planned from launch.
If the second installment of "Watchmen: The End is Nigh" is successful, is there a possibility of future episodes?
Anything is possible! I think we'd need to assess the interest in the "Watchmen" IP once we are past the attention it will get this summer (DVD, Blu-Ray, Director's Cut, Game, etc.). While we know of its importance to the "core" audience out there (many of whom read the original 12 issues back in the mid-'80s), we'd need to gauge how relevant it remains in the hearts and minds of the mass audience. If "Watchmen" "lives on," then perhaps additional interactive experiences would be in order.
Is there anything else you want our readers to know about the game?
If you liked Part 1, you'll dig Part 2. If you didn't try Part 1, you should give Part 2 a spin. If you liked the movie, you'll find it has a similar tone. It's a violent, mature and downright filthy experience you won't find anywhere else. And best of all, it lives and breathes "Watchmen."
Are there any plans for additional games set in the "Watchmen" universe?
You'll have to stay tuned...
CBR would like to thank Andy Abramovici for the interview. For more information on "Watchmen: The End is Nigh," you can visit the game's official website at www.watchmenvideogame.com.