New Watchmen Video Game Groundbreaking, Unnecessary

Illustration for article titled New Watchmen Video Game Groundbreaking, Unnecessary

Okay, Warner Bros, I'm willing to grant you that Zach Snyder's heart is in the right place with his movie adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen. After all, he's gone on record multiple times about his respect for the original comic, and his desire to stay true to the spirit of that series. But the newly-announced video game tie-in to the movie that calls itself an "action brawler" and introduces new characters to the storyline? That's really going too far.

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Don't get me wrong; I've got nothing against the idea of a movie, video game or whatever adaptation/spin-off expanding on the original if it's done well, but the idea of taking the characters of Rorschach and Nite Owl and turning them into generic crimefighters by setting portions of the game during the duo's less turbulent, earlier vigilante days - and then having them have to deal with all-new creations sort of begs the question of why bother in the first place? What makes Watchmen work isn't the stereotypical superheroics or beating up badguys, but everything behind those stereotypes: the humanity, the effects, the reality. Obviously, those elements don't make a thrilling video game, but why does Watchmen need a video game in the first place? After all, it's not as if fans will leave the theater or put down the book and think "Awesome! Now I wanna be Rorschach!"

There is, at least, one interesting and non-depressing thing about the new game; Warner Bros. is planning on ignoring the traditional game format, and plans to release the game episodically, with "at least two" episodes being made available for download for PS3, Xbox360 and PC formats around the release of the movie in theaters and then the DVD release. It's a move that - if successful - could change the way that games are released in future; if only it could've been used on a game with more reason to exist.

Watchmen game winds up at Warner Bros. [Gamespot]

DISCUSSION

braak
Chris Braak

Well, now wait a minute.

Maybe this isn't such a bad idea.

A friend of mine was just talking about how a lot of the problems with Watchmen as a film is that, to understand the deconstruction of the superhero tropes, you kind of need a background in superhero tropes in the first place.

So, a videogame about the heady salad days of Rorschach and Night Owl—I mean, is it possible that this is actually a clever way of giving a non-comic-fan audience a primer in what the jolly, action-packed Old Days of superheroes was like? So that they, too, could suffer the painful, bittersweet nostalgia of seeing their heroes just sort of drift down the tubes?

This...okay, it could just be a lame tie-in. But it actually could also be an extremely brilliant example of cross-media art.

(also, I apologize for linking to my own site again; last time, I swear)