×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The underrated PS2 shooter you likely never played

Sony's PlayStation 2 console tends to be regarded in many gaming circles as one of the greatest consoles of all time. The DVD/CD media-playing machine ended up in millions of people's homes, and in many cases, it's still an integral part of retro game collectors' daily regimens. The PS2 games library is jam-packed with a bevy of classic titles from hit franchises, such as Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Tekken, Metal Gear Solid, Devil May Cry, and so on. Plus it introduced gamers to new IPs that still exist to this very day, such as Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper, SSX, Jak & Daxter, Okami, Bully, etc.

One of the genres that maintained a healthy presence on the PS2 was first-person shooters. A large number of highly regarded FPS franchises made their way over to Sony's second-generation PlayStation console, which includes TimeSplitters, Medal of Honor, Red Faction, and Call of Duty. Not every FPS released during the console's life span got the attention it deserved, however. And what's even sadder about that sentiment is the fact that not a lot of people played them and sang the praises of those titles.

One of the FPS games that fall into the category of underrated and overlooked is a little-known release that was published by Capcom and developed by High Moon Studios (Transformers: War for Cybertron). That game is 2005's Darkwatch.

Darkwatch offered a nice mix of western, horror, and steampunk themes in FPS form

Darkwatch set itself apart from PS2's military-themed and future-centric FPS games. Its mix of western, horror, and steampunk themes gave Darkwatch its own personality that helped endear it to anyone brave enough to try it. The game's protagonist comes in the form of a vampire gunfighter named Jericho Cross, who fights alongside a secret organization as a monster hunter. As players made their way through Darkwatch, they'd be confronted with major decisions that pushed them along the path of good or evil. Depending on Jericho's morality, his reputation would come into play and gift him with varied special abilities. For example, Jericho would be able to shoot silver bullets (good path) or steal the souls of his foes (bad path).

Since Jericho is a vampire, players would have to approach battles differently during the daytime and nighttime hours. When the sun is out, Jericho would have to rely on his assorted firearms and melee skills. But once nighttime fell, Jericho's vampiric powers came into play. One of the cooler aspects of Darkwatch was its vehicle sequences. With his trusty horse or a Coyote Steamwagon, Jericho was able to cut down his enemies with a rail shooter fitted with unlimited ammo.

Darkwatch's Metacritic score sits at a 74, yet its user score comes in at a rating of 8.3. That user score speaks to the fans' higher regard for one of PS2's more underrated games.