After moseying through the ghost town of publishing limbo for the last couple of months, the stunning-looking western/vampire/zombie-blaster Darkwatch is almost ready to finally get off its horse and drink its blood this Autumn. Players don the rotting chaps of Jericho Cross, a train robber turned half-bloodsucker by a bite from an ancient vampire lord. After a wave of evil is unleashed on the now even wilder west, Jericho teams up with the mysterious Darkwatch cult to combat the teeming prairies of undead all baying for his blood.

It's not just the unique storyline that makes Darkwatch stand out from the crowd, however, although the intriguing blend of genres certainly helps. Gameplay is split between frantic on-foot action and rollicking horse-mounted gunplay, something we haven't seen enough of since last year's Red Dead Revolver (Issue 30, 8.5). Great-looking Havok physics mean your awesome arsenal of dual pistols, crossbows and rocket launchers quite literally blow the seemingly endless waves of undead to pieces.


These brilliantly fun physics are apparent when Jericho must use the environment to his advantage too. Expect bell towers, saloon doors and any other wild west cliche to be destroyed by your smoking guns. Players can also use their inherent vampire skills to momentarily improve their killing ability, by gaining access to special powers and using weapon-specific melee attacks - the possibilities of which are blood-drippingly brutal.

The multiplayer incorporates loads of features from the single-player campaign, itself featuring a twisting script and plenty of schlock-horror thrills - buckets of gore and decapitations all round. For something a little different than your average FPS, take a between-the-fingers peep at the upcoming review.