These days, it seems that even Russian movies need gaming tie-ins. Night Watch, the first in an "epic horror trilogy" of films from The Motherland, is receiving just such a treatment to coincide with its recent DVD release here in the States. The game, developed by Nival Interactive and published by CDV, is due out this coming Monday (June 26) and is a strategic RPG in the same vein as Silent Storm.

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The story follows the induction of Stas, a Light Other (Others, for those of you unfamiliar with the movie or the books it's based on, are people imbued with supernatural abilities and side with either the forces of Light or Dark) who is recruited to fight the good fight and save the world. The storyline is actually based along the lines of the books by Sergey Lukyanenko and incorporates several aspects of the series not included in the movie, such as the inclusion of The Gloom (another world that grants those who pass through it strange powers while hiding them from our world).

Players will start out in the game controlling only Stas and getting a basic tutorial that ends with him choosing which type of Night Watch agent they want to be: Sorcerer, Enchanter, or Shapeshifter. The Sorcerer class is a pretty aggressive one that provides some devastating long-range attacks but they make for better backup than frontline troops. Enchanters, in turn, act as supporters who can affect items (enchanted apples and candy bars will recover hit points and magic) or other characters to assist their friends or hinder their enemies during combat. Finally, Shapeshifters are the most magically limited characters who make up for their lack of juju by being killing machines on the battlefield (combat forms include a giant Doberman and a tiger). Exactly what path Stas follows becomes pretty irrelevant rather quickly since players will gain several new characters to add to their squad within a short amount of time.

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In terms of gameplay Night Watch seems to possess your standard, though solid, tactical RPG traits while relying on Silent Storm's� um� classic� visuals and camerawork. There are definitely some translation issues with the dialogue, but they're not so severe that the plot becomes incomprehensible. While Night Watch may not achieve the fan base of other tactical RPGs as, say, Jagged Alliance, its potential makes it a title to keep an eye on when it hits shelves next week.

- Vansau