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First it was a critically-acclaimed comic by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons that took a darker and more sinister look at superheroes than had ever been taken before, then it was a movie locked in a nasty dispute over distribution rights between Warner and Fox, and now it’s going to be what one could argue will be the first full-featured MMO for the iPhone and iPod touch. According to G4tv.com, the game will use Amazon’s web services to create a persistent universe for Watchmen players to occupy and interact with.
Game developer Last Legion used their patent-pending “cloudMMO” tech in combination with Amazon’s (s amzn) existing web services to set up the game’s backend. MMOs on the iPhone to date haven’t yet had the kind of persistent universe the upcoming game, dubbed “Watchmen: Justice is Coming,” boasts.
Players will be able to team up and fight each other and NPCs, albeit not exactly in real-time. While the game doesn’t use the kind of asynchronous combat found in Aurora Feint, combat will be turn-based, like traditional console RPG series Final Fantasy (up until recently). It’s not clear how this will work with a game that essentially looks like a brawler, and is meant to be played together with other players, but we won’t have to wait long to find out how the battle system is implemented.
Watchmen: Justice is Coming will take place before the events depicted in the comic (and movie), during the 1970s. Players will be able to create their own in-game avatar, though how customizable the character actually is remains to be seen. The game spans five large areas, and future content updates are planned.
No word from either G4 or the game’s official blog on a specific release date, although Gizmodo seems to be betting on March 6, which is the movie’s release date. I’m not holding out much hope on gaming quality, as this is probably more promotion and less motivated by a desire to deliver a solid gaming experience, but at the very least it should suggest new ways in which the iPhone can be used as a gaming platform.