High Voltage Software
Interplay
Action
1-4
05.22.02

Hunter: The Reckoning


Hunter: The Reckoning is a game that takes a page from an old game that was featured on the PlayStation some years ago in the way of Loaded. Giving you control over one of four different Hunters in a city that is overrun with evil, White Wolf entertainment brings the fun and challenge of the rather impressive tabletop game to your living room in vivid detail. Essentially, you have control over several different Hunters that each has their own origins and attributes, each of whom has a melee weapon and a ranged weapon that dishes out different amounts of damage. Compile this onto the challenge and the sheer amount of enemies that you値l face, and you値l find that Hunter is everything that you might be looking for in a melee type of game!

You are pit against the forces of evil as one of four different Creeds that have been imbued with a Holy Sight. One year after the attack and defeat of the spirits in Ashcroft Prison, the Hunters are called back to duty when a party awakens the angry spirits and sets them loose on the town of Ashcroft. From this point forward, you must stop the monsters and ghouls from overtaking the city and also solve the mystery of the awakening in the first place!

Gameplay

Hunter is pretty straight forward in what you have to do from stage to stage. You might have to fight off a horde of monsters or escort someone through the ghoul filled streets while keeping both them and yourself alive. In your quest to solve the mystery, you値l find that there are several different types of weapons at your disposal in the form of firearms like shotguns and machine guns as well as chainsaws and rocket launchers. As you continue through the battlefields, the more monsters you kill will allow you to gain experience points that will strengthen your character in many different ways.

The use of Edges is something that you will have to learn to use effectively. Basically, what you have is a power that allows you to strike several different enemies at once, or augments your skills in such a way that you have an advantage over the situation. These edges run off of a gauge, called the Conviction gauge, which is your judgement on the fight. Essentially, the Conviction gauge is a super power bar that depletes every time that you use an Edge, but it can be refilled through the defeat of enemies when a power up is dropped.

As complicated as this sounds, it really is quite easy to pick up and understand. Through the use of the XBox facial buttons, you can switch between the different types of weapons that allow you to either get down and dirty with the masses in the way of melee weapons (swords, axes and knives) or in ranged combat with firearms. The game difficulty depends on how many people are playing, with a single player game being much more difficult than the four player game, so if you池e looking for some extreme challenge, then play through the game by yourself!

Graphics

Hunter has some extremely dark and shadowy places as well as gruesome detail in certain areas. You値l move through several different locations that range from the Cemetery (my personal favorite) to the horror filled halls of the Ashcroft Prison. Detail on the monsters is pretty good, though even on a big television it can seem a little bland at times. The boss creatures are phenominal on the other hand and you値l find that the cut-scenes have some first rate animation to them as well. As for other detail, once you致e gotten used to the darkness that you face off against, you値l find that the smaller detail is easily missed, but blends into the overall game for a good viewing experience.

Sound

Hunter is pretty light on the way that it comes across with the audio selections. You値l find that most of the music that you find in the game comes in with the amount of enemies that are lumbering toward you at any given time. With the hard rock soundtrack that is there are certain times to accentuate the mood of the game, you値l find that the audio effects are more what you値l hear than anything else. The voice acting isn稚 the best that I致e heard, but it tells the story in a good fashion, with plenty of attitude that shows off the overall personality of each of the Hunter characters. Blending together like the visuals, this is a serviceable, though not impressive feature that the game has to offer.

Bottom Line:

Reminding me of the old days when I stayed up for hours on end playing through Loaded, Hunter has some redeeming qualities especially when you get four people into it. Once you致e gotten into the darkness that the game portrays, you値l find that there is little here that is too difficult to figure out and most of what you find is all out action. With the different missions that you have to undertake in some of the stages, and simply keeping yourself alive throughout with the limited life allotment, Hunter is a game that is best played with friends, rather than by yourself. Worthy of a rental to start, Hunter will give you the brawl of your life, without becoming too overbearing on the storyline and presentation!

-Drew Guirey




8.0
7.5
8.0
7.0
7.0