Hunter: The Reckoning
Game Info
Platform(s)
Xbox, GC
Publisher
Interplay
Developer
High Voltage
Genre
Action
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Blood and Gore, Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Large areas that look nice
• Lots of on-screen monsters
• Multiplayer action is best part of game

The Bad

• Use of trigger for attack wears on the hand
• Added realism of reloading and limited ammo negates usefulness of guns
• Limited number of attacks turns combat monotonous
• Could be longer

 
Grade
C+

While a number of games have been created from the classic pen and paper Dungeons and Dragons RPG, Hunter represents the first time the White Wolf's own universe gets a shot at digital representation. The game's story begins as an execution at Ashcroft prison rips open a rift between the land of the living and the realm of the dead. Four witnesses to the execution fend off the evil and seal up the prison, only to have the evil unleashed some years later during a rave on the prison grounds. From that point, players take the role of one of four characters as you hack and slash your way through legions of monsters.

The gameplay can be best described at Gauntlet meets Nightmare Creatures. Each character uses a melee weapon and a default weapon (with infinite ammo) to hack, slash and shoot their way through legions of monsters. Along the way, you can pick up other weapons (like chainsaws, shotguns, and machine guns) and learn new magic for attack and healing. Most of your objectives involve saving innocents (who tend to stand around waiting for you to save them), but on occasion you'll get other things to do, like escorting a little girl through a graveyard and saving family members of other survivors. What the gameplay boils down to is walking through the streets, killing scores of monsters while heading to your next location.

Graphically, the game is polished and nice to look at. The areas are large and heavily detailed. Visual effects ranging from fire to fog help add a dark ambiance to the game. While the character models may not be overly detailed, the most impressive aspect is the number of on-screen enemies that you can be facing, ranging from a handful to in the thirties. The story sequences are nice, even if the clothes and hair tend to look stiff and plastic.

The audio portion really adds to the ambiance of the game. The soundtrack is dynamic, playing low-key ambient sounds while you move through locations but once you find yourself under siege, more powerful Goth/rock tracks kick in, charging the action. Voice acting is decent and the sound effects are nice and varied enough to keep from getting monotonous.

While the game has a nice visual and audio polish to it, where it seems to be flawed is in the basic gameplay. The use of the trigger button as an attack button can wear on your finger before too long. This is only made more frustrating as there will be times where your character will go into an attack combo because of trigger pressure that will leave you open for attack. Also, most of the magic and guns are useless in the heat of battle. The problem with the guns is that you spend too much time reloading and there seems to be too little ammo. In a game which begs to be full-blown mayhem and violence, having to worry about ammo or reloading seems to slow the game down. Without consistent ranged attacks, you'll find yourself relying on melee attacks throughout most of the game. Unfortunately, you don't have a variety of attacks or even the ability to combo melee and ranged attacks (like in Devil May Cry).

While the single player experience is fun to a degree, it is short (around 5 hours). The game's strength is in multiplayer. In fact, some of the characters (martyr, judge) are really only useful in a multiplayer game and can make the game unnecessarily hard as a single player experience. For those looking for a good hack and slash title, give this one a rent first.

- - Vane

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