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Hunter: The Reckoning

Review By:  Jared Black

Developer:  High Voltage
Publisher:  Universal/Interplay
# of Players:  1-4
Genre:  Action
ESRB:  Mature
Online:  No
Accessories:  Memory Card
Date Posted:  12-16-02

When XGF reviewed the Xbox version of Hunter: The Reckoning, it was lauded for it's excellent multiplayer gameplay and mindless (but fun) gameplay. Perhaps something was just lost in the translation, but I honestly can't see what all the fuss is about.

Like Nick said in his review, the entire plot really can be summed up as "kill the zombies". To this end there are several weapons of destruction for the player to utilize, including various melee, ranged, and spell based attacks. None of these are particularly innovative, but they all get the job done (again, killing zombies) and differ enough to make switching between them a required part of gameplay. There are also a variety of glyphs to interact, which perform various functions like healing or ending a mission. Of course, in true action game style you'll eventually face off against a variety of demented bosses all with unique attack patterns and styles.

As a single-player game, Hunter gets boring and repetitive pretty quickly. In true Gauntlet fashion, Hunter: The Reckoning can only really be enjoyed when four players get together to play at once. It's here that the game really shines, as weapons and extra lives must be shared and the players must learn to cooperate with each other. The game can even be set to allow damage from friendly fire, so if one teammate isn't sticking to the plan he can suffer the consequences for it. Playing with friends masks the repetitive nature of gameplay, since the player spends as much time arguing/cooperating with teammates as they do fighting off evil hordes.

Graphically, the GameCube version is easily inferior to its Xbox brethren. While it does run at a constant 60fps in single player (multiplayer experiences some moderate slowdown at times), the result is a loss in graphic quality. Spell and lighting effects are vastly inferior in the GameCube port, and pale in comparison to the Xbox original. Texture quality has taken a big hit as well, as the surrounding environment is often blurry, repetitive, and lacking detail. Character models look pretty average, as do the various types of enemies to be found in the game. On the whole it looks decent enough, but the obvious loss in quality is disappointing. It doesn't really hurt overall enjoyment of the game though.

Soundwise, the GameCube version holds it's own though. The music is your average action/horror title stuff, ramping up during the more intense sections of gameplay. The sound effects are decent, but (in particular the gunshots) often sound somewhat tinny and inaccurate. Oh well, at least the game does feature Pro Logic II support.

Highs:

  • Intense zombie killing action.
  • One of the best multiplayer games on GameCube, which is saying something for a system with gems like Super Smash Bros.: Melee.
  • One of the few mature multiplayer options on the 'Cube.

Lows:

  • Single player mode is pretty mediocre, and gets boring fast.
  • The graphics have taken a big hit in the GameCube port.
  • It's not the longest game around.

Final Verdict:

With a somewhat lacking single-player mode and a short overall gameplay experience, Hunter: The Reckoning is best served as a weekend rental amongst friends or as a borderline purchase for those with constant access to many different players (i.e. a dorm). It's over too quickly to recommend as a full purchase otherwise, but it's still a nice addition that helps round out the GameCube's lineup.

Overall Score: 7.4

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