'Are you the Hunter, or the Hunted?'
You run down the alley and stop at the corner. You know the monster is around. You can hear is angry grunts. You draw your pistol and just wait for it to come. You here the sounds of brick being smashed. So you look up just in time to see the mighty beast pounce on you.
This is the world of Hunter Hunted by Sierra. It's a side scrollin' action game that puts you in the shoes of either Jake, the strongest human on Earth, or the beast, Garathe Den, who is the most ferocious creature of Kullrathe. You must find scattered parts of a vehicle while playing deadly games of cat and mouse for 'The Masters'. Even worse, while you're running from the beast and looking for parts of a car, you must also escape security bots, hovering mines, missile shooting mechs, and Death himself. Luckily you have some gadgets that can help you survive. As the beast you can bludgeon enemies with a spiked club or use a plasma throwing whip to take out pesky humans. Jake has a pistol, shotgun, and the ever destructive rocket launcher. There are a few more weapons that both the beast and Jake can use, and you'll need 'em.
The graphics in this game are beautiful. Everything is pre-rendered 3D models, like Killer Instinct. The movement is very realistic. When you leap as the beast, it looks like a tiger diving at prey. You wander through dark alleys, office buildings, and even abandon malls, all of which have richly detailed backgrounds for you to battle in. The only problem is that you can't really play full screen, because it slows the game down noticably. Even if you do maximize the screen, the graphics look chunky and pixelated. So most of the time, the game screen has to be small.
The sound effects won't blow you out of your chair, but they are passable. The beast grunts and groans and makes loud thumps when he falls on the ground. Jake breathes heavily and sometimes seems to mumble things to himself. The weapon sounds are pretty good as well. The music that comes on the CD is great. The tracks are a mix of heavy metal and techno, which fit the game perfectly. The pounding of the kick drum gets your adrenaline flying and so you can play at a heightened level.
Some cool little gameplay features are in Hunter Hunted. First off is the "z plane" movement. You can run to and from different rooms and levels of play through doorways which gives the game a little sense of 3D. This is also useful in dodging attacks and is necessary for playing the game. Another cool thing is head-to-head split screen play. You and a friend can play cooperatively or have a battle royal without dialing up on the modem or playing on the net. This way, you can have people at your house (friends I hope) and play sitting next to each other, instead of trying to find someone over the modem.
Unfortunately, there were still a few flaws. To begin with, there is no modem or net play at all. So if you could find someone to play against, it doesn't matter. However, the biggest problem is that the game can be very slow. You need a very good computer to just to play, and a super computer to play it smoothly.
Hunter Hunted is a pretty good all around game, especially if you want to challenge your friends without special equipment or preperation. If you've had enough with the 1st person shoot 'em-ups, and you've outplayed the war games, then for a change of pace, get Hunter Hunted, and prepare to battle.