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Hunter: The Reckoning Redeemer Review

Duke_Ferris By:
GENRE Action 
M Contains Blood and Gore, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Redeemable at most major supermarkets.

It caused a bit of a stir a few months ago when White Wolf, the publisher of several pen-and-paper RPG's, announced that they were suing Sony Pictures over their movie Underworld. Listing sixty points of similarity, White Wolf claims that the movie was a ripoff of their Vampire: The Masquerade game, which takes place in their goth World of Darkness". This is also the setting for one of White Wolf's other games, Hunter: The Reckoning.

Now if Hunter: The Reckoning was going to sue a movie, it would have to be They Live. It turns out that evil powers and terrifying monsters are around us all the time in our daily lives, but only a few of us can actually see the Truth and combat those evil forces. According to White Wolf, these special people are called "Hunters" and have magic powers. In They Live, it's legendary wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper with a pair of magic sunglasses.

Movie or game, there's plenty of evil to go around, and fighting it is a simple matter of shooting it, stabbing it, or blowing it up. The parallels are simply uncanny.

Five years ago, the city of Ashcroft was cleansed of evil by our intrepid hunters (without the help of Mr. Piper). The Genefex Corporation then moved in, mopped up the city and gave everyone high-paying tech jobs. Of course, anyone who's ever played a video game or seen a horror movie will tell you that any corporation named Genefex is clearly going to be evil and will eventually start making zombies, monsters or robots in a plan to conquer the world. They really should have seen it coming.

So evil has returned to Ashcroft with a vengeance, and our four original hunters, Deuce, Samantha, Kassandra, and Father Cortez now have a fifth member: Kaylie Winter. She was the little girl with the ten-foot rampaging teddy bear from the first game, and in five years she's grown up and filled out a very mighty brassiere. All the characters fall into the typical video game fighter roles of strong-but slow, fast-but-weak, and somewhere-in-the-middle.

Hunter: The Reckoning: Redeemer is your classic beat "em up with a couple differences. You can move and aim in different directions, ala Robotron or Smash TV. Every character has both melee and ranged attacks, and as you use them you get more powerful thanks to some very simple RPG stat development. Each hunter also has some special magic attacks called "Edges" that you can use based on your level of "Conviction."

The action is fast and furious, the enemies more than plentiful (Ashcroft's population must be about 99% monster), and the kill counts might be higher than any game I've ever played.

Still, this is actually pretty boring when you play by yourself. There are a number of combination moves you can pull off by attacking, moving and pointing in particular directions, but they're not really any more powerful and are on the whole unnecessary. You also have an awkward jump that leaves your character floating in the air longer than the Wright brothers, and only seems to be there to avoid the ground attack of certain Bosses. All of this makes Redeemer a ubiquitous button-masher where you mindlessly mow down an endless stream of enemies.

The only thing that redeems this game from total mediocrity is the multiplayer, and the more people you have (up to four) the better. Like Mario Party, it's nearly pointless to play alone, but gets more fun with a group and a case of beer. It certainly provides good, cooperative fun and destruction, Gauntlet-style, with all four of you on the screen at once.

But even that can get frustrating because all four of you have to move in the same direction and stay on screen. This can get really annoying on some of the less-than-obvious levels where you're not sure where to go next and you have to cover a lot of ground that you've already covered, looking for that one door you missed.

On the other hand, no matter how many people you have blasting away at a hundred monsters, the graphics hold up nicely. The models are a bit simple, but the camera stays pretty far out so you can't tell. The animations are smooth, the spell effects look particularly good and everyone casts real shadows, which is a nice touch.

The sound is decent, with music cues that fit the action...or lack thereof. It's important for a game to know when to be quiet, and developers seldom get it right. Weapon noises are mildly disappointing, with some of the machine guns making an unsatisfying clatter. The voice acting is just laughably bad, with some naughty words thrown in for good measure, which seems to be the latest trend for M-rated games. But hey, who was following the plot anyway?

Hunter: The Reckoning: Redeemer makes a decent rental when you know you're going to have the guys over or if you live in a dorm and have them built in. But there are many better game choices out there that won't sit on your shelf gathering dust when your friends leave. Now to get back to my lawsuit against The Neverending Story for false advertising"

C+ Revolution report card
  • Nice graphics
  • Light RPG elements
  • Good four-player action
  • Boring single-player action
  • Little fighting depth
  • Getting the group lost
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.

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