Redeemable at most major supermarkets. Review

Duke Ferris
Hunter: The Reckoning Redeemer Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 4

Publisher

  • Vivendi

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • Xbox

rating

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”



REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

2.5
Rating
Nice graphics
Light RPG elements
Good four-player action
Boring single-player action
Little fighting depth
Getting the group lost