Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter Review

Ben Silverman
Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1

Publisher

  • Vivendi

Developer

  • Vivendi
  • Warthog

Release Date

  • 11/30/1999
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PS2
  • Xbox

rating

I’d rather be Boba Fett.

You
have
to
appreciate
the
thought
behind
Mace
Griffin:
Bounty
Hunter
.
Though
it’s
been
cooking
in
the
development
oven
for
a little
too
long,
how
can
you
not
be
somewhat
intrigued
by
the
prospect
of
a first-person
shooter/space-action
adventure
combo
that
allows
seamless
transition
between
the
two
genres?
That
sounds
really
good
on
paper.

Unfortunately, paper is the only place you’re going to find that kind of innovation,
because the final product doesn’t offer the experience we were all hoping for.
Instead, Mace Griffin is an average FPS that lets you fly around and
dogfight a little. It shoots for the stars, but winds up getting lost in the
clouds thanks to its limited depth and very standard corridor shooting.

This

sci-fi game takes place about 500 years in the future. You’re Mace Griffin,

an ex-Ranger (cop) who has just gotten out of prison after being framed for

the death of your squadmates. With little identity and nowhere to turn, you

find yourself drawn to a life of bounty hunting, a gun for hire, and set out

to reclaim your life and discover who set you up in the first place.

Apparently,
the
best
way
to
do
this
is
to
kill
everyone
you
meet.
You
progress
through
the
completely
linear
story
taking
job
after
job,
which
amounts
to
you
flying
off
to
different
asteroid
bases/spaceports/mining
areas
and
accomplishing
some
basic
missions,
such
as
flipping
one
lever
somewhere
to
stop
something
from
exploding.
Though
told
through
plenty
of
in-game
cut
scenes,
the
plot
just
isn’t
very
engrossing.

For that matter, neither is the gameplay. Most of Mace Griffin takes
place on the ground in a straightforward fragfest. You run into a room, kill
all the bad guys, open a door, and then kill more guys. Rinse and repeat. The
levels are admittedly huge, and you’ll always know where to go thanks to the
mission objective compass at the top of the screen. It’s a good thing it’s there,
too, since half of the time you have no idea what it is exactly you’re supposed
to be doing. You only find out when you reach the objective and flip the switch
or kill the guy.

You
carry
a
payload
of
futuristic
weapons,
which
are
just
sci-fi
versions
of
standard
munitions

a
futuristic
pistol,
a
futuristic
shotgun,
a
futuristic
sniper
rifle,
etc.
Some
futuristic
grenades
are
here
too,
but
you’ll
never
use
them
because
they’re
possessed
with
the
souls
of
long-dead
tap
dancers,
flipping
and
bouncing
all
over
the
place,
making
nearly
impossible
to
accurately
toss
them
anywhere.

One
nice
thing
about
the
fragging
is
the
auto-aim
toggle,
which
when
turned
on
allows
more
targeting
leniency.
Switch
it
off
and
you’ll
stand
a
much
better
chance
at
landing
headshots,
but
only
if
you
aim
carefully.

To spice it up, Mace Griffin lets you seamlessly transition between

these on-foot action bits to space dogfighting sequences. You’ll start each

level by landing your ship on some planetoid using the dumbest docking feature

ever, just guiding your ship through two or three big red rectangles. It’s easy

and completely unnecessary. Then you’ll run around shooting things. Then you’ll

hop back into your ship, fly around and shoot at enemy craft, and then sit through

an often lengthy cut scene that ends with you either 1.) Pressing ‘Y’ to ‘warp

to your next destination’ or 2.) Landing back on the planetoid for another round

of fragging.

The
flow
is
maddeningly
repetitive.
It’s
also
way,
way
too
linear.
You
cannot
fly
around
and
explore
at
your
own
free
will.
Instead,
you
just
land
on
a
big
base,
kill
stuff,
shoot
ships,
then
move
on
to
the
next
level.
The
only
time
you
really
sense
the
seamlessness
of
the
game
world
is
when
your
ship
is
being
automatically
landed
via
a
tractor
beam
and
you
take
your
hands
off
the
controls
to
wander
around
the
ship
while
it’s
moving.
It’s
almost
rude
of
the
developers
at
Warthog
to
give
us
this
world,
only
to
force
us
to
play
through
it
along
rigid
rails.

The
dogfighting
bits
are
also
far
too
easy,
which
is
a
letdown
since
Warthog
are
also
the
folks
who
ported
Starlancer
over
to
the
Dreamcast
so
many
years
back.
You
fly
one
ship,
the
Pallbearer,
for
most
of
the
game,
and
you
are
not
given
any
customization
options
at
all.
Rather,
you
just
thrust
and
aim
your
way
through
simple
target-and-shoot
dogfights,
rarely
taking
critical
damage.
Each
ship
carries
a
predetermined
payload,
so
don’t
think
you’ll
be
able
to
arm
yourself
with
a
wide
variety
of
missiles.
It’s
just
not
very
fun.

But on the flipside, the fragging certainly has its moments. Though the weapons are very standard, they’re also very efficient and genuinely fun to use. Enemies gib and explode into bloody pieces left and right, which should satisfy your inner space sadist. While the AI is mediocre at best, occasionally you’ll find yourself surround by a gang of bad guys while being pounded by sniper fire. It can get hairy and at times provides a really good challenge.

Whether you’re flying or fragging, Mace Griffin looks good, particularly
on the Xbox. Textures are crisp, the framerate is steady and some of the lighting
effects are great. The PS2 version is much more ragged, but still gets the job
done. Though enemy animations tend to repeat a lot, the weapon reload animations
are super cool. No major complaints about the visuals.

Mace
is
voiced
by
none
other
than
Black
Flag
veteran
Henry
Rollins
.
Sadly,
the
tepid
plot
and
weak
writing
don’t
use
the
intense
poet’s
rage
very
well,
effectively
docking
this
pit
bull’s
tail.
The
score
is
fine
and
the
sound
effects
are
accurate,
at
least.

Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter is also something of a misnomer, as you
don’t truly hunt for bounties. You don’t earn cash to buy new weapons or upgrade
your ship’s armaments. You don’t even choose which missions to take, which is
a shame since Warthog also developed the fantastic, multi-path Colony
Wars
games for the PSX. It’s shallow, linear fragging through and through.

And don’t expect to hunt bounties over the Internet, either, as the game features

no online multiplayer or any other game modes, for that matter. It’s the Story

or bust, which severely limits the replayability.

Considering the other Xbox FPS options out there in RTCW,
Unreal Championship and even the recent
Brute Force, and considering PS2 games like No
One Lives Forever
and Red Faction
II
, this seemingly ambitious title is tough to recommend beyond a rental.
We were hoping for Grand Theft Galaxies, but we wound up with Doom
In Space.

 

 

 

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

2
Rating
Looks good
Some decent frag fun
Big levels
Brutally linear
No multiplayer whatsoever
No ship customization
Repetitive gameplay