HUNTER: THE RECKONING - WAYWARD
Reviewed By LessonNo5
With almost every successful pen and paper RPG comes a lame
video game version that basically takes the fun of the table
top game and sits on it until it cries. You could probably
count the number of good transfers on one hand. A lot of
people's first choice for a good example is Hunter: The
Reckoning, a GameCube and Xbox release that was the
basis for Wayward. I couldn't argue that the original
wasn't a fantastic game, and this sequel does not leave
room for want.
If you haven't played Hunter: The Reckoning or the
pen and paper version, then you might be a little lost at
times if you play Wayward right out of the box, so
here's a little background. The first game showed us that
an execution at the Ashcroft prison has led to a rift that
has allowed demonic souls to leap forward and possess corpses.
Four heroes, with the ability to stop the evil seal the
prison, saving the nearby town... All is well until a year
later when a rave is held at the prison. All Hell literally
breaks loose and the demons have at the town. After the
smoke has cleared from that battle, our heroes are dropped
back into Ashcroft to discover what happened to two Hunters
that were holed up in a hotel room. Thus, "Wayward" Hunters.
Hunters, by the way, are a special breed of person able to see the demons and are willing to risk their lives to contain the evil. The four Hunters have different "Creeds" or abilities. There's the Avenger, the muscle of the group with axe in hand. The Martyr is the speed, and comes equipped with dual pistols as her default weapon. There's the Defender, a cop that serves as the most well rounded of the group. Finally the priest serves as the Judge, and his ability is the special use of "Edge" attacks. This game also introduces a new Creed: Wayward. After you discover the whereabouts of the missing Hunters, one of them will become playable. This new Creed is like the Defender on steroids with a sweet default melee weapon in a giant crowbar. "Edge" is the word for spells, by the way. As you increase in level you earn more and better Edges, which fulfill a variety of capacities like extra attack strength while active.
Sounds complicated, doesn't it? Well it's not. As a matter
of fact this game and the one before it are surprisingly
familiar to anyone that's played Gauntlet or Smash TV. It's
got a nice, simple formula and some genuinely creepy scenes.
Like I said above, this is one of the rare games based on
a pen and paper game that's actually worth a damn. I should
note, however, that this is not because of its trueness
to the original game. As a matter of fact if you go into
this expecting it to be just like a tabletop game, you're
mistaken. I say this is a good version because in and of
itself, it's a fantastic game. It's all action from start
to finish, with varied tasks, multiple weapon options, and
a slew of Easter eggs to keep you playing for weeks. Basically,
this game is to Dawn of the Dead fans what Evil
Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick is to Evil Dead
So that's the good news. Here's the bad: This game has some problems. Mostly with that goddamn camera that plagues every 3D shooter. You can't see the targets half the time, which is a real problem when you're surrounded. If you've played the first game on either Xbox of GameCube, then there is one bonus. The control systems been tweaked to make it MUCH easier to move around. Another piece of bad news is the length and challenge the game possesses. Really, the game is short and what little bit you do play is pretty easy. Finally, the biggest bad news I can give goes back to those of you that have played the Xbox/GC version of the first game. The bad news is with the number of players. The whole fun of the series is that you can get a bunch of people together on the screen to down some Rots. But this is the PS2, and it only has 2 ports out of the box, so you're limited. Oh, well...
The graphics in this sequel are very decent. They're not
quite as good as the first game, but it's not so horrible
it detracts from the overall enjoyment of the game. The
sound is just as good, but to be honest we've already seen
sound like this in so many recent releases that it's lost
its luster and become second nature. But, again, none of
this makes the game any less great. I'd still recommend
this to action gamers, or veterans of the series and tabletop
games. The reason being that it is such a simple formula
it's a no-brainer. If you're on the fence about this game,
just take this survey:
1.) Do you like to mow down hordes of zombies with a variety
of weapons? Yes / No
If you answered "Yes" to this question, you can't go wrong.
|LESSON NO.5'S ADVICE
|There's a lot of extra missions and features to unlock in this game. Keep your eyes open and don't be afraid to explore.
|The goddamn werewolf. Trust me, it's a real pleasure to finally nuke that furry bastard.
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Q1 2005 - PC/XB/PS2
TBA - RPG