Reviews: Ghost Hunter
The Final Say!
Ghost Hunter - reviewed
by Andrew B
Review Date: December 2003
Review Score 8.9/10
"I see dead people..."
Ghost Hunter is a game that takes
something from a variety of movies such as Ghost Busters, Texas
Chainsaw massacre and of course from the gaming world such as
Resident Evil and Silent Hill that turns this title into an
exciting game of cat and mouse. Ghost Hunter revolves around the
story of Lazarus Jones (note the Christian name), a rookie cop who
has just been transferred to a new city and a new police
department. Partnered with the extremely sexy and clichéd Anna
Steel, the duo are sent to an abandoned high school to investigate
a mysterious disturbance. As with all good "B" grade movies, the
pair split up to investigate the high school and of course get
Before departing, Anna tells her partner that the
school was closed down after dozens of students were murdered.
Lazarus scoffs at his partner and believes that she and her
friends will set him up as an initiation right into the police force.
As Lazarus explores the abandoned high school, he soon starts
hearing strange demonic voices and the cries of the females.
reaching the basement, Lazarus unwittingly turns off a doomsday
machine that releases the ghosts into the realm of man.
Fortunately for Lazarus, he is not alone and teams up with a being
called Astral who was the first Ghost Hunter and now it is
up to Lazarus and Astral to return these ghosts to where they came
from... the ether. Not only must Lazarus save the world but he
must also rescue his partner from the clutches Hawksmoor, a
powerful and insidious spirit that threatens the very world.
The gameplay of Ghost Hunter is
basically a third person hunt and shoot title that has you
stalking ghosts like a predatorily beast. Although you generally
see Lazarus from the back, you also have the option of rotating
the camera angle to assist with the gameplay. The developers have
done a brilliant job at implementing a certain type of fear
factor into this game that had me jumping out of my seat on more
than one occasion. As you explore your gaming world, you are faced
with a variety of enemies that must be defeated in order to rid
the world of these dark spirits.
Fortunately for you, Astral has
given you access to his old stockpile of ghost hunting weaponry
that allows you to destroy them where mortal weapons would be
useless. The game also takes elements out of the Ghost Busters
movies were you must use a special grenade to bring the ghost into
your reality. Once these ghosts are corporeal you can then either
destroy them or entomb them in your ghost hunting Pandora's box.
Apart from controlling Lazarus
throughout the game, you also have the option of controlling
Astral that really helps spruce up the gameplay of this title. As
Astral, you can control a variety of objects, possess other beings
and of course battle ghosts.
Graphically, Ghost Hunter is a
very impressive looking title on the PlayStation 2 and features a
variety of special effects and detailed environments that only
enhances the gaming experience. The first thing that you will
notice in this game are the amazing character models that contain
a ridiculous amount of polygons for that realistic look. Not only
do the characters move with a human like grace but they also
interact perfectly with the gaming environment from the way they
create shadows or when they get injured by the ghosts that they
are hunting. The realistic texture detail on the characters from
the clothes that they are wearing to the facial features have all
been implemented perfectly into this title.
The enemies in the game contain
a plethora of special effects from the silhouettes of the
non-corporal ghosts to monsters manifesting in the real world, it
will simply leave you gawking for more. The game also uses the
lighting in the game perfectly and some parts of the game had me
scared but I must admit, I did play with the lights off to
increase the atmosphere of the title. Apart from the awesome
in-game graphics, the title also features a variety of
pre-rendered CGI cutscenes that not only progress the story along
nicely but also allows you to truly understand the characters that
you are interacting with.
When it comes to sound effects,
Ghost Hunter is right there with the best of them and it contains some
of the most realistic and disturbing sounds that I have heard on
the PlayStation 2. The first few levels of the game really gave me
the creeps from the whispers of females saying to release them or
the sounds of demonic voices threatening to kill you, the
background ambience really makes this game. The game also contains
your stock standard monster grunts, futuristic ghost hunter
weaponry and of course some professional voice acting by the
talented Joe Morton (Terminator 2) and Rob Paulsen (Final Fantasy
who appears to be paying homage to the Resident Evil saga of games.)
The game also contains a great "B" grade movie style soundtrack
that really immerses you into the world of Ghost Hunter.
Ghost Hunter may not be the
most original game on the market at the moment but for me
personally, it was an extremely entertaining title. With a
extremely clichéd storyline, loveable characters and of course a
fear factor that almost rivals Half Life itself, Ghost Hunter has
quite a bit going for it. From beautiful graphics that portray
abandoned schools to deadly swamps, professional voice acting and
some of the best use of audio to have ever graced a PlayStation 2
title before, Ghost Hunter is a must have a game! Highly