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The Reckoning Redeemer
Score: 8.6 / 10
How would your life be different if your
parents were killed by a giant demonic teddy bear when you were eight?
Well, if your name were Kaylie Winter you’d outfit yourself with a big
sword, a pistol and a “dress” with a plunging bust line. (And you
thought your childhood was screwed up!)
Kaylie joins Father Esteban Cortez, Kassandra Cheyung, Samantha
Alexander, and Spenser “Deuce” Wyatt – the other Hunters – in pursuit of
supernatural creatures. The five Hunters assemble in Ashcroft (again) to
battle a new threat – one involving werewolves and, maybe more
nefarious, a new company called Genefex that has positioned itself in
Ashcroft as a pillar of the community. So begins the story of
Not much has changed in the gameplay department over the original. You
still have melee and ranged attacks, which are augmented by various
offensive and defensive Edges (i.e. spells) specific to each character,
and fight wave after wave demons, re-animated corpses, and various
including Santa Claus. But what does play a role is the new Experience
Meters for conviction (or magic), melee and ranged attacks. For example,
using your standard ranged weapon (or the gun pick-ups) increases your
ranged meter and when it maxes out that skill receives a level-up (i.e.
better accuracy). Not only does the skill increase, after a while your
weapon (for either ranged or melee) upgrades itself, like Deuce’s rifle
that holds 12 shots (instead of the paltry 8) and sports a wicked
bayonet after being receiving an upgrade. It’s a great RPG aspect that
proves to be unobtrusive.
Control hasn’t changed much but there have been improvements, including
the ability to mix up melee combos, which helps you address specific
situations during the course of the game. The control does have hiccups.
Like the original you use both sticks – the left to run around, the
right to specifically face a direction (so you can run backward but
attack forward) – but for some reason you’ll get stuck facing one
direction for five or ten seconds, making you a really easy target. But
this isn’t a consistent problem and it only cropped up occasionally
after many, many hours of play. While this mars the control a bit, it’s
not enough to curse the developers for shoddy controls.
Rack one up for the developer High Voltage Software for addressing one
of Reckoning’s biggest problems: a hit and miss camera. At times you
would completely lose sight of your Hunter thanks to some on-screen
obstacle. Redeemer addresses this by use of transparent objects. The
moment your character is obscured from view the object blocking your
view goes transparent. Camera control is limited to zooming in (way in!)
and zooming out, but because of the transparency having little camera
control isn't quite as hammering. There are times when the camera flips
unexpectedly or some off-screen enemy is blasting you, but those times
are thankfully few and far between.
Redeemer is a great-looking game but really the deciding factor is fun.
Redeemer fires on all pistons when you’re playing with three buddies. It
gets notched down a bit when playing with less people or on your own,
but it still manages to be fun. Many will find the action repetitive
after a while, but even so, you’ll plough through the levels (some
really huge) just to advance the stellar story, even when the goals of a
level get bogged down with basic key hunts.
As a reward for wasting zombies, etc. there are unlockables, including
two characters (bringing the roster to seven playable characters). They
don’t come as a huge surprise, but they are pretty cool to play with and
offer more variety. There are also collector cards to pick-up throughout
the game but fans of the Hunter pen & paper game will appreciate them
more than the average gamer.
Fans of the original should not be disappointed with Redeemer. It’s a
great mix of what gamers loved about the original and some welcomed
upgrades that don’t detract from the experience. A recommended title.