This limitation keeps things fresh and simultaneously prevents Geist
falling into the dreaded shooter tedium of corridor roaming. You’re
constantly on the lookout for the next inhabitable host. Geist
is like its cousin Metroid Prime in that it’s a first person adventure, thought not to the extent of Prime. Geist
is level based, but each stage is its own little adventure
with plenty of puzzles, tricks, mini-boss fights and secret collectibles.
Along the way you’ll encounter the average FPS cannon fodder guards,
bizarre creatures from the rift to the sprit world, and some
sufficiently pretty graphics. Geist
’s visual style is comparable to
that of the TimeSplitters
series; it won’t beat you over the head with
beauty like Half-Life 2
and the technology is far from cutting edge,
but it’s the little things that count.
Details in the world make Geist
more plausible, like the way you
actually see a host reach out and push a button to call an elevator.
Every character has a distinct appearance like the ones in Free
Radical’s parody shooters, though not nearly as cartoony or comical as
Sgt. Cortez and friends. Textures aren’t as detailed or high-res as
they could’ve been, but they were probably kept simple to balance out
I’ve heard numerous complaints about the framerate, but I don’t see it
as a major problem. It never bogs down completely, and the most I saw
were some stutters when there were a lot of enemies on the screen. I
personally don’t consider it a huge issue, and it certainly shouldn’t
make you think twice about buying this predominantly great game.
The sound is a real treat for the ears, if only a morsel. You’ve heard
most of the sound effects before, but that doesn’t diminish their
effectiveness. Voice acting is all very professional for a title of
this nature, although there isn’t enough of it. Cutscenes are fully
voiced, but talking to characters in the word is like playing Zelda;
you’ll get a word or two accompanied by a text box. Admittedly, adding
dialogue for all the text would’ve probably required a second disk, but
it’s a minor gripe nonetheless. Music is much like the voice work.
There is a collection of really great tunes to accompany the action
sequences and some creepy sneaking-around pieces for exploration, but
the final number of tracks is rather short. You’ll be grooving to the
hectic and well-scored battle music, which reminds me a little of
, but the music ultimately needs more variety. This issue
is most noticeable in multiplayer, where the list of levels is longer
than that of the music tracks.
Speaking of multiplayer, I’ve rarely been so pleasantly surprised. I
was expecting a churn-out, because somewhere in the Ten Commandments it
says that “thou shalt put a multiplayer in all shooters.” I think it’s
the seventh commandment. But I digress. N-Space put a good amount of
effort into the multi aspect of Geist
, and for a split-screen affair it
isn’t bad. I expected the possession aspect to be clumsily tacked on,
or worse totally omitted, but it is actually well integrated.
There are only three modes to choose from, but the ghost scenario makes
them all feel like new. Possession deathmatch is the most conventional;
there are idle hosts scattered throughout the level, and all the
players start at ghosts. You can then float around inspecting the
hosts, checking out what guns they have, and make your choice. A bevy
of powerups is also available, from jump and speed boosts to the
“hijack” pickup. Hijack is especially fun. After grabbing this one as a
ghost, it lets you kick a fellow player out of their host and steal
him. So, if your friend has the rocket-launcher guy, you can piss him
off buy snatching his host right from under him.
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