posted 11/8/2005 by Sean Colleli
other articles by Sean Colleli
One Page Platforms: GC
Deathmatch points are scored by fragging the other players while they inhabit a host. You can’t cheat and dump a nearly dead host in a firefight, though; hosts must be left vulnerable for at least three seconds after dispossession, and if the host is taken out within those three seconds, your opponent is still awarded the kill.

Capture the host is a clever reinventing of the stale capture the flag mode. In this scenario there is only one flag base, but it flashes two different colors. Possessing any host and dropping him on the base at the right time will gain one point. Players can score extra points by racking up kills while in the host, and then depositing him at the base for an accumulated kill total. This mode was confusing at first, but played in a big arena with four friends it becomes hectic and thoroughly enjoyable.

Hunt is the third multi mode, and is wholly unique to Geist. In this mode the ghosts are completely visible to the opposing human team who happen to be armed with ghost-killing guns. The humans attempt to send the ghosts to their maker with repeated blasting, while the ghosts try to inhabit the humans and make them commit suicide. This is accomplished by walking the human players into the convenient traps and hazards throughout the specialized levels. More conventional means, such as firing a grenade in close quarters, are equally effective. All the while the humans try to force the ghosts from their bodies by hammering the A button. Humans also have limited movement control, giving them some ability to avoid deathtraps.

The multiplayer is a meaty addition to an already intriguing game that has a lot of potential as a franchise. It is unfortunate that Geist had to come so late in the GameCube’s lifecycle. I see Geist becoming a cult hit, with a following of core fans that explore its every corner and write petitions for a sequel. There’s certainly room for a Revolution iteration. As a shooter, the game’s somewhat flaky control scheme could be turned into a dream layout with the new controller, and the ghost element opens up a whole new door to some very exciting possibilities. Nintendo owns the rights to Geist, so I’m confident we’ll see John Raimi and his ghastly exploits on the Revolution sooner or later.

Nintendo and N-Space have created a haunting shooter experience that turns the traditional FPS on its ear. Some minor control issues, slight framerate stutters and a brief musical selection prevent Geist from being perfect, but the intriguing story, innovative multiplayer and spectral gameplay keep the game fresh and make it a must-have for GameCube owners.

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