Ghost Hunter

Music - Sean Paul - SINGLE: 'I'm Still In Love With You', featuring Sasha RELEASE DATE: January 5th, 2004 Music - Sean Paul - SINGLE: 'I'm Still In Love With You', featuring Sasha RELEASE DATE: January 5th, 2004
Ghost Hunter Review PS2
Ghost Hunter was first announced a while back now by the developer Studio Cambridge who where responsible for the PS2 game Primal. Primal was an adventure game that was hyped so much that upon arrival it was almost disappointing. It made for a great adventure game so long as you didn't mind strolling through the game rather than running through. Basically Primal was a solid adventure game that looked fantastic. We know Ghost Hunter looks good but does the gameplay improve upon Primal? Probably.

The story starts out with a character by the name of Lazarus Jones who is rookie cop partnered with Anna Steele for his first week of duty. While patrolling the streets they get a call to go and check out an abandoned school because people have heard ghoulish noises coming from the building. Basically the two cops go to the school and split up on arrival; due to his incompetence and fragile state after being spooked Lazarus unleashes a load of ghosts into the real world. And as if you couldn't have guessed one of the ghosts kidnaps Anna. Feeling kind of stupid for unleashing all these ghosts Lazarus decides to fix the problem and return all the ghosts to the containment area where they once where and get Anna back. Oh I forgot, a talking computer told him to do that! Well the story is a little ropy to say the least but this is where the action starts and you are now in control of Lazarus Jones.

Ghost Hunter is a third person shooter/adventure and the controls work in a similar way to Ratchet and Clank, you

 
Games - Ghost Hunter Review PS2
Games - Ghost Hunter Review PS2
Games - Ghost Hunter Review PS2

control movement with the left analogue stick and the camera is controlled with the right analogue stick. Eventually you will get the hang of controlling the camera and Lazarus at the same time, once mastered it makes for a pretty decent control scheme. If you leave the camera to its own devices you will find it will freak out a little in corners and in tighter parts of the game, so it is advised that you get the hang of making the small adjustments manually now and again.

As you progress through the game you will be given hints and tips on the controls and features, this has been seen in quite a few games now and it is a great help as you are shown moves as and when you need them. Shooting ghosts can be a little more challenging as you can't strafe in the first person view, which is the view that is preferred for shooting. So you can either take a couple of hits in the chest or alternate between first person and third person views to dodge incoming shots.

As mentioned the object of the game is to capture ghosts like the Ghostbusters did in their classic film, but unfortunately Lazarus doesn't have the cool weapons and gadgets that you might expect, he has a pistol and a shotgun which don't hurt ghosts and a rifle and a sniper rifle that are special anti-ghost weapons. Unfortunately you can't just blast the ghosts and kill them you have to weaken them using the ghost weapons and then use a ghost grenade that will capture weakened ghosts and put them in the containment area in the abandoned school. A nice although fairly pointless feature is that after capturing a ghost you will be able to view it in the containment area. That is what Ghost Hunter is all about along with quite a lot of problem solving and walking around.

Ghost Hunter is not a true survival horror game, it deviates from trying to be scary to just being creepy and ghostly. I like this aspect because so many survival horror games try be scary but usually fail miserably, Ghost Hunter hold no pretences in this area.

Graphically Ghost Hunter is great with detailed environments, characters and the ghosts leave a lovely trail of glimmering light behind them. When you catch a ghost with the grenade the ghosts will produce a shockwave that distorts the appearance of the surroundings. The one aspect of the graphics which lends itself to the atmosphere is the lighting effects. These are brilliant, especially when the sunshine starts to break through the trees in the wooded areas. The sound really adds to the ghoulish atmosphere. When ghosts are in the area the music will suddenly slow and become darker in its nature. The gun shots and sounds are also very good and if you have surround sound you will get even better results.

Ghost Hunter is a game that looks and sounds fantastic but it's challenged when the actions starts. If you like your survival horror games you might want to check out Ghost Hunter for something a bit different than everything else can offer. You should probably rent Ghost Hunter to see how you feel about it. Anyone that enjoyed Primal and most adventure lovers will more than likely enjoy what Ghost Hunter has to offer.

7.5 out of 10

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