previews\ May 27, 2002 at 8:00 pm

Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter - XB - Preview

E3 2002 - Hands-on


Crave Entertainment showed Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter for the first time at the E3 Expo.  Crave has high hopes for this futuristic first-person shooter to be a big hit this fall when it ships for the PC, Xbox, PS2, and GameCube.  The producers of Mace Griffin invited GameZone to get some early views of the game on the Xbox, and from the looks of it, Crave has nothing to worry about. 


The game takes place a few hundred years in the future.  Mace Griffin starts the game out as a member of the Space Rangers, a special ops task force of the future.  After a mission goes awry, Mace Griffin is framed and blamed for his comrade’s deaths and sent to prison for three years.  Upon his release, Mace joins the Bounty Hunters and searches for those who framed him.   In doing so, Mace unravels a complex scheme of political and religious intrigue. 


MGBH will take gamers from Alien spaceships, to distant asteroids, to dog fighting aerial combat over a series of 20 missions with five to eight cutscenes per mission to develop the complex story.  Players will have 10 different weapons, 7 vehicles, and 11 different vehicular weapons at their disposal.  Several death animations make slaughtering alien races fun (when isn’t it?).  Direct hits with grenades send body parts flying and close calls send corpses slamming into walls.  With more than thirty hours of gameplay, Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter is sure to keep gamers glued to their monitors. 


Much of the game is split between ground combat and aerial combat, often going back and forth multiple times for one mission.  Normally, that would cause problems for gamers in two departments: controls and loading time.  Fortunately, MGBH foresaw this and remedied the situation gloriously.   For the controls, the developers simply made them consistent between space combat and ground combat.  No new controls to learn, no different system to adjust to.  To solve the loading time conundrum, Warthog developed something that hasn’t been done before in a first-person shooter.  They developed a system for seamless transition between flight and ground combat.  That is, you fly your ship, you land your ship, you exit your ship, and you walk around on the ground all without interruption.  This has two advantages.  First, there is obviously no loading time.  No waiting in the middle of a mission to move on to the next part.  Second, everything is real-time.  If you are trying to pursue an enemy and he takes flight in a ship, you need to be hot on his tail or he will be long gone instead of starting at a preset distance after a loading period.  This feature greatly adds to the relentless action so prevalent in the game.


 The environments may not be as detailed as they could be, but the story and non-stop action keep this game pumping out the fun.  Throw in excellent death animations and a bit of gore, and you have a game that should spend a lot of time on your console.  Look for Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter for the Xbox and PC in October and PS2 and GameCube in November. 

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