Review by John E G
"You'd never get away with killing this many people in real life."
This game interested me a little from the commercial so I decided to give it a rent, it's got loads of action, multiple settings of difficulty and a lot of neat and fun abilities. All in all this game is a shoot em up with a few stealthy maneuvers and some matrix and kung fu shoved in there for flavor.
It's just okay really, they won't blow your mind but the characters are done fairly well and some effects are well done. The blood splatter stays which is a nice reminder of how nuts your character is, but it would have been really cool if the bodies stayed, man there would be piles upon piles. Jack's character movements are done well, he moves good and has all the right touches to being a badass, so no complaints in the character design at all. Though he is a little too generic and doesn't really stick in your head as one of those legendary characters. Frame rate is good and never really slowed down, maybe I was too busy killing guys. The real kicker in this game is the odd mix of graphics and style, some places are bright and flashy and look like alot of time was placed into not just the graphics bu the layout of the whole place. Other places seem like it was just kind of slapped together, a chair here, table there type of situation. When you play the game you'll know what I mean, some areas lack design. Movies don't blow the mind but they are alot better than the gameplay graphics, so it's a nice touch especially since the game has a decent story.
Good beats throughout most of this game, especially early on but once you get into it I don't notice the music anymore. I wasn't expected amazing scores like metroid prime or Final fantasy 10, but it's a little on the bland side on certain levels. Effects are done well, guns all have their distinct sounds and footsteps are well done with different types of sounds for different grounds. Voice acting is done really well actually, I only noticed like one bad point with a character scream in a cutscene, that was the only cheese in the acting department. All the characters seem to suit their voices too, so that is a plus, especially Jack Slate. He has alot of quirky one liners that are good for a laugh but not enough to annoy anybody so it's a very good balance as far as in voice game lines go.
There are loads of moves in this game, and just watching them is fun when you are fighting, but most of the game consists of wasting room after room of guards who shouldn't even know you are there. He has the secrecy moves like ducking and hiding behind crates for cover but it's very rare that you'll use these unless you need to. More puzzles would have helped this game and less senseless blood splatter. After the first level you will be thinking man this guy has to go to jail...then you do and that is a refreshing thing to see, heck you even end up on death row! The storyline holds up, it's believable and fun to follow and not needlessly complicated like some games, which is something I'm seeing far too often these days. The disarms and slow motion jumping are by far the most fun part of this game along with the taking of hostages to protect yourself. I don't doubt Namco, I know they make great games but it's evident that this game had to be out by christmas and that saddens me a little because there is evidence that puzzles were going to be used alot more in this game. You get glimpses of this throughout the game and it makes you wonder what could have been. Overall the gameplay is good for what it is, a shoot em up and beat em up game, but it could have used alot more depth in enemy AI and puzzles.
Replay value 6.0/10
It's a fun game, but I don't know how much fun it'll be the second time around, but it has 3 difficulties so that may satisfy people. It isn't the shortest game in the world but it isn't a zelda or metroid in terms of length either, the game lets you play the mini games and watch the movies which is a plus especially the movies, I hate it when I can't recap the storyline for myself in games.
Final word: 29.5/40
Out of ten: 7.4/10
Good game, I suggest a rent only and if you beat it on easy and feel the need to play it some more hey buy it!
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/04/02, Updated 12/04/02
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