Review by Mech Master
"Not Halo, but Still Great!"
I have waited patiently for Mace Griffin ever since I first heard about it. Even though the release date kept getting pushed back, it was definitely worth the wait.
The story is about a space ranger who has been framed for murder. Once he finally gets out of the big house he starts to look for the piece of **** who framed him. He gets an agent that helps him get work so he can do jobs that can lead to the person who framed him. The story's score gets brought down big because of bad dialogue. The dialogue is very monotone. That really makes the story seem dull.
The first screen shots of this game looked gorgeous. But when I heard Mace Griffin was going to be multi-platform, I was thinking that the graphics would be a lot worse than the first screenshots. Boy was I wrong. The graphics in the game are phenomenal. Space looks so gorgeous that you might start getting distracted for just looking around in this beautiful game. Weapons look great as well. On the other hand, the character models and ships look like they were done on the Dreamcast. They are still good though.
The sound is pretty good. Some of the music that's used during really intense gun fights is just amazing. Everything about the music and weapon sounds are done really well. It is a shame that can't be said about the voice acting. The guy who does Mace's voice is Henry Rollins. That's neat. But the dialogue is spoken in monotone. That really takes away from the experience.
When I first booted up Mace Griffin I thought the gameplay was pretty mediocre. It was just shooting your way through the end of the level. The later levels really got challenging, however. Space battles are the best part of the game though. The way these dog fights are made is what really makes it immerssive and enjoyable. There is just so much open-endedness to them. Instead of switching from first person to third person, like in Halo, the game stays in first person while in ships. The rumble while getting shot in these fights is incredible. My hands were shaking. You can also get in and out of the cockpit while in these fights. I certainly wouldn't suggest this, but you can do it. Back on foot, each weapon has a primary fire and a secondary firing mechanism very similar to Red Faction. The way enemies die from rockets is also similar to Red Faction. Their body parts just go flying everywhere! The A.I. isn't that great though. Sometimes it is good, but sometimes it is really bad. There is also no multiplayer which is a real bummer. It would have been amazing to have space battles on Xbox Live. I know this is a story driven game, but multiplayer couldn't have been more appropriate.
The control is near perfect. There is even a feature where you can target specific body parts for for damage similar to Eternal Darkness. The problem with this is that you can start shooting a body part and it will keep Shooting that part and it won't let you shoot any others until you start shooting your next enemy. You really waste ammo like this. There are tons and tons of ways to customize your controler settings. Which ever way you choose you should be satisfied. The control is great though. It is simple enough to just pick-up-and-play.
Mace Griffin is an excellent game. I hope there are sequels to come. It would give the developers a great chance to improve on things like multiplayer and A.I. Nonetheless, Mace Griffin is one of the better games for the Xbox.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 06/22/03, Updated 06/22/03
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