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Headhunter (DC)

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      16.10.2002 21:33
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      This game is in a similair vein to Metal Gear Solid 2 and Grand Theft Auto III, taking the stealth elements/shooter of the former and the drive around the cities of the latter. Upon first playing this game you can't help but feel that it looks a bit cheap. There is also not the freedom of GTA III when driving around cities on your motorbike. You can;t just wander off and explore different buildings etc unless the game wants you to. You stick rigidly to the linear gameplay which involves getting some licences going and shooting somebody, getting a better licence then shooting someone else etc. You're also able to drive into solid objects at 200 mph without doing yourself or your motorbike any apparent harm. There is the usual dodgy plot involved and a few cut scene animations, though these aren't anything like as long as the dreadful ones in Metal Gear Solid 2, thankfully. The gun fights are probably the best aspect of the game. The controls are pretty good, much better than MGS2, though you sometimes find camera angles switching at inconvenient points (though if you aim the gun you get a fixed first person view). This game isn't bad by any means, it just isn't particularly good. Once you've finished it you probably won;t play it again.

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        29.03.2002 16:15
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        I’ve been in the gamebizz for quite a while now (count 10 years) and I know the difference between a poor and a rich quality game. A poor game has no gameplay, which does not suck you into a game; a good one does. Headhunter is one of them. I bought the game last week, and I’m already hooked. I won’t bore you with facts or so…. Good things are: - The action is very adrenaline active. - Story that keeps getting more interesting. - No-dull gameplay, which keeps the game going. - Sometimes hard puzzles & hard to beat (action) sequences. - Reasonable Characters (hate playing with characters who look dumb) - First time riding the bike is sweet… (Although very difficult to handle at start) - Good music & sound effects. Especially the motorcycle and the weapon sounds are well done. Bad things are: - Camera movement while doing CQB battle. This is a very annoying thing at start, because when you move in stealth, pressing the Y button let’s you lean against the wall. (Like in MGS 2, this has the same effect) You must press Y again to get off the wall when multiple enemies who are firing at you at close range surround you. Very annoying at first indeed, and you’ll get shot or killed many times by doing this too late, cause you can’t see all the enemies at the same time due to the camera movement. Eventually you’ll get it. - Sometimes the puzzles are too easy, especially at the beginning of the game. - A lot of things/ideas are (good?) stolen from MGS. Some bosses (Greywolf a.k.a. Raven from MGS1!!) and the VR-Leila training’s are ported directly from MGS 1. - The bike rides are sometimes an annoyance when you’re following the storyline. This results in getting you’re skillpoints first, to get to the VR-Leila office, do the training and then proceed. - Sometimes the VR-Missions too are an annoyance. This annoyance comes when you can’t beat
        a training mission, and want to go further; but you must complete them all to proceed. Conclusion: This is a must have game for the dead console, even if you’re Dreamcast is a dust collector. The game has some tiny flaws, but are really nothing to worry about. Headhunter gives the excitement you had when you played MGS for the 1st time. It’s the developers first game, and they did a real good job upholding their status as a developer. You’ll just notice that they gave everything to make this a good game and not an easy cash-in. The game sucks you into the story with twists, and the shootouts keep you coming back for more. Plus for a bargain price this is the last game you should have on the Dreamcast.

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          08.02.2002 17:51
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          Set in Los Angeles a few years in the future, Headhunter is just like Robocop the game. Crime is a big problem here, but the government also take more extreme measures on those you commit it, you commit a crime, you pay a financial penalty, you cant afford the penalty, you give one of your body organs to cover it. Body Organs are the new currency of the future here, rich people live even longer by buying other people organs and having them transplanted into themselves, demand is high and a black market for body organs has opened. You play Jake Wade, the top headhunter for the ACN (Anti Crime Network), The ACN is a government funded organisation that pays for the capture or death of criminals. It is preferred that you can capture these criminals alive, so the organs are all healthy, so use of guns that fire bullets are illegal. So they have managed to develop a whole new range of weapons that use an electrical pulse to kill the criminal, but not damage the organs inside. You have a rating system, a criminal with a low rating doesn't mean as much cash for capture, but a high rated criminal results in big bucks. The headhunters also have ratings from C to AAA, the more successful you are the more chances you get to move up a level, each new level brings more information, gadgets and weapons. You awake lying on a operating table in some strange testing facility, killing the surgeons you make a run for it, but soon collapse in the car park, you then awake in hospital suffering from amnesia. People you don't remember visit you and soon the story unfolds, you discover you were on a secret mission to guard the head of the ACN - Mr Stern, but Stern has been killed and his daughter, Angela, hires you to find his killer. You take the mission hoping it will bring back your memory and tell you just what went on in the days you can't remember. You return to the headhunter station to discover you have lost your rank as top headhunter and must start a
          gain from the bottom, your old chief helps you with information and you also get a Casio watch that doubles as a communication device. The best thing about Headhunter is the immense storyline and detail that is included in it. It's obvious that just as much time went into written and developing the story as did to programming the game. FMV cut scenes tell us the news, through a rather amusing news program, like those seen on Robocop, even the dialogue between Jack Wade and other characters in the game is good, miles ahead of others in the genre. The game is played in a third person view with the camera behind Wade, the game is split up into parts when you walk around with Wade and when you are driving on the motorbike. 80% of the game take place in the third person view with you controlling Jack Wade, this part plays out like a mixture on Shenmue and Resident Evil, You can walk around the building freely like in Shenmue and have to solve quite easy puzzle like in Resident Evil to progress. Before you can go anywhere though you need to get a headhunter licence, to get this you need to drive your motorbike fast without crashing it to get a certain amount of skill points, when you reach the correct points you need to head to LEILA and take the virtual reality tests to gain your licence. The motorbike parts are mostly for transporting you from one point in the game to the next, the motorbike is also nearly impossible to drive at first but the more skill points you get the easier it becomes. The LEILA tasks are like the virtual training in metal gear solid, you need to complete 4 to get a licence, one is driving you bike through checkpoints under the time limit, one is taking out all the bad guys under the time limit and another you must either get out without getting detected or kill all the bad guys using the stealth attack. When you have completed these three you go onto the last one that combines parts of the latter two. When you have
          completed the last one you get to go and open the correct locker and get your new equipment. The first few levels are very small and you just get pushed from one to another, it all feels very linear, its not until later on you get more freedom and the levels get massive, you can get lost exploring for items. Sometimes the camera angles in the third person view can get a bit crap and make it impossible to see, but you only need to press the camera button (X) and it returns the camera to directly behind Wade. Sometime the camera can get stuck and you are getting hammered by bullets you just die because you couldn't see what was going on. The motorbike section is also very buggy, the game sometimes freezes or when you are moving from one section to another after the load you find yourself stuck in a wall on the motorbike. The games is also very short and there is nothing much to make you play through it all again except for the special * locker that gives you all the weapons with unlimited ammo, because warned though this doesn't work as it wont let you pick up other objects that you need to progress through the game so you get stuck - nice bug. You get a few different weapons in the game such as a machine gun, rocket launcher and stun gun, but you also get useful items such as a lock pick and code breaker. You have two main ways of taking out criminals; you can shoot them or sneak up behind them and snap their neck. To shoot you hold down the R button and it locks on the nearest bad guy, pressing X will cycle through the bad guys around and pressing A will shoot. To snap a neck you need to walk up behind a bad guy and press the R button, Wade will raise his hand and then you press A and the bad guy drops, sometimes the camera angle makes this hard to do. When you are pressing R to aim you can also roll, dive and duck from bad guys and hide behind objects such as barrels or boxes. You have a radar in the top right hand side of the screen whic
          h displays where bad guys are, but most bad guys are pretty blind and you need to be right in front of them for them to see you. Your basic weapon, the stimulator automatic, also has unlimited ammo. You can hide up against walls by pressing the Y button and you can roll by pressing the B button, the roll is extremely useful as it can be used in both attack and defence. The start button will take you to your Casio wristwatch where you can access information, messages, maps, and items or just save the game. Boss fights are also good, as usually you can?t just go at it and attack full out you need to take cover and plan what you have to do. Most of the game takes a moderate level of intelligence to progress, some parts had me stuck for a while but I just progressed and tried different methods and eventually got it. There is a real shortage of health packs in the game and your health bar is very small, its displayed on the left of the screen, under it is another bar which is for adrenaline, adrenaline acts like body armour, and when you have used adrenaline and are shot this bar is subtracted from and not your energy, how ever adrenaline only lasts a certain amount of time and continues to decrease slowly after use. Adrenaline is quite a good idea and is more interesting than just having armour, as you need to figure out when would be best to use it. The graphics on Headhunter are great, a mentioned earlier that the control was similar to Shenmue, well in some places so are the graphics, there is no slow down in the game but there are also no people walking around the street either, there is other traffic on the road though. The frame rate is smooth and the animation on the characters is spot on, you do run as if you?re constipated though. Normal enemies all look the same but main characters are all different and look good, all the locations are beautifully designed and all look good, the detail around buildings are great. The sound is good and the ga
          me has a full orchestral score, to add to the film feel of the game, the music changes to perfectly match whatever situation you are in and hence adds to the atmosphere of the game. Headhunter is a great game, really enjoyable but a bit too short, the FMV is some of the funniest I have ever seen, but because of the high compression it is a bit blocky at times, the story line is immense and drags you in and is hardly ever predictable. Its just 2 disks full of fun and wit - check out the fake adverts.

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            08.02.2002 04:30
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            It was former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli who once said that there are three kinds of lies in the world: Lies, damn lies, and statistics. Someone later quipped “Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are lies, damn lies, statistics, benchmarks, and delivery dates.” Yet as witty as these two comments are, both men neglected to mention one of the biggest lies in the world; the conspiracy. Headhunter’s story is based around such an idea. -Starting the game- Almost as soon as you put the disc in to play Headhunter you are greeted by a series of news stories presented by two live action actors. This relatively long video gives a bit of a back-story which helps to add slightly to the believability of Headhunter. These tongue-in-cheek news reports are used throughout the game to update the player on current events. When you start a new game you have the option of going through a tutorial to help you learn some of the basics of play in the game such as opening doors, picking up items, sneaking, and how to target different enemies and objects with your weapons. You can skip the tutorial if you want but it is recommended that you go through it just to give you a better chance in the game. Once you finish the tutorial you can start the actual game which begins with another short cut-scene followed by a small sequence designed to get you used to the game controls. After you have completed this little sequence you’ll see another cut scene that will give you a bit more info on what is going on and help you get on your feet. From then on its into the game. -Story- It was once said that we can predict everything except the future which is probably why the majority of science fiction stories are so shoddy. We’ve all seen and heard these stories of future worlds in which nuclear wars have scorched the earth and left it a baron desert world plagued with disease and famine or a world where robots have taken over and are
            attempting to destroy the human race or worst of all a world where all our clothes have been designed by Jean-Paul Gaultier and we have to wear string vests over our T-shirts. In honesty, Headhunter’s story isn’t much better but it’s certainly much more original. The year is 2019 and law enforcement has been privatised. The Anti Crime Network (ACN) is the law now and compulsory organ donation is the new punishment for those criminals who can’t pay for their crimes in cash. In a world where criminal’s vital organs are removed to be donated to the law abiding citizens it is very important that these body parts aren’t damaged and so to avoid any unwanted organ damage new weapons have been invented which send and electro neural pulse (ENP) through the person’s central nervous system to the brain which eventually kills the subject. What a lovely idea. You play the part of Jack Wade, a Headhunter, which essentially means bounty hunter. At the start of the game you are employed by a woman called Angela Stern to find the man who killed her father, your ex-boss, head of ACN, Alex Stern. Although you’ll probably guess the ending of the game before long there is still enough in terms of plot twists and little extras to keep you interested right until the end. -Gameplay- The game itself plays a lot like Metal Gear Solid but when compared to MGS has quite a few little extras to offer such as the ability to hold your back to the wall, lean out around a corner, fire a shot with your gun and then duck back behind the wall. You can even use the empty shell casings from your bullets to distract guards. On top of that you can do all the usual sneaking around and silently disposing of enemies. Despite the inevitable comparisons to MGS Headhunter is a very original game in the very small stealth ‘em up genre. Even though most of the game is played in sneaking and shooting sequences there are other things to do that b
            reak the action up a little and stop it getting too repetitive too soon. One of the major extras over the MGS formula is the motor bike which is used to get from place to place between missions and also used to gain skill points required to increase your headhunter rank. When it comes to bosses in Headhunter it is much more about intelligence than skill and only requires you to find the right tactics to defeat the villain rather than hours of practice. Having said that, some of the bosses can be very tricky to defeat and it can take quite a while before you realise what needs to be done to defeat him (That’s right there are no female bad guys). Sometimes it can become a bit frustrating though when you can’t seem to defeat a particular boss or complete a particular objective but this encourages you to take a break and then complete it when you come back which in many instances is what you’ll probably do. -Weapons and equipment- The weapons in Headhunter are the usual affair with old friends such as the pistol, shot gun, and sub machinegun making an appearance. Other weapons include proximity mines, grenades, a rocket launcher, and a form of stun gun designed to render the victim unconscious for a short period of time. As well as all these great weapons there are plenty of other little gadgets to help you out such as infrared goggles, a lock pick, body armour, a utility belt, and so on. -Conclusion- Overall Headhunter is a good game lasting between 25-30 hours, presenting a fair range of weapons and gadgets, offering interesting and action-packed game play, displaying great graphics for a Dreamcast game, and featuring an absolutely fantastic soundtrack (well I thought so). The voice acting isn’t too bad either. ;)

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              19.05.2001 18:19
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              As this game has not been released yet, I have decided to write a preview of it: Headhunter is set in the year 2019, in Calafornia, where sinister plans are going on in the government, and allis not what is seems... You play the role of Jack Wade, a agent who is hired by the daughter of a chariman guy who was killed in his office. You are asked ot get to the bottom of the problem. GAMEPLAY Basically, you ride around on your motorbike around a vast 3-D city lookinf for clues and interrogating people. The difference is that the player actually gets to ride the motorbike instead of the bike telling you where to go. You are free to roam wherever you want in this game and do whatever you want, and that is why this game is going to be worth the money, simply because ther eis so much to do. Thats not all, head hunter is one of those games that you can play over the internet, and there is believed ot be a bike racing game... USE OF THE VISUAL MEMORY Headhunter uses the vmu loads in this game. there are mini games, but the vm is used mostly as a pager, thats right, you will recieve messages from the game itself giving you information, just like a real pager! Amuze, the developers, have even hinted that even when you take the vm out of the controller, you will carry on receiving clues about the game, so you can site there at work or school pondering about head hunter!!! GRAPHICS The visuals in headnunter are exceedingly good, just like Mr. Kiplings cakes! They are sharp yet smooth, and are detailed aswell. SOUND although we do not have that information on the sound in the game, amuze have hired the man responsible for making the music in MSR (metroplis street racer) so that explains the sound part. OVERALL overall the game is set out ot be one of the best games of th year, and maybe ecen better than Shenmue 2, but keep an eye out for the ga
              me HEADHUNTER because it definately is a good one. anticipation rating 10/10 (and that is rare!)

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