you're faced with developing a game within a genre
that has been milked as much as sitcoms featuring
sassy smart-assed wisecracking children, it's not
a bad idea to get as creative as you possibly can.
Geist, a FPS exclusive to the Cube attempts just that.
Yes, it's a FPS and yes, those have been done to death,
but Geist tries very hard to set itself apart from
the pack and while it doesn't succeed with flying
colors, the end result is more satisfying than frustrating.
start the game as our soon to be tragic hero, John
Raimi who is flesh and blood the moment you press
the Start button. The first level of the game provides
the backdrop of the story but only when Raimi is snuffed
out, does the actual quest for knowledge, and thus,
the real gameplay, begin.
a ghost or Geist as the German call them, Raimi must
search the evil Volks Corporation for answers that
pertain to both his dire situation and ones that are
far more important on a global scale. Since the pix
on the back of the box detail that familiar FPS viewpoint
complete with weapon of mass destruction, you'd be
forgiven if you thought that firearms would be your
main mode of defense. That's partially true except
that as Raimi in spirit form, you will need to possess
humans to gain access to their guns. You'll also learn
that you can possess animals and inanimate objects
as well - and as boring as possessing a ladder seems
in real life, it can pay off big time in a creative
game like Geist.
beings cannot be easily taken over, so you will have
to scare the daylights out of them first. Unfortunately,
while this mechanic transcends the usual FPS fare,
it's far too linear and scripted to really sink your
teeth into. Most of the time you'll have to possess
inanimate objects and make them misbehave which sets
off a chain reaction of fear, allowing you to finally
possess them. Some of the puzzles in the game require
some forethought to figure out how to do this, but
once you put two and two together a couple of times,
the entire equation becomes as transparent as Raimi
spirit form Raimi has to keep his life force filled
by continually possessing humans or feeding off plants
(I don't get that one either
maybe that's why
all of my plants die even though I water them regularly).
Since boundaries are a natural part of videogames,
Raimi won't even have all of the usual powers you'd
associate with a spirit. He can't walk through walls
(unless there is a gap in them) and he can't float
high into the air for some reason. So in essence,
it's like he's a bonafied FPS hero who can take possession
of people and objects. If he COULD do all of this,
the game would have required far more attention, planning
and design. As it stands, the limitations forced upon
the player's abilities seem to exist for the sole
purpose of artificially elongating gameplay. For example
since Raimi can't go through any wall he wants, he
will need to figure out how to gain access into various
sectors of the complex. It's not that this kind of
gameplay isn't expected; it certainly is, but it would
have been far more creative if developers N-Space
would have removed the shackles that bind Raimi's
visuals run the gamut between impressive and shoddy,
mostly due in part to the inconsistent framerate when
too many enemies appear onscreen. For the most part
though Geist is an above average GameCube game in
terms of overall prettiness, due to surprisingly detailed
environments and lots of cool dynamic lighting effects.
The game sports voiceovers and text, and I was wondering
why N-Space didn't just commit to using all voice
as it would have been far more impressionable. Musically
Geist is very solid and the soundtrack helps to capture
the games most suspenseful moments.
you don't see a lot of this these days, N-Spaced created
some very imaginative multi-player games that completely
compliment Geist's supernatural premise. The only
drawback to these modes is that they must be played
in 4 player split-screen which I have never been fond
of, but that's a moot point if you and your buds love
it. The modes included are possession deathmatch,
hunt and capture the host. For the friendless among
us, Geist even boasts bots that will flesh out your
multiplayer games if you're friends have currently
ousted you due to your personal hygiene upkeep. With
bots and 4 friends you can have up to 8 players at
once and did I mention that the bots have adjustable
difficulty levels? I didn't? Well then, let me say
that the bots have adjustable difficulty levels.
Geist would take a back seat to bigger name titles
released in November, let me remind you that it's
August and the Cube hasn't really seen any decent
FPS for quite awhile. Certainly Geist isn't perfect
as I suggested, but it is entertaining and will at
least require 8-10 hours on first run through. Toss
in the multiplayer hjinks and you've got a game you
can play with your buds (or alone) till the big blockbusters
start rolling in, in a month or so. Thanks to some
new mechanics tossed into an old (and some would say
dying) genre, Geist delivers a FPS experence that
you've never had before and that definitely counts
when poltergeists used to just throw dishes around
and rearrange the furniture? Those were the good old
days of the paranotsonormal. Get it? Para - not so
- normal? Anyhoo....Everything these days has to get
funkified, jazzercised and exercized...er, make that
exorcised, and Geist - coming your way to the Cube
shortly - isn't exempt from these Hollywood action
play as John Raimi whom, let's just suggest, some
really bad things happen to. Really bad things. Things
like having your soul ripped out of your body. And
you though getting the carts at Wal-Mart sucked. Well
think again, Toobis. As a special agent with disease
control, our tragic hero is on loan to a counter-terrorism
organization and as usual, he's experimented on. That's
where the soul-sucking begins. But luckily Raimi doesn't
die. Oh no, that would be too easy. Instead Raimi
becomes part spirit, part FPS kickass action dude
in search of some body. His body, to be exact.
to grips with your predicament, you'll have to scare
your way around the mysterious Volks Corporations
(punch buggy, no return!) and take possession of humans,
animals and objects during your quest for the truth.
in a lengthy single player adventure as well as 2-4
multiplayer and you might have a title worth investigating.
be getting our hands on a review copy any moment now.
In fact, StewXX has probably beaten the darn thing.
Stay tuned for our full review.
the hallways, labs and chambers of a shadowy compound,
an unseen power is lurking.
a ghostly Spectral Operative, players must search
for a physical body, which is mysteriously being kept
alive somewhere in the enormous complex. Players won't
always be alone though--as they explore, they must
collect the energies of indigenous spirits to help
unravel a mystery and build their own power. Some
will help ... but beware, for not all the spirits
are friendly. Prepare for a first-person adventure
with a spectral twist!
are John Raimi, a disease-control agent with the federal
government, on loan to an elite counterterrorism unit.
Your team is sent to investigate the shadowy Volks
Corporation. When the operation goes horribly wrong,
you are captured and subjected to a ghastly experiment
that rips your spirit from your physical body. You
now roam the halls of the Volks Corporation compound
as a spectral phantom, using your powers to scare
and possess any human or animal that crosses your
path. If youre going to have any hope of finding
your own body, you must employ your hair-raising power
of possession to control humans, animals and objects,
using the unique abilities of each to explore the
compound, solve puzzles and strike at your enemies.
Along the way, you must discover the secret of the
Volks Corporation to unravel the mystery of your condition
and find a way to recover your human form.
the compound as a ghost, then possess more than
a dozen unique character types using their weapons,
equipment, skills, and even memories, to complete
range from soldiers with guns to dog- and mouse-like
creatures that can perform specialized physical
different characters and see the world in different
through the human world virtually unseen, using
your abilities to slip through cracks, interfere
with electronics, move objects and more. Face challenges
from two unique angles--as a possessed human or
a lurking spirit hunting its prey.
for death matches with the dead in all-new multiplayer
modes that combine first-person combat with unique
ghost and possession mechanics.
Release: Aug 2005
Players: 1 - 4
Preview By Vaughn
(OUT OF 5)