Is it beast, or is it man?
The GoodHunter Hunted
is an excellent platform game from Sierra On-Line
, creators of their famous “Quest” adventure games. It was created in 1996, at the time where the platform genre was replaced by first-person shooters and Tomb Raider
clones. Specifically designed for Windows, Hunter
is an attempt to resurrect the genre that was replaced by first-person shooters on the PC.
In the late 20th century, a technically superior race of brutal alien warriors invaded earth and killed off five billion humans in a matter of days. Those that survived the massacre were enslaved by the "Masters." Only the strongest, fastest, and smartest of these slaves leaned to endure. For entertainment, the Masters forced chosen slave fighters, satirically called "Hunters", to kill or be killed in dark, lethal arenas deep in the bowels of the decimated cities. But it is not only the Hunters that the Masters were interested in. Several beasts on the planet Kullrathe were also captured. The two races are placed in a concentration camp where they are forced to play the Masters' deadly “Hunter Hunted” game – a game of survival.
, you play both the human (Jake) and the beast (Garathe Den). There are sixty-five levels in the game. In each of the levels, you have to complete a series of tasks before you get to the exit door. These include getting a part to your getaway car, finding objects, and destroying enemies. Some of the later levels have a strict time limit. If you exceed this time limit, you have to restart the level.
The enemies include turrets, security droids, molotov cactuses, chaos creeper, manta rays, bruisers, chameleons, and even Jake and Garathe Den themselves. These enemies are well designed and look good. The bruiser looks like the ED-209 unit from RoboCop
. The chameleons can camouflage themselves and you sometimes have difficulty spotting them. The weapons differ between Jake's and Garathe Den's. They both can use grenades, but after that, each of the characters have different weapons which may or may not pack a punch depending on what weapon is used to blast away an enemy. There are hazards to look out for, including fire and pools of acid. The latter which when you step into, you keep getting poisoned unless you find an anti-venom pack.
The graphics made me feel that I was walking through a city. I enjoyed passing through (and getting a good look) at apartment blocks, movie theaters, nightclubs, and cocktail bars. All throughout some levels, there are windows which allow you to have a peek at inaccessible hallways, laboratories, discos, and outside areas where helicopters spy on you. I once evened passed through the infamous “Wheel of Fortune”.
The animations are quite neat. Garathe Den just looks cool running around and jumping all over the place. When you enter a doorway, the camera zooms in and out as Jake or Garathe Den goes between hallways. The way that both characters opens the exit door and goes through looks nice. As far as I know, I saw no such animation in other games.
The puzzles often require you to push walls that open up into passages containing the item that you need, flipping switches to open up additional passages, and the most important of all, finding the key that opens the right door. Every time you enter a new level, you get taunted by the Masters, in an attempt to make you retreat and go back the way you came. I like the sound effects, particularly the ones that Garathe Den makes. You can actually hear him walking up and down the passage, as if just walking is too much for him. When you drop him into a pool of acid, he says “Poison. Bad.”, and when you get his health increased, he says “Mmm... good”.
I really don't like the game's structure. You play Jake and Garathe Den in random order. If you have previously played either character, and there is one that you don't want to play again, then tough. You just have to put up with them for the rest of the game. I preferred if HH
had two separate episodes, one for Jake, and the other for Garathe Den.
The game gets difficult in later levels. Four or five different enemies can kill you at once, and you will often find yourself running out of ammo and health more quickly. To avoid the enemies, you have to hide in the shadows every five seconds, waiting for the moment in which there is no fire so that you can put a bullet into an enemy.
The Bottom Line
In Hunter Hunted
, you play a beast and a human who must complete a series of tasks before you can exit the level. There are 65 levels with the difficulty ranging from easiest to hardest, and each level takes roughly ten minutes to complete. You have to flip switches in order to access secret passages, and obtain keys and open the right doors with them. The animations and graphics are good. The game alternates between the two characters, and doesn't allow you to play as them separately. I enjoyed playing as Garathe Den. He can run very fast and jump higher than Jake. I also enjoyed the way he talks. His weapons are also mean. If you like platform games with attitude, then this game is worth a try, especially if you like to go around killing shit.