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Developer:
High Voltage Software
Publisher: Vivendi Universal Games
Platform: PS2
Release Date: September 9, 2003

by Sam Gove




Hunter: The Reckoning Wayward is a Baldur's Gate-style action game for the PlayStation 2. Wayward is actually a sequel to the original Hunter: The Reckoning that was released for the Xbox and GameCube. Players will once again take on the role of the "Hunters" from the original game and battle their way through the evil that inhabits Ashcroft.


The story in Wayward takes place a few years after the events of the original Hunter: The Reckoning. This time around, the town of Ashcroft has been seized by a cult, and zombies and other creatures are running rampant. Because of this, an unknown hunter reaches out to the original cast, asking for help against these new threats.


When Hunter: The Reckoning Wayward begins, players are able to choose from a list of four playable characters, each of which is somewhat different from the others. In terms of stats and abilities, characters are unique in their own ways. While one character might rely on their massive strength to defeat the enemies, another might use their speed or their great magic powers.


The combat in Wayward consists of characters using both melee attacks and ranged attacks. While characters might wield different weapons than one another, the combat is actually pretty much identical from one character to another. Melee attacks consist of pressing the R1 button over and over again, and can also consist of using combos by timing it quick enough. Well, that's what the game says, but really all players have to do is press it over and over again really fast. There really isn't much strategy to it because anyone can do it. Ranged attacks are used by pressing the R2 button. After players defeat different zombies and other enemies, they gain a certain amount of experience. When the character reaches a set number, they will earn an increase in either stats, magic power, or an entirely new magic spell.


Speaking of magic spells, these are known as "edges," but I'll continue to call them magic spells. Anyway, characters start the game with one spell and after leveling up enough they will either gain more or increase the power of those spells. The game features a wide variety of spells, including healing, attack magic, speed enhancements, freezing enemies, and some that will even cause your enemies to not attack that character for a period of time. The game features a total of fifteen different magic spells, some of which can only be mastered by certain characters.


Wayward also features a wide variety of other weapons located throughout levels. Most of these weapons include some sort of firearms, such as shotguns, machine guns, and so on. But there are also some other weapons such as flamethrowers and chainsaws. Any character can equip these weapons, as long as they find them.


The overall presentation of Wayward isn't too shabby, but it's not exactly anything to brag about either. Of course, the game is a few years old now. While I didn't so much mind the characters during actual gameplay, I wasn't too fond of the cinematics. There aren't too many of them, but I didn't like how a few of the characters looked. They just looked... a little odd. The sound wasn't too bad either. There really isn't very much voice acting, but what there was is done fairly well. Can't really say that the background music was anything memorable, but I did like some of the sounds from the zombies and other enemies.


In the original Hunter: The Reckoning, the game was able to support four players, but Wayward only can hold up to two. While the multiplayer in Wayward can be fun, the real problem is the solo mode. Of course, most games are more fun when played with a friend, but Wayward is one of those games that shouldn't be played unless with a friend. Playing solo is very repetitive and after a short time becomes very dull and boring.


All in all, Hunter: The Reckoning Wayward isn't one of the best games, nor one of the most entertaining games out on the market. However, it is a decent multiplayer game that you and a friend can probably enjoy spending a few hours of your time with.


Final Grade: 71%




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