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Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter PC CD-ROM

Published by Vivendi Universal Games
Developed by Warthog
Released - Out Now
Price : £29.99

What is so appealing about futuristic bounty hunters? Present day ones are labeled assassins or mercenaries but somehow when we think of futuristic bounty hunters it suddenly becomes very interesting. I suppose the film 'The Empire Strikes Back' had a lot to do with it. Darth Vader assembled the bounty hunters to capture Hans Solo and thanks to one in particular, Boba Fett, we had the legendary plot twist when Hans gets frozen in carbonite and we learned the truth about Luke's father. Anyway Star Wars aside futuristic hunters are very interesting characters and this is where Mace Griffin comes in.

Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter, as you may have guessed after the introduction, is set in the future. Several races, Humans, have come to dominate the various solar systems. New planets are constantly being sought out and money grabbing conglomerates are making every effort to claim each planets resources. This fierce, money-motivated rivalry has led to fighting, piracy and smuggling. In an effort to diffuse the situation the government decided to assemble a squad of elite rangers called the Enforcers. However it soon begins to look like there is a traitor amongst the rangers and Mace Griffin (a member of the Enforcers) ends up being framed, and jailed for, the murder of his comrades. On his release he becomes a bounty hunter and vows to find who was responsible for the murder of his comrades.

Basically Mace Griffin is a FPS where you also get to pilot various spacecraft for a bit of dogfighting. This might not sound so brilliant but the fact the transition between the two is so smooth is rather impressive. In total you'll have 13 missions to complete. The game is actually quite challenging and the later levels in particular put up a good challenge. The difficulty is further increased by the inability to save anywhere as the game shows it's console roots by employing a checkpoint save system. Saving the game will save the last checkpoint only. Thankfully though you are notified when you pass a checkpoint. To aid you in your missions you have access to 17 different weapons and 6 different spacecraft.

Mace Griffin might not be the most beautiful FPS out there but it certainly looks good. It is quite heavy in it's requirements though and our PC (Athlon XP2800+, Ti 4200 & 1GB RAM) couldn't manage a decent performance at any resolution above 800x600. The game has some nice effects such as motion blur too but you'll need a hefty system to have this enabled in a high resolution. The general look of the game seems to been influenced by Halo. You even have a recharging shield indicator like the one the Master Chief had in Halo. The space dogfights look good and it's clear to see that the developers have put a lot of hard work into both the FPS and the space combat sides of the game.

Whilst Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter can be regarded as a solid, if not a classic FPS, it is a shame that it isn't subtitled. Tutorial tips appear on the screen in text but none of the plot is conveyed to the deaf gamer. It's not impossible for a deaf gamer but occasionally verbal instructions are given out and a deaf gamer will be at a disadvantage especially as Mace Griffin is slightly more difficult than most FPS games out there. If you are up for a challenging FPS and don't mind missing out on the plot then it might be your thing.

Overall Game Rating: 6.5/10
A good FPS that has a nice amount of space dogfighting thrown in for good measure. However there are difficulties for deaf gamers.

Deaf Gamers comment:
W
ithout subtitles you are not going to be able to follow the plot and you'll also miss out on some important verbal information.