Combining genres is something that is very difficult to do in any entertainment medium, especially the video games industry. While the very process of combining gameplay styles is a difficult process, it’s hard to predict what is going to and not going to work. With this knowledge I would like to give my respect to Black Ops for trying to combine fighting games with first person shooters in their new game Fugitive Hunter. I would also like to smack whoever directed this game as well, for killing a potentially promising idea with terrible execution, and for making me waste around 10 hours of my life on terrible mediocre gameplay that would feel more at home on a 989 game.
The game’s basic concept is that you’re a member of a secret American organization that (gasp!) hunts fugitives. As a member of this organization you’re given your target and then sent off into a hostile area in order to capture the person. To get to your target you must lay waste to all that come in your path via basic FPS gameplay. When you get to your target though, the game switches into a fighting game (since you need to capture your fugitive alive).
This concept would of made for a fine game had Black Ops really taken time in crafting their fighting or shooting engines. Instead, we’re stuck with your run-of-the-mill FPS gameplay that fails to create anything slightly resembling fun. The enemies are dumb as posts, constantly running right into your gunfire. The selection of guns you shoot your foes with isn’t very engrossing either, as you’re given mainly the basic guns you would find in any FPS…and thats it. You can also tell that the levels weren’t exactly a labor of love for Black Ops either. Each environment in the game is extremely stereotypical, boring, repetive, and utterly linear.
When you’re done working your way through these levels you get to the fighting sections…which aren’t exactly lights at the end of the tunnels. The fighting is incredibly boring, relying more on how fast you can button-mash than how well you can pull off the moves provided to you through the game’s limited move list.
The graphics and audio don’t help matters much. All of the character models look okay, with a decent number of polygons, but once they start moving the game’s stilted animation rears its ugly head. The environments aren’t any better, as they’re dimly lit and look like a painting that had water dumped on it. The audio is decent, featuring nothing terrible but nothing really noteworthy either. The gun blasts and screams sound fitting, but they don’t make you cringe in the way that the sound effects from Medal of Honor do. Music is electronic and underwhelming, doing nothing to immerse you in the game further.
One really cool thing about the game is that you get to hunt down Osama Bin Laden. The only thing is that not killing him is really difficult. But it is fun to track him down, something most of us would relish doing.
Fugitive Hunter is a great example of how a cool-sounding concept can be destroyed by bad development. Unless you really want the thrill of grabbing Osama, there are much better titles to spend your cash on.
Developers: Black Ops
Platforms: PlayStation 2