Though I have talked about the first game in the Hunter: The Reckoning trilogy multiple times in the past…in some really old posts from 2013…that haven’t aged the best (please do not seek them out…), I have never given the game a proper, honest review. So without further ado, let’s discuss the Duck’s very first M-rated game, the zombie-infested Hunter: The Reckoning.
Before we continue, please keep in mind that I haven’t played any of these games in over ten years (there is actually a trilogy, with Wayward and Redeemer being the second and third entries in the series, respectively), so my memory is a little fuzzy. I’ll do my best. The reasoning is…the series isn’t that great…most of my copies of the games were used when I bought them and have never worked well…and the one disc that does work well is for an XBox that doesn’t work great anymore, either.
Okay, with that out of the way, time for some backstory. Hunter: The Reckoning is actually based on a role-playing game created by White Wolf. The main idea behind it, as far as I remember, is that certain people can see monsters and the undead for what they really are, typically if they witnessed death or otherwise experienced a traumatic incident. These people go on to become Hunters, who, along with supernatural powers, must rid the world of the monsters no one else believes exist.
In general, the game can be summed up thusly (all three of them can be, to be honest). You can play as one of four characters (five in the other two games, I believe), each with unique weapons and abilities. Abilities range from those that do damage, those that protect or heal those around you, or even abilities that increase your speed. While every character comes equipped with a unique melee and long-range weapon, you can switch between various other weapons, as well, including various guns and chainsaws. You know, the usual zombie-killing fare.
The game has you traveling around various spooky locations, like graveyards, sewers, and a haunted jail, facing zombies, vampires, ghosts, gargoyles, and the like. While I normally enjoy these kinds of things, I must admit that this game can get a bit…boring if played alone. Being one of the few games that I have played both alone and co-op, I can safely say that this game is way more fun when played with other people.
When I used to play this game with friends, I had a blast. Because every Hunter has unique powers, it is so much more fun to have multiple players on your side, allowing everyone in the group to utilize their unique abilities for the good of the team. I was always the Judge, so I was responsible for healing my allies and using Word of Power to clear out a particularly thick horde of foes.
In fact, I had such a good time playing this game with friends that, after moving away, I bought all three games in the trilogy to play on my own. Only to realize that it’s…just not the same. Playing alone means your gameplay experience lacks the camaraderie that comes into play when you have to save your cornered friends from an onslaught of foes…or be saved by them in return.
My final verdict? Hunter: The Reckoning doesn’t really take the horror genre much further than generic zombies, vampires, and werewolves. Nevertheless, when played with friends, it can be fun, challenging, and the multiple, unique characters adds a nice layer of variety and replayability. And even if it’s not the most unique horror experience out there, it will still provide any horror fan with something creepy to play around Halloween time.
Dear readers, are any of you familiar with Hunter: The Reckoning? Do you agree that the game is best experienced with friends, or do you find the game to be perfectly fun when played alone? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.