Coming as the sequel to the somewhat middling original, Headhunter: Redemption sees the return of Jack Wade to the streets, with his apprentice Leeza X. To set you up, I’ll relate some of the storyline: after the devastation of the Bloody Mary virus, the world becomes divided into those Above, and the filth below. Sound familiar? Sound a bit like Demolition Man? You got it. Combine that with the Headhunters who enforce the law - Jack Wade on his bike not unlike, well Judge Dredd. He’s sort of a one-man army, like Rambo. There’s no boxing, so I’m certain this isn’t a Sylvester Stallone tribute. There is a strange relationship between the two main characters, like Tango and Cash, and Jack Wade has a touch of Marion Cobretti about him.
Right the game. It’s difficult to get into the beginning of the game, because of the 15 minutes of story. In my opinion, it’s a classic faux pas of game developers to make a short film to open a game. Sitting through 15 minutes of garbage with various breaks to load more is not fun. Five minutes would have covered it. However, once you are past all that, it’s not too bad.
Control is relatively simple and there is a basic training level at the beginning. You get a range of options out of the Headhunter’s IRIS chip, a sort of heads up display. The IRIS viewer will scan the area and identify interesting things, meaning you can zoom in on objects in the distance, and find out what they are, like mines. Aiming is mostly intelligent, i.e., it gets the target area for you, but you can still choose what you want to shoot at. Shooting is always popular, and the ammo loadouts have been kept realistic here, so reloading breaks become something you do need to think about before you go blasting away.
The two characters do behave a little differently, with Jack’s aim being better. There is the provision to use stealth in the game, but you really don’t need to - the emphasis seems to be on action, and there are a range of weapons to fulfil that need. There is also the driving side to the game on the motorbikes. A great buzz at high speeds. SEGA have brought in Richard Jacques to provide the score for the game, which comes across well, but again, makes you wonder if this is a game or a movie wannabe.
The first impressions in this game are not good, with the long introduction and the somewhat familiar plotline. Once you're playing, it's ok, but really not that exciting. There are many games out there running the same ideas. This version is just a little less original, and a little less dynamic than the competitors. The original Headhunter game was somewhat overlooked, and Redemption has been designed to correct that. I'm just not convinced it has what it takes to see off the opponents