When you have a game like Halo that carried the Xbox for so long with its addictive gameplay and great graphics. It is not surprising that companies would start making games similar to it, to try and capture the glory of Halo. Well Vivendi Universal’s Mace Griffin was just about that, a game trying to re-capture the glory of other games in its genre. With several delays, the game has finally hit store shelves. Was it worth the wait, or should we just look elsewhere?
When we look at the action titles that really make their mark on the game market they usually cannot just rely on the gmeplay to carry the game. In games such as Halo or Metal Gear Solid they not only had superb gameplay but an interesting storyline to go along with it. One of the driving factors of Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter was its heavily driven by its story to try and keep you interested in the game.
The game takes place in the future where people are now starting to live on asteroids (who would have thought) and space police (known as Rangers) are all over the place. You play as Mace Griffin, a former ranger who got the bad end of the stick and now is going after the one who set him up. So throughout the game you will be going through a plot that has a lot of twists and turns but basically just takes ideas from a bunch of other games and throws them into this one title. Unfortunately the story really isn’t anything new or interesting, we have all heard it before (Max Payne anyone?) and it really isn’t thrown at you in a very interesting fashion.
Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter is a game that at the beginning just looks like a normal First Person Shooter but as you get farther and farther through the game you will find that it combines the FPS genre with a Space Shooter. This really sounded like a great idea, because a lot of times we would like a break from the action and experience something else. That was a key factor in Halo, was that you were not always stuck on foot but rather were given vehicles that would make life easier for you.
With there being no multiplayer mode behind Mace Griffin, it was all up to the single player mode to hold the game up. We don’t find this very often anymore, but Vivendi must have had a lot of confidence with its single player mode not to include any multiplayer mode. With that being said looking at the single player mode as being the only mode in the game it doesn’t hold its own very well. Like I have mentioned a few times already we have basically seen everything in this game before, and in most cases we have seen it done better.
One of my key problems with Mace Griffin is that the majority of the game takes place in the boring indoor environments. This means your basically going to have extremely linear progression that doesn’t allow you much time for exploration. One thing I have always thought is that if you are going to make a game in space why not use that to your advantage. We could always have indoor games that take place on Earth but what is so interesting about being in a crowded environment where you can’t really do much of anything.
Playing through Mace Griffin wasn’t a total waste of time. The gameplay was pretty solid but it just doesn’t do much for me. The controls are very nicely mapped on the PS2 controller so there will be little to no learning curve for this one. The enemies in Mace are actually quite smart, they are not the normal “Hey I’m here for target practice” kind of enemies, but instead they actually move around and try to protect themselves.
Overall the gameplay in Mace Griffin is not bad but it just doesn’t do enough for me to really keep my interest. There are times where the game can go and get quite entertaining but then it just seems to retreat back to the basic and rather lackluster world that is Mace Griffin.
The one thing about Mace Griffin that probably impressed me the most out of the whole game would probably have to be the graphics. It’s not that it was a spectacular looking game that will win awards, but it is a game that stays looking good throughout.
Throughout the game you will find that the character models are pretty nicely done. They look pretty sharp with a nice bit of detail placed upon them, as well as just some unique looking characters. There is some lack of anything creative or interesting regarding the characters but it all evens out to looking pretty good. When out in space you will find that the space shooting only looks good for so long. After a few goes at it, it seems to just look pretty lack luster and doesn’t show much detail.
The environments through Mace Griffin aren’t much, but they get the job done. With most of the environments being in doors it seems like all of the environments seem to start looking the same after a while. So the repetitive natures of the environments start to get to you as you get through the game. Overall the graphics are quite average with some good and some bad they equal out to make a not to shabby looking game.
There is so much that could have been done to Mace to have made this a much better title. With things like a multiplayer mode or even a more interesting storyline could have really driven Mace and given it that extra boost I was looking for while playing through the game. But instead Vivendi Universal has brought us a game that basically borrows things from other games and doesn’t do a very good job of using them. There is really not much fun to be had in this one because we have all done it before and it’s not really something we need to do all over again.
Mace Griffin had a lot of potential and I had hoped with all of the delays we would see a solid FPS come out of Vivendi Universal. But instead we find a title that had the basics all lined out but didn’t go past that point. Unless you are dying for a new FPS I would just stick with Red Faction 2 or other FPS on the market.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.