First Person AdventurePlayers:
M (Mature)Written by:
I don't know what you have heard about Geist, but I am here to set the record straight; Geist is a pretty awesome game.
It doesn't get much better than scaring your enemies, possessing them, and then going to town on their friends. Not only is the story mode good, but the multiplayer is what really sets the game off, with its originality and entertainment.
The first thing is the graphics. I have been hearing people complain about them or something, and I would have to say I disagree. The graphics are fine. Sure, they are not at the scale as a Half-Life 2 or anything, but they are suitable. And there are a lot of really nice effects in Geist. For instance, the coloring is very nice, especially in some scenes and when you are in ghost form. There are a few other nice touches along the way. The point is, n-Space did a nice job, but of course it could've amped up the graphics a bit more, but no worries, for they are fine the way they are.
And there is this one scene that really stands out. You are in this virtual world, and it starts getting glitchy, so it reverts from "real life" to wire framing stuff. It's a really nice effect; pretty cool stuff.
Another complaint is the controls. Again, that's one of the worst complaints ever. The controls are very simple and intuitive. "A" is the action button, used to open doors, press switches, and possess things; "B" is used to depossess said objects; "R" is your fire button, while "Z" is secondary fire; "L" is used for your characters special move, such as jumping, crouching, or sprinting; "X" is reload or holster weapon; and the d-pad is used to bring up the map, objectives, and your progress. It is very simple. And also the axis and turning and what not is smooth.
Let's talk about some gameplay shall we. While in the ghost form, time actually slows down, so you move around the world faster, which comes into play at certain points in the game. Also, as a ghost, you can't open doors or press switches, so that is taken into account. To get from room to room, you must find either a body to possess, or a slip in a wall. Don't worry, slips are very noticeable. Also, you will slowly lose health as a ghost, so you must either "eat" plants or possess an object or host. And as a ghost, you can float as your special move.
A rift in the wall. Let's see where it goes...
In order to possess a person, you must scare them first. You can tell if they are scared because they have an aora around them. White means they are normal, yellow is a little bit scared, and red is very scared and possessable. Scaring people to possess them doesn't get old or anything, but the way in which you do it is very formulated and pre-written. In that, I mean that you can't really experiment and try new things. You HAVE to scare a certain person in a particular way by possess a certain item at a specific time. So there is no real room for improve, although it's not always easy to figure out what you have to possess in order to scare said person. It's always fun to do so as well.
See, he's red. Possess him. Bwhahaha
And the whole idea of possessing things is really cool, and the way it flows is sweet. I mean, you have to possess the ladder to make it fall to scare the guy to the fire extinguisher; and then you possess the extinguisher and blow the hose to scare the guy and then you can possess him. Or, you have to possess the dog's food to scare him, so you can possess him to scare the rats so you can possess them to fit through the hole in the wall to continue. It's cool like that, and how you figure things out and everything. I like it. Geist isn't all bang-bang or anything. There is a lot of emphasis on exploring and experimenting with things to figure out the correct way in doing something in order to continue. Another cool feature of possessing people, is that you can sometimes see their past memories, in order to help you of course. It's just another nice touch.
The possession scenes are cool. Everytime you possess someone, you go into a little scene and o it a different, cool way. Although, they do get a little repetitive, especially if you accidently depossess someone and need to repossess him. No, you don't work for the Repo men, silly.
And so you've possessed a person. It could be an engineer, who can gain access to certain areas, or a guard with a gun to blow everyone away, or another character like that is necessary in aquiring in order to continue. Each character has a certain "special" ability, usually being either to run, jump, or crouch. The variety of guns are nice, but I'll get into that in the multiplayer section. However, each character can only have one gun, so that is unique. Also, you don't have to worry about ammo, since you more or less have infinite ammo, except with projectiles.
And as a human, you can open doors and everything, but just don't let the other guards find out you are possessed, or they will turn on you. In fact, there are "ghost stations" where, if you pass through, you will be detected as a ghost. Just shoot to kill; good times. A really nice touch they added in, is that when you push a switch or something, you actually see the guys arm going over to grab and press the button and everything. That is a VERY nice touch that you don't see too much. It's the little things that really immerse you in the experience.
See, it's like...YOU are pushing the button. It's craziness.
Let me just say this here, if you don't know. Geist isn't exactly a first person shooter. It's an adventure game, so you are shooting about 50% of the time, and exploring and solving cool puzzles the other half. Not to say that the shooting parts aren't good or anything, just to reiterate that it isn't a typical FPS. You aren't just shooting everything you see, although you do do that a lot...hehe.
But hey, it's not all exploring. Sometimes, you just gotta blow everyone away.
The enemy variety is also very good, and this plays into the story as well. I am not a big story buff, but I really enjoyed Geist's. It is different and throws in some curve balls and everything. The theme also seems to change from time to time. For instance, at first, you are just fighting guards and things in order to retrieve some data and other things. Then you learn about this conspiracy to take over the world and you try to combat that. Then, all these nasty creatures and bug-like enemies appear and you have this whole story about crazy things and all this. In fact, the game gets a bit spooky, almost scary...I wasn't expecting that, but that little Gigli girl or whoever is just creepy.....So, the story is very immersive and interesting, and the enemies are nice and varied.
Awww, kill it, kill it!!! The bosses are all pretty sweet, but a little unvaired...Oh wells, still fun and cool nontheless.
The levels are a bit long, but they are split into stages so it's not so bad, since you can save your progress at anytime, although you will start back at the last stage you completed.
The physics are sweet. Sure, they may not be the best or even realistic, but when you blow someone up, you blow them up. I mean, they will go flying in the air; it's pretty sweet; especially if you do it by possessing a crate. Yeah, so you possess a crate; then blow it up, and are sent back to your ghost form, where time slows down, so you see them slowly flying in the air....so friggin' sweet. Or when you get the rocket launcher and just blow people across the room. I love it.
Another cool miscellaneous thing is the easter eggs. There are a few cool ones out there, like Samus' helmet, or a GCN; just cool little tid bits.
There's also this little log that is actually pretty cool. It keeps basic stats, like the percentage of objects and people you've possessed. Then you can look to see which level they are in and if you missed any and get little bios and information on the people and stuff. It's cool.
Also, above your health bar and ammo, there is a little character of yourself. It's cool, nothing special, but again, it's the little things. He or she or it will do what you are doing. So if you are running, it will run in place, or crouching, it'll crouch, or if you are shooting, it will also have it's gun out and shoot to show you what you are doing. It's pretty nifty.
Just one of the mini-characters you will see. Also, arrows come up to show where enemy fire is coming from; very useful.
Another thing is that you can replay levels anytime you like, which is pretty useful for a few reasons. Namely, because there are hidden items in the game that unlock stuff. There are items you find as either a ghost or a host; someone or something that is possessed. The ghost items increase your ghost form's health, while the host items unlock multiplayer options, namely levels and characters.
Giest only has a few flaws, namely being it's AI. The other thing is its voice overs. Some voices are kind of lame, and don't seem to express the right emotion. The other problem is that if it's outside of a cutscene, there is no vo, so you have to read, which isn't bad, but you would've thought they could've added in some vo. Another thing that is annoying, is that when you do talk to someone, they always greet you with a vo. For instance, "Ma'am" "Sir" "Yes?", and so forth, so if you talk to a group of people while being in the same host, you will continue to get that annoying salutation.
Some crummy dialogue...meh.
But with the AI, it's just not the best. However, it isn't horrible. The worst of the AI is in the human enemies. All the non-human enemies, such as the bugs and other objects, turrent guns, are fine. The humans though, not too great. The main problem with them is that they will just stand in one spot, and never move. So you can hide behind and a corner and sneak out and shoot a guy, and then duck back in and reload, and the guy won't budge. So that is kind of lame, but it doesn't really bother me that much. That's the worst part about Geist. If they would've spent just a little more time on the AI and on graphics, even though they aren't bad by any means, then this would be a STUNNING game, although it is already amazing.Multiplayer
There are three modes, which isn't a lot, but should satisfy any needs you may have.
Now the modes is what makes Geist's multiplayer so unique and fun. You have possession deathmatch, which is where you just possess a body and kill the others; Capture the Host, which is my person favorite, where you possess a body and bring it to the base to score a point; and Hunt, where it is ghost versus man.
Let me talk about the setup and how things work, and then I'll get into the modes more. You see, you start out as a ghost, and you must possess a human, who will just be this inanimate object standing around waiting for you. So you glide over to one and possess it and then you can kill everyone else, as long as they have possessed a body as well. Now, each person you possess only has one weapon, so you don't have to worry about picking up weapons, or even ammo for that matter. Again, the only ammo that is limited is the projectiles, like your rocket launcher rockets and grenade shots from this one gun. So there is some strategy there, in selecting who to possess. All the characters do just jump though, so that is good, since you can jump.
If you don't like your guy, then you can just depossess him and move on to the next. However, if you do choose to depossess your man, that guy who is just standing there, has 3 seconds of vulnerability, meaning that anyone can just walk by and blow him to heck and get a point, so be careful.
There are also powerups scattered throughout each level. They include health, shield, speed boost, high jump, and my favorite, hi-jack >:]. With hi-jack, you can steal someone's body. So, if someone has possessed a body, and you are a ghost and pick up hi-jack, you can steal it from them, mwahahahah. However, there is also a power up to prevent you from getting hi-jacked, so that is good. Hi-jacking can lead to some fun.
But on to the modes. With Capture the Host, again, you have to possess a body and bring it to the "base" and depossess him to gain a point. You also gain an extra point for everyone you kill while in that body. However, if you have killed someone, and then get killed, your points go floating around the stage for anyone to pick up. So there is strategy there in knowing when to quit killing people and collect your points. There are some other options you can set, such as adding a key to the level, where you have to have the key in order to get into the base to get your points; or making the base pad, which is really is, a pad, alternate colors, so you can only score when it is your team's color.
This is where the hi-jack is a bit of fun. You can be evil with it and camp out at the base pad and wait for an opponent to walk up. Then you simply hi-jack him and depossess the body at the pad to get the points, mwhahah. That's evil tip #1.
The other special mode is Hunt. In this mode, you choose two teams; one of ghosts and the other of humans. The humans try to kill the ghosts with special guns, unique to this mode since you cannot kill ghosts in the others, while the ghosts try to possess the humans and make them go into booby traps to kill them. Team work is needed on the humans side, and it is actually pretty cool how this works. If you are a human and get possessed, you lose a lot of your control. However, you can press "A" repidiately to get free and boot the ghost, or you can fire a smoke grenade to get rid of him, if you get in the smoke that is. So, a team mate could actually fire the grenade at you to help you out, which is what the computer will actually often do. It's just neat to see that team work.
Evil hi-jack tip #2: Like I said with the enemy AI grouping in twos. Hehe, just hijack the follower with the shotty and take out the leader. Hehe, he never even sees it coming. Oh yeah, while you are a human, you cannot see the ghosts.....
And no, you don't just possess people. You can also possess explodible crates. Heheh, they never see that one coming. Also, you can possess mounted turrent guns and go to town. Ewww, you can also possess these missles, and fly them around the level and blow someone up. It's just so ingenious. I love it.
Some all out brawlage going down right der.
There aren't that many levels to start off with, but like I said, you can unlock a lot more, and they are really good. The levels are sweet and very well designed. I mean...they are good, and they get very large, with elevators and vents and all kinds of stuff. This is greatly added to once you unlock some special characters like bats and rats that help you get to special areas to possess even more special characters. Very smart.
Also, the weapons are sweet. From your standard machine gun, to your wicked shotgun, rocket launcher, and sniper rifle. Then you have your proximity mines and another automatic weapon with a grenade launcher as its secondary fire. The weapons are nice and all nicely devastating.
It's frantic and what not. As you can see, a little message comes up on screen saying who killed who, or who scored how many points.
The only real bad thing about the mutiplayer, is the fact that there is no cross hairs or anything, so that makes the sniper rifle kind of...meh, since the secondary fire is zoom, but it doesn't work out all too well.
If you can't tell, I love the multiplayer, and so does everyone else who has played the game. It is truly fabulous and unique and fun to play. It's just so smart, and the hi-jacks...awwww man, those things are sweet to mess people up with. It's just amazing. I love it.
And I was suprised at how much I enjoyed the story mode. I mean, the reviews in magazines just tear up the game and rip on it, but I don't know what they were playing...It's all together a very solid game, that is very unique and entertaining and brings together the modes and abilities very nicely. Great game. Buy it.7.8/
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