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Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter
Preview By: Siou Choy
Developer:  Warthog
Publisher:  Black Label Games
Genre:  FPS
Est. Release:  6-19-03
Posted:  6-3-03

Forget about you, the environment, and me; the future isn’t a great place for Mace Griffin (you have to know where your priorities lie, after all).  Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter takes place about 100 years in a future wherein mankind has spread its corporate plague to even more parts of our poor galaxy.  Just like in real life, the greedy, soulless bastards are running out of things (and people) to exploit here, so it’s off to space for new markets to plunder for resources.  Space pirates and renegades do their best to keep the suit-and-ties in line, but generally provide no more annoyance than another pimple on a certain corporate-sponsored political figure’s ass.  As a member of the peacekeeping unit popularly known as “the Rangers” (funny, the last thing I’d associate with NY Rangers fans is peace), Mace Griffin did his best to keep things “under control” for the status quo.  But during the game’s first mission, Mace is forced to reassess his priorities (and loyalties), when he gets set up and convicted of murdering his fellow Rangers, and winds up sent up the river for a decade.  On his release, Mace turns his back on the whole “law and order” bag and sets out for revenge, scoring funds as a bounty hunterAnd this is where you come in.  And here I thought “Bounty hunter” meant you played as Nancy (“Rosie”) Walker, searching for that last roll of paper towels to clean up all that spilled truck driver coffee at 3am.

Providing the voice of Mace Griffin is former Black Flag singer, spoken word artist and Rollins Band frontman, Henry Rollins (hmm…Hank seems to be relishing the cop roles lately.  Can you say “Police Story”?).  

Gameplay in Mace Griffin is a mix of first person shooter and space flight simulator.  You get to pilot several space crafts throughout the game between individual missions (sort of like Bebop without a central ship to reconnoiter to).  The rest of the game takes place in the FPS mode.  Mace Griffin is supposed to be open formatted, allowing for a great deal of interaction with your surrounding environments (such as the ability to duck and hide behind objects). 

Graphically, Mace Griffin looks as good as any other FPS on the market (for what that’s worth).  Character models are nicely done for one of these jobs, and we’re told that Warthog is “making use of the latest technology” as bump maps.  Whatever.

Certain missions will be randomly generated.  These don’t affect the story to any great degree, but do help your wallet by providing you with money for successful completion (in other words, nab the guy and bag the bounty; i.e., what passes for your day job here).  Much like Parasite Eve 2, money from these jobs can be used for supplies like ammo and weapons, or to upgrade your current one.  Naturally, when you progress further into the game, these random missions will become less important, as you’re provided with missions that actually further the story.  So it’s your standard putz around and level up before you can do anything substantive deal.  Gee, think video game manufacturers are trying to teach us some backhanded lesson about life here?

Gamers with friends and some semblance of a life will be disappointed to know that there is no multiplayer mode in Mace Griffin, so the storyline will have to suffice. Replay value is cut a great deal due to this oversight; a surprising one as this option is a FPS standard, and is in fact what gamers seem to enjoy most about the genre.

Mace Griffin Bounty Hunter is being developed by Warthog and is expected for release on Xbox and PS2 on June 19th, and on September 2nd for GameCube and PC.

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