|Violence, Blood and Gore
| The Good
Space flight combat levels break up gameplay
Looks pretty good
| The Bad
Long and frequent load times
Mace Griffin was set up and sent to prison for ten years.
Previously before his stint in the space slammer, he was part
of a peacekeeping corps that helped police in outer space.
But, once his team of rangers got wasted, he was sent to prison.
Once out, he's become bitter and wants revenge. Sounds like
the perfect recipe for Mace to get a job as a bounty hunter,
Mace Griffin's gameplay is by and large your standard
futuristic FPS, not unlike Halo or
Red Faction, where players are
sent to a variety of space-bound or alien locations to shoot
their way to the source of one objective or another. You control
Mace by using the two analog sticks and can use primary and
secondary fire on most weapons. You're given the standard
set of abilities (crouch, jump, swap weapons) to augment your
run-and-gun take on the game. While the controls are not completely
customizable, you can alter the schemes enough to get what
you want out of them. Fans of Halo will immediately
recognize the energy bar in your HUD, which acts as your shields.
Apparently, this has become the standard for futuristic FPS,
so if you like being able to recharge your shields undercover,
Mace Griffin will make you happy in this aspect.
Ultimately, Mace Griffin is linear, and excessively
so. Levels are placed before you with a "get from point
A to point B" mentality, with next to no options in how
you get there. In most locations, there is almost always one
door that will open, while other paths are locked and unavailable.
Along with that is the fact that your enemies aren't all that
smart. When you enter a room, some will snipe at you from
cover, but most will come charging into your line of fire.
Gamers with any common sense will just stand by the doorway
or a set of stairs and mow down enemies as they come charging
at you. Luckily, you have a variety of space-age weapons at
your disposal to make the room-by-room slaughter more effective.
To break up the shooter action are space fight levels, reminiscent
of Colony Wars to some degree. The seamless transition
from ground to space is nicely done and the dogfights do serve
to give a change of pace to the linear shooter portion of
the game. While the space fighter engine may not be overly
deep for those heavy in the genre, it does serve well as an
addition to the main gameplay. My only complaint would stem
from a design decision in which most of the objects in space
have a blue tint, making the blue firing reticule very had
to see at times.
Visually, Mace Griffin is a pretty good package. There's
a lot of fine detail here and the lighting and gun animations
(especially the reloading) are a guilty pleasure to watch.
Locations do have a good bit of detail and there is some variety
from place to place, but the enemy and NPC models could use
a lot more variety. At times, you feel like you're killing
the same enemies over and over again and there needs to be
better definition between ally and enemy.
Audio-wise, Mace Griffin is for the most part, adequate.
The voice acting, while stiff, manages to deliver the story
well enough to keep from feeling second-rate. Henry Rollins
as Mace is only good at filling in the story as needed but
seems incapable of evoking anything near to emotion. Both
the soundtrack and sound effects are finely realized and add
a needed heft to the action. The only other complaint I would
have is the a audio glitches I ran into here and there.
Along with what's already been stated, Mace Griffin
suffers from a number of other nagging issues. First and foremost,
there are ridiculous amounts of load times littered all over
the place. So much so that it breaks up any flow the game
has over the long haul. Throw in some useless weapons, like
the overly bouncy grenades, and you'll be sticking with a
few choice weapons throughout the game. And then there's the
fact that the game offers NO multiplayer at all.
In the end, Mace Griffin is a good rental for those
looking for a solid single player experience. If you want
anything more than that, skip this title as it fails to deliver
anything that you can't already find elsewhere.