|Release date:||5 December 2003|
Studio Cambridge's supernatural action-adventure wafts onto the PS2 this winter; it's time to hunt or be haunted...
Following the adventures of Lazarus Jones on his first day on the Detroit Police Force, Ghosthunter sees the plucky rookie called in to investigate a disturbance in an old abandoned school, the scene of a grisly (and ultimately unsolved) mass-murder. Heading out with his senior partner Anna Steele, Lazarus sets off on what he believes is a routine call but, in the true spirit of survival horror, it's not long before the crime-bothering duo are knee-deep in ectoplasm.
After much bickering between the pair, Jones somehow inadvertently sets free a horde of ghosts contained in the school's secret paranormal research lab. An errant apparition materialises, grabs Anna, and drags her away with him to a dark, eerie place (the school canteen, perhaps?). One of the wayward spooks (Astral) also manages to 'bond' with Jones, giving him the gift of supernatural sight, allowing him to see dead people. Nice. Picking up the reins as Laz, you'll start out in search of Anna, and attempt to figure out the mysteries buried deep in the school's past along the way...
The ghost-hunting action begins in earnest when you set about searching the derelict building's many rooms and corridors in search of Anna, and encounter some of the school's more 'permanent' pupils along the way. It's a case of 'hunt or be haunted', which means it's time to crack open the heavy weaponry. In addition to the standard issue pistol and shotgun (which work on partially-materialised spooks), you'll have access to some altogether more specialised equipment for snaring the more wraith-like ghosts. There's a Spectral Lasso for draining ghostly energy, a Pulse Rifle that runs off spectral energy, and a weapon developed by the military called a 'Techno Gun'. All very handy for reining in any fugitive phantoms you happen upon.
Once you've got the hang of ensnaring the eerie residents of the school, with a little coaching from 'Digital Richmond' - a computer-generated character created by the school's disgraced professor - you'll head off to various locations around the world in search of more spooks to capture. You'll encounter everything from World War II soldiers to ghostly prison guards and the lost souls of murdered little children. And, like all the best survival horrors, Ghosthunter contains some of the most bloodcurdling, pant-wettingly chilling in-game sounds you're likely to shiver along to in a good long while. Disembodied moans and ghostly cries of 'help us' will have you covered in goosebumps, cowering behind the settee in abject terror in no time. But of course, none of this would be quite so effective (not to mention damned scary) if it wasn't for the exceptional graphics Ghosthunter is wrapped up in. Studio Cambridge's previous labour of love, Primal, featured beautifully atmospheric environments and jaw-dropping lighting effects, and these techniques have been used again here to great effect. Blending stealth, action and seamless gameplay with hauntingly beautiful graphics, Ghosthunter breathes new life into the survival horror genre.
- Get to grips with Lazarus' high-tech weaponry for blasting ghosts, including the Spectral Lasso, Pulse Rifle and Techno Gun
- Gain additional abilities through the spirit Astral
- Stunning cinematic cut-scenes and beautifully rendered ghosts
- A blend of stealth, action and story-driven adventure