Our little Kaylie is all grown up! Ten years ago (it seemed like only last year, honestly), we saved the little waif from a gruesome death at the decaying hands of the legions of undead spewing forth from Ashcroft Prison. At the time, Kaylie was a frightened young thing toting around a teddy bear and we, the hunters, escorted her through a horrific graveyard to the safety of the church where her parents waited.
How could we have known that we unwittingly brought a tool of evil into the church with us? The teddy bear Kaylie had clung to so desperately—that last shred of sanity in a world gone mad—suddenly roared to life, growing to immense stature before tearing the young girl’s parents limb from limb. Though we sprang to action and destroyed the foul Ruxpin, it was far too late for Kaylie’s parents, whose tattered bodies were almost unrecognizable.
That sort of thing is bound to make a lasting impression on a child.
Rather than sinking into the poisoned well of despair, Kaylie found a new purpose after that horrible night. In the ten years since, she has become a hunter herself, devoted to tracking down and destroying the undead nightmares that roam the land.
When I said Kaylie was “all grown up,” I wasn’t kidding. She’s become a stunning (not to mention busty) young woman. The awful experiences of that night a decade ago left her not only with an unquenchable thirst for vengeance, but with an exhibitionist streak and a leather fetish, too. Who would have guessed?
Now, the undead plague the streets of Ashcroft once more, and Kaylie must team up with the hunters who saved her life ten years ago.
I am Father Esteban Cortez, also known as the Judge. Miscellaneous G™ is Kaylie Winter, the Redeemer. Together, we are a walking abattoir, cutting a swath through the evil hordes in Ashcroft. This time, the undead are joined by the elite security forces of Genefex, a corrupt corporation suckling the bitter nectar of human suffering. Or something.
With Hunter the Reckoning: Redeemer, the development team had a golden opportunity to make significant improvements over its predecessor, Hunter the Reckoning, a game that Miscellaneous G™ and I thoroughly enjoyed (despite its flaws). Instead, they made things worse. Camera angles that were once merely annoying and inconvenient are now downright frustrating. The aiming system for ranged weapons seems to have been injected with 250ccs of “oh, were you shooting at something?” Then there’s the distinct lack of coherent direction in some missions. We had to play more than one mission twice last night because the game fell short on telling us what (or where) our objective was. In one case, the “mission complete” glyph was hidden behind a staircase and was only visible when we were running away from the exit.
On the other hand, we get to pummel endless legions of zombies, werewolves and SpecOps-types, and that’s pretty cool. The game is immensely satisfying when we’re elbow-deep in bad guys, swinging away with ridiculously huge swords, letting loose a wave of crossbow bolts, bullets and buckshot, or wiping out entire groups of zombies with our hunters’ “edges,” the various supernatural powers they utilize.
So we keep playing. Partly because there’s an enjoyable game hidden beneath the maddening design flaws, partly because we had such a blast with the first one, and partly because we love the cooperative multiplayer games, and there just aren’t enough of them so we’ve got to play those we can find.