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Bounty Hunter Preview (GC, PS2)

by Andrew "telarium" Langley

Bounty Hunter struck me as a combination of a Star Wars game and a western. If you have seen the teaser trailer for this game in which Jango Fett twirls his blaster like a six shooter and sticks it in a holster, then you pretty much have a feel for how this game is. It's about being a bounty hunter. No more, no less.

You follow Jango Fett, who has been hired to do bounty hunter things. In the end, this leads to Jango being chosen as the source for the clone army we see in Episode II. In the meantime, you explore different worlds and encounter various enemies while searching for the ultimate bounty. The third person action aspects of this game reminded me of a previous Star Wars game, Shadows of the Empire. Like Shadows, you have a jetpack that you can use to fly around. However, there is more action and interaction with your environment in this title. You can effortlessly jump and dangle from ledges while firing your pistol at an enemy. You can also fire two pistols at once at two different targets.

"The game's not about inventory management," the man at the Bounty Hunter display said. "It's not about finding the red, blue, and green card in order to get through the level. It's not about finding keys." And indeed that's what it appears to be. If you encounter a door, you simply use a laser cutter to weaken the door and then kick it down.

The game allows you to get sidetracked and pursue other goals as well. For example, you can go into a seedy bar and search for people with bounties on their head. Some characters have a larger bounty if you catch them alive, so you can tie them up with a rope like Boba Fett did with Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi.

If you're an adventure game purist who loves puzzles, then this game will not appeal to you at all. However, if you sometimes enjoy a game that's all action, then you would probably get some satisfaction out of Bounty Hunter. The animation and look of the environments are pretty good, and the brand new engine written for this game seems pretty stable. All in all, Bounty Hunter looks like it might be good for some mindless entertainment.

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