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game: Geist
posted by: GF! Back Catalogue 10/2004 => 1995
date posted: 12:00 AM Sat Jul 10th, 2004
last revision: 12:00 AM Sat Jul 10th, 2004

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By Eric Bodrero

Geist caught my eye from about fifty yards away. Its blend of unique action/adventure/FPS elements with its eerie, ghostly gameplay made me immediately take notice. Developer n-Space has really taken an innovative step forward with this title. It offers something never seen before (to this extreme), which for me is reason enough to straighten my body and raise my eyebrows.

Geist allows gamers to haunt and horrify humans and animals as a ghost. You have the ability to literally possess their physical bodies and assume their identities. It's up to you exactly how you'll use your unfortunate victims to solve puzzles and untangle your own ghostly fate.

First, a word about the graphics: they are actually pretty darn good. Nice, tight animation, models are detailed, and the colors are used in a very interesting way. As a ghost, the colors are grayish and drab, with a more grainy, gritty feel to them. Once in possession of a host however, be it human or animal, the colors turn bright, cheery, and vivid. A bright, cool-looking possession animation displays every time you possess something, along with the host you're trying to possess. It seems like it would get tedious, but I possessed a great number of things in the game I played, and I never grew tired of seeing it, as it was fairly short and sweet.

The level I was playing was already very detailed and thorough. There were soldiers guarding hallways (who walk in slow-motion when your traveling as a ghost), dogs in cages (which can be possessed as well), computer rooms, and security cameras, which suggests a bit of stealth will be involved (while in possession of something of course). The lighting was fantastic as well, as there were plenty of shadows and places to hide.

One neat feature of being a ghost in this game is being able to possess not only humans and animals, but inanimate objects as well, objects such as fire extinguishers, security cameras, lights, computers, crates, and many other things. You can also get sucked into different places via tiny holes in the wall, sending you through conduits and air ducts, which can be a very slick means of transportation.

So why possess something like a computer you ask? Once in possession of an object, your Y button will be assigned an action accordingly, such as scare?, sprint?, spray? etc. For example, as a human I encounter a door that cannot be passed without a certain code or information. So, I find a computer, possess it (and you'll know you can possess something via an insignia that appears over it), hack into its information store, and wait for the engineer to come over. While he's typing, I scare the tar out of him via the scare? button (or Y button in this case). So he takes off running with his tail between his legs, I dispossess the computer and possess the engineer with the newly hacked computer information, enabling me to pass through the door that I couldn't pass through before. As a general rule, if you can possess something, it serves some kind of purpose in the game. It's this kind of innovative gameplay that raises the fun factor and makes the game exciting and super fun to play.

When in possession of a guard, you have access to your standard arsenal of weaponry, such as assault rifles and such. That was the only weapon I was able to use, but I'm sure there are plenty more throughout the game. Be careful though, as toting a gun around cocked and ready to mow down fellow guards will certainly force them into action, and they will start firing at you. This is where standard FPS elements come into play, which adds yet another level of gameplay to this already in-depth game. So the single player game is very well polished at this point, but how cool would it be to play this game in multiplayer, possessing humans and other things, walking through walls as a ghost, and possessing different items to surprise your foes with. Well, fear not my fellow gamers, as that is exactly what you'll get. n-Space took the time to make a killer multiplayer game with all of the aspects of a single-player game. That's right. Possess enemies and items while sniping your opponents in the head; hide out as a ghost and frighten the dribble out of your friend. All the multiplayer goodness is here. Up to four players can join in and have a ghostly frag fest. This gets extremely interesting, and the possibilities are yours for the exploring. So when can we expect this unique first-person action/adventure? Look for it in Q4 of this year, probably near the 2004 holiday season. Don't fret though, because with what little time is left until its release, the game can only get better, and that's always a good thing. Definitely keep your eyes peeled for this title as we get more information in the coming months.