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North America

Geist

by Mike Sklens - May 14, 2003, 1:59 pm PDT
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Nintendo scares up a new type of first person shooter, check out our first impressions.

Being developed by n-Space, Nintendo’s new first person shooter, Geist was playable on the show floor at E3 today. The game seems early in development, but has very solid gameplay. Sadly, there is only one single player level available in the demo. The level begins with your character in spirit form. As you float down what seems to be an abandoned mine shaft, you are treated to a cinema of a guard being eaten by a giant monster. In spirit form, you fight this monster by shooting energy waves at it.

People in the world of Geist must know that spirits are about, because they have set up barriers that spirits may not pass through. You’ll need to disable these by possessing other characters in the game.

While early, the game is already starting to look impressive. Characters models are rich, though they look a bit rough. Environments are a bit blocky as it stands, but should shape up quite nicely by the time development is finished.

Geist is a first person shooter, through and through. The game is currently set up with “Goldeneye-style" controls. The left analog stick moves you forward and back and also allows you to turn. The C-Stick allows you to look up and down as well as strafe. Strafing controls are also mapped to B and X (for left and right respectively). R is set to primary fire, with L taking secondary fire. Z lets you reload your weapon. The A button lets you interact with the environment, as well as possess characters. Holding the button down while inside a body will allow you to exit your host. Once inside a body, the game plays exactly like any other first person shooter. Hopefully, by the time the game is finished, there will be an option for alternate control setups similar to the TimeSplitters 2 and Turok setups.

Geist plays really well right now. Its core first person shooter elements are very solid. There are many innovations built on the fact that the main character is nothing more than a spirit. While outside of a body, you can take shortcuts through levels via air-ducts and other small passages. In the demo, you must possess a medical officer, but in order to possess a character, that person must be scared first. As a spirit, you can do things like light plants on fire, open file cabinets, and even close a laptop on a person’s fingers to scare them. You can also exit a body at any time, grab another body, and walk back into a previously dangerous room only to find that the guards are no longer after you because you are not the same person causing trouble.

Overall, Geist is shaping up to be an excellent first person shooter with a good amount of scare thrown in. The spirit innovations are fantastic and really differentiate the game from the standard crop of run and gun first person shooters currently available.

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Genre Shooter
Developer n-Space Inc.

Worldwide Releases

na: Geist
Release Aug 15, 2005
PublisherNintendo
RatingTeen
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