Stylish but ultimately unsatisfying Virtua Cop-style action
While Neo Hunter certainly promises an inventive mix of cyberpunk strategy, puzzling and shooting, it is unfortunately a bit too ambitious for its own good and ultimately fails to deliver. The game's background and world are intriguingly well developed and it takes place in a future where California has been separated from the rest of America after a meteor crash and which is now calling for independence. The player steps into the shoes of Rick Cage, a slick investigator who finds himself caught up in a massive conspiracy involving the death of an important senator and which finds him delving into the murky world of the underground drug lords who really control the state. The game is best compared to the Virtua Cop series of arcade shooters, with the player progressing through a series of environments, blasting down bad guys while taking care of a few light puzzles as well as managing their resources in order to upgrade weapons. There's a certain amount of choice to be had here as well, with the player able to select their route towards the climax which is a nice element which adds in some replay value. Perhaps the game's most impressive feature is its visuals, which are striking and bold, with some highly distinctive environments that really give the game some appeal. Unfortunately, the rest of the game doesn't quite live up these standards and while it isn't a complete disaster, it is strictly average at best. The mix of shooting with puzzling is interesting but doesn't quite come off, while the shooting itself lacks the excitement of the best such games, like House of the Dead. It's worth checking out for the stylish visuals, but don't expect to be playing for long.