Gamestyle Archive intro: Headhunter was a hugely hyped Dreamcast exclusive from Sega. Delayed somewhat it did hint at what was possible before being ported to other formats once the DC had passed away.
Published: February 2001
GENRE: Action Adventure
ACCESSORIES: VMU, rumble, online
RELEASE: Summer 2001
No doubt about it, Sega has some great games lined up for us this year. One of the most impressive is the Swedish 1.5 developed Headhunter, although next to nothing is known about the game – not even the main characters name!
Sega describe Headhunter as “an epic action adventure designed to capture your deepest emotions. The concept portrays a huge filmic story line, providing you with freedom in a truly interactive gaming environment, and will engross you from the very beginning.” So far only video footage has been seen at recent trade shows i.e. E3 or on promotional videos. The quality of the graphics is very impressive, almost to the standard Shenmue, with the animation and facial expressions very realistic. The textures, city landscapes and lighting are almost picture perfect buy what about the story?
In Headhunter you play a bounty hunter working in California circa 2019 where crime is rife and citizens are wary of venturing out – think Robocop and you’re there. You must apprehend various vile criminals and batter any flunkies while seeking truth and justice. Apart from the gun toting expect puzzle solving and stealth to play important roles while you’re on foot, with the option of a first person view if needed. Nothing really new so far however Headhunter is trying to be a combination of genres with the inclusion and role of your motorbike. With this you will be able to cover greater distances and hopefully engage in some on the road action.
The online functions will provide replay value and a multiplayer element. If you become bored of tracking down criminals you can logon to the Aquadome and race up to seven other would-be headhunters. Whether Amuze have just straight out racing in mind or something involving road kill isn’t known yet but we know what we would prefer. By using the online feature you will be able to download new areas, missions and weaponry. Criminally underused by most developers so far with the exception of Sonic Team, Headhunter will use the VMU as a personal pager providing hints, information.
Amuze and Sega are keeping details of Headhunter to an absolute minimum but what is evident are the influences of the Mad Max and Terminator series and such games as Metal Gear Solid. With Richard Jacques (Sonic 3D, MSR) handling the soundtrack and from what we’ve seen so far, expect Headhunter to be an essential purchase this summer.