Tired of listlessly watching yet another reality TV show about ghost hunters who jump at shadows, despite never being in real danger? Have you ever watched some newbie intern fumble their chance with the EKG reader and think, “I would be so much better at that?” Congrats champ, now is your chance to be a Hellhunter.
Ballistic Interactive is seeking $38,008 over on Kickstarter to fund their isometric spook hunting RPG. Hellhunter puts players in the role of a freelance paranormal investigator/hunter out to settle the supernatural score. The unnamed protagonist (who I’ve begun calling Dean Winchester, and there is nothing you can do about it), faced an impossible situations four years ago. He had to decide between his own life or those of his family. Since he’s still around, you can guess how that went down.
I Ain’t Afraid Of No, Whatever That Is
Now he’s out to settle the score and take out as many creepy crawly things that go bump in the night as possible. This probably sounds like rote ghost story stuff, but the gameplay makes it anything but. Rather than send you in guns (or crosses) blazing, each mission starts off with investigation and preparation.
Since you’re a freelancer you need to complete jobs to pay the bills. In the beginning you’ll have only a flickering torch and rusty gun to guide you. Each mission zone is procedurally generated and you’re never completely sure what you’re up against when you arrive. Instead, you must carefully search for clues to help narrow your list of supernatural suspects.
In addition to an eventual array of tools and equipment that would make Batman jealous, you can also utilize baits, wards, and hiding spaces to evade detection. You don’t want to confront the baddie until you know exactly what will take them down.
Once you’ve collected your clues you must cross-reference them with information in your handy cryptonomicon. Here you can figure out what sort of monster you are facing and, more importantly, what their weaknesses might be. Once you’ve selected your weapons and traps it’s time to bust some ghosts.
Environments in Hellhunter are dynamic and destructible. I’ve complained about the isometric, top-down style in the past, but I feel like it’s amazingly effective in this case. You have a much better overview than you would in first or third-person. The fact that the environments are complex and interesting is just icing on top.
I gotta admit, I’m completely smitten with this campaign. Hellhunter manages to tick all the right boxes to make my nerdy, supernatural loving heart flutter. The Kickstarter is off to a strong start and fans can also vote the game up on Steam Greenlight. Seriously, go fund this game.