With the semi-recent outbursts of top-wanted-list of criminals, Encore has chosen to make a game based on that such thing. As a sort of special-forces cop, you go around the world busting extremely dangerous criminals, from street thug Casey Webber, to bio-chemical-genocidic Osama Bin Laden. As far as criminal history and personal description goes, Black Ops have done their homework.
Cool, play as a cop, eat doughnuts – you're probably thinking this, but the reality is far from that. Gameplay is more like the average FPS: run around, shoot/stun criminal enemies, and arrest the main big-boss of the mission. Although consoles aren't regularly looked over happily with first person view, and Fugitive Hunter is no exception. More than once have I been frustrated with the controls, for being way too sensitive, which provides a big problem while facing enemies. Once I finally got over the sensitivity, the jump/crouch (L1 and L2) buttons got in the way; because they are so far away from the main set up, they became seldom used. On the other hand, the on-the-fly switching of weaponry, objects, and attachments (Silencers or Scopes) came in handy.
Playing through the game is no easy nor extremely hard task. Getting used to the enemies is hard, because by the 3rd mission, all hell breaks loose. Enemies pop up everywhere, run for cover and return fire, and just plain rush; it's all just too unpredictable. As the AI gets unpredictable, you will find yourself dead more that once. For this cause, there are 'Continues' like in the old arcade games, which provide you with lives to, and the game doesn't restart the level either. Instead, it merely respawns you like the common Deathmatch, with 5 second invincibility.
Later in each of the game's levels, you will be forced to do your main objective: Fight and Stun your criminal. This works like a small minigame, where you use the 4 main colored buttons to do punches and kicks (with Guard too) on your enemy, to lower his life down to 0, then you must tap X rapidly to capture him. Even if this minigame objective is another genre, it provides fun not shown in shooting everything.
Shooting comes in wide variety in this game. There is a flame thrower, grenade launcher, machine gun, rocket launcher, pistol, and so forth. The better things come later in the game, like the 'Dragon' Flamethrower. Guns are not alone in the game; you can find scopes, silencers, and special ammo for all of your guns (except flamethrower). Most are deviously hidden, others can be found just by looking around. These little items stay with you through the game, and let you attach and detach at any time.
Gameplay objectives vary from level to level, although most of the time they are just “Rescue a civilian” or “Take out this bad guy”, so there isn't really a huge amount of variety, but the levels are expertly designed in my opinion. They can be engrossing to a certain point, and enjoyable too. Overall, gameplay is the best part.
Gunshots, gunshots, quirky comment, gunshots. Yep, mostly gunshots, and a lot of comments by the lead character. Enemies yell back and forth at eachother, some taunt you: "I'll blow you up, foo!" and you reply with: "Yeah, I'll blow you a-way!". Sometimes it gets really annoying, because he only gets a set of taunts per level, and after you hear all 7 of them, you'll hear them all again, a good 20 times AT LEAST, per taunt. Other than that, gunshots sound almost like their real-life counter-parts, but not to the full extent. They sound weak, and kind of sound like paintball guns. Enemies behind different cultures have many different voices, like arabic and 'commando', which sound alright, although, hearing "AMERICANY! AMERICANY!" is priceless.
Think of Enter the Matrix, even though it isn't 3rd person. Bullets have really ugly smoke trails, and even rockets look bad, sometimes it even smogs up the screen at times. Bullet trails, accompanied by ugly weapon models, are unbearable to the serious gamer (like me). Weapons on your screen look like a single object, instead of a barrel, trigger, clip, and so forth. Your hands are sort of small and bland, and don't present much to look at.
The 'Scenery' of the different areas of the world like the urban cities and desolate deserts look good, as there are tumble weeds, and glass bottles, dust particles scurry the screen in the desert, and provide semi-realistic looking terrain. Enemies don't really get camoflauge, it's more of a dark suit, or gangster look, than anything. Not extremely detailed, and not completely 3d (mouths don't move), but it does the job... sort of.
An average FPS for the PS2, but a good game for those that hate crime, and want to kick OBL's buttox. Should keep you occupied enough for a two day rental, even with the lack of multiplayer.