About three years ago I was just getting over withdrawal from Lunar: TSS and Vay when I happened to lay eyes upon a new game, Snatcher. After all that swords and sorcery I thought that a little cyber-punk might just hit the spot. Man was I in for a treat!
From the second the word Snatcher clanged onto the screen I knew that this was going to be a real gritty ride. The game beginning rocks with an ultra cool anime sequence that tells of the dire events that take place when a virus called Lucifer Alpha kills half the worlds population in 1996(I was wondering where everybody went) . As if that wasn’t bad enough it goes on to say that the ultimate threat comes in 2047 in Neo Kobe, Japan with the outbreak of snatchers, biomechanical bad-asses that take the place of their human victims and make the terminator look as scary as R2D2.
Its from here that you take the role of Gillian Seed, a new J.U.N.K.E.R. (Japanese Undercover Neuro Kinetic Elimination Ranger) who must uncover the secrets of how the Snatchers are infiltrating Neo Kobe’s society, as well as regain his memory. Throw into the pot that he has a wife who is amnesic too and you’ve really got a mystery.
The graphics of Snatcher are well done and very stylized, with hundreds of locations and dozens of characters that perfectly purvey the big city of the future, from soaring sky-scrapers with bridges connecting them to the slums and sleazy night clubs on the ground. Perhaps the most memorable and vivid parts though are the scenes of gore. Disembodied heads, disemboweled dogs and maggot covered corpses just to name a few.
Controlling Snatcher isn’t much of a challenge. All movement, searching and character interaction is carried out through a system of straight forward and un-intrusive menus. The only real break from the menus is the occasional typing and shooting sequences, the latter of which become quite furious towards the end of the game.
From the grinding hard rock and cool jazz of the intro to a touching piano score in the end, the music of Snatcher is very well done and fits the mood superbly. Snatcher also has something most newer games lack, great voice acting. The characters come to life with voices that perfectly fit every one of them, and considering theres almost 30 voice acted characters in the game, thats quite a feat.
What truly makes Snatcher great though is its amazing story line, it sucks you in and brings Neo Kobe to life. Every character has superb development and revelations, and the twists and turns in the plot are shocking and only draw you deeper into the mystery until all is explained in the games ending, which is over forty minutes long.
Snatcher is a riveting game. Play it through, and you’ll never forget it.