If you're looking for a quick fix of heavy action and a fun multiplayer game, then Hunter: The Reckoning is definitely worth it.
Based on the White Wolf pen-and-paper game of the same name, Hunter: The Reckoning is a gaming experience not unlike those found in games like Smash TV, Gauntlet, or even Diablo, where your primary function is to obliterate just about everything that appears on the screen. Not surprisingly, this formula works incredibly well, especially when four players are involved, but there are a few problems with the game--most notably in its control scheme, which isn't very accommodating for melee attacks. In addition, the GameCube version lacks some of the visual detail of its Xbox counterpart, but if you missed out on that version, you'll find Hunter to be an enjoyable, albeit brief, game.
Because of its ties to a pen-and-paper RPG, the story in Hunter: The Reckoning is more involving than in most games of this type, but there are certainly moments when you'll be scratching your head and wondering what exactly just happened. The game begins at the Ashcroft prison, where a man is executed by the electric chair. But unbeknownst to the prison's inhabitants, the execution opens up a rift that allows spirits trapped in the prison to run amok and possess any bodies within the immediate area. Fortunately, four characters with the ability to see these demons fend off the attack and seal the prison, preventing the demons from spreading to the local town. A few years later, however, a rave is held at the prison to celebrate the execution, and this opens the rift, setting the demons loose on the town. The same four characters, known simply as hunters, return to finish the job they started. The story then takes a few twists and turns from there.
The four hunters--the avenger, the martyr, the defender, and the judge--are not unlike the different character types from games like Gauntlet, because each one is proficient in a particular skill, and each has a default set of weapons and "edge," the game's name for magic spells. The avenger, who sports the gruff outward appearance of a motorcycle gang member, is the strongest of the four characters and has a shotgun and a massive ax as his standard weapons. His first edge gives extra strength to his ax. The young martyr is the fastest, and her attacks (which consist of dual pistols or knives) are also the quickest. Unsurprisingly, her first magic ability gives her an even greater boost in speed. The judge, who also happens to be a priest, wields a massive cruciform sword and a flimsy crossbow, but he makes up for his relatively weak melee skills with a devastating edge that can take out multiple enemies at once with a single strike. Lastly, the defender is perhaps the most balanced of the four characters with her mixture of speed and power. She has a pretty strong pistol and sword as her default weapons, and she's the only character who has a healing spell. There's an RPG element in Hunter: The Reckoning that lets your hunter increase his or her ratings in several different statistics (such as strength and accuracy) over the course of the game, though never to the point where his or her basic strengths and weaknesses will change. You'll also be able to acquire different weapons and edges as you progress through the game.
When you're playing through the game for the first time, it's quite difficult to appreciate how different these characters really are. In fact, it's easy to think that they are nearly identical except for their magic attacks, but this isn't the case at all--you'll quickly find that not using each hunter's strengths to your advantage will usually result in a quick death.
The four hunters in Hunter: The Reckoning are balanced quite well when it comes to their individual strengths and weaknesses, because the way you play the game is dictated by the differences in their attributes. Since the avenger is the strongest and the best melee fighter, he has the luxury of being able to run to the center of a room filled with creatures and take them out at close range. While you will come across additional long-range weapons such as machine guns and rocket launchers, the avenger's default weapons are not meant for long range, so you almost always have to adopt this strategy. Conversely, the defender can hold her own at close range with the sword, but she's much more useful as a sniper-type character, picking off zombies and other nasty creatures from a distance.