Geist has been in development a long time at n-Scape. Play the first few minutes and you could get the wrong idea – it appears to be another one of those First Person Shooters which chuck you in a strange laboratory complex with a load of guns and lets you get on with it. But play on a little further and it’ll become clear that the game has something else up its sleeve. It’s not long before you are captured and have your soul ripped from your body by people using some dark and sinister science.
Luckily, Geist is not just a very short game with a sudden, unavoidable and anti-climactic ending. You are able to survive the splitting of your physical and spiritual selves, and continue to exist as some kind of ghost – a ghost who wants his body back. But although it would be easy to become desperate when relegated to such an ethereal state, you’ll quickly realise that there are advantages to your new form. You are able to ‘possess’ all manner of objects and make them shake, rattle and roll. Not just objects, but little animals too, like rats and dogs. The ‘geist’ of the title is short for ‘Poltergeist’, you see!
But as you explore your newfound skills further, you’ll quickly find that your powers are greater than the mere ability to throw cups across the room. Use poltergeist activity to spook observing humans enough, and you’ll be able to possess their bodies and use them to run, shoot and open doors for you. And so the game becomes a kind of puzzle game, requiring you to scare and possess the correct people and exploit them (be they mouse, soldier or scientist) as you try to find where they are keeping the physical you. But a puzzle game with still has shooting elements and an engaging plot. Exclusive to Gamecube, Geist is certainly a rather unique and interesting game.