Geist is in a near final form, and has shaped up quite a lot since its last E3 showing.
Geist is a psychological thriller wrapped into a first-person shooter. The game involves the Volks Corporation, which is obviously quite insidious. They have developed a way to remove the soul from the human body. You play as John Raimi, who at first appears to be some sort of technical assistant to a squad of commandos on a mission to infiltrate Volks and steal some of their research data regarding single-celled ethereal life forms. On the way out of the complex you are assaulted by a giant monster. After defeating this creature, it looks like all is well as you are about to be lifted out of the hot zone. However, something goes wrong, and one of the team members becomes possessed. He shoots the rest of the squad members and then fires another shot to incapacitate Raimi.
When Raimi wakes up, things have changed quite a lot. His soul has been removed from his body and trapped in a computer program. The computer world is very peaceful looking. A voice explains to him that he is in a better place, most likely trying to convince him that he has actually died and gone to heaven. The ways of afterlife are explained to him and provide a short tutorial to the game. Just as things are getting started, something goes haywire and the computer simulation fades to wire-frame. The formerly peaceful voice now commands Raimi to “kill them all." Just then, the computer prison he is being kept in breaks open, and his spirit is released into the world.
A small ghost girl named Gigi reveals herself as your savior, and teaches you more about being a ghost. You’ll be able to possess inanimate objects, animals, and humans, though the latter are only possible to possess after being frightened enough.
The demo at E3 is not terribly difficult, with the possible exception of the boss fight at the end. Health is easy to come by and difficult to lose. Enemies go down with a few shots, and are no match for whomever Raimi is possessing, even if they team up on him.
Geist is a very immersive game. The story has obviously been well thought out and is very detailed. Most of it is delivered through in-game cutscenes, which are voiced. However, minor dialogue between characters during gameplay is mostly delivered through text. The visuals, while not up to the standard of other triple-A GameCube titles, include a variety of very cool effects. The world plays out in slow motion when in spirit form. Possessing an animal, such as a rabbit, will let you see through its eyes. However, rabbits can only see in black and white. There are also some very cool animations when interacting with objects.
Geist does a lot with the hands of the character, which sets it apart from other first-person shooters. Many first-person shooters feel like a camera on a stick with a gun on the side. Geist shows off detailed animations while interacting with some of the objects in the world. For example, when on a trolley, the character’s hand actually reaches out to pull a lever and start the trolley moving. Little touches such as these really help Geist feel like more than just another first-person shooter.