Headhunter Review

Original Publish Date: 26th January 2020

So I’ve beaten Headhunter, and now I want to talk about it.

I was not able to take any screenshots during the game, so I’m going to steal them from Gamespot.

For those not aware, Headhunter is a game released in 2001 on the Dreamcast by Azure. The Dreamcast version was only released in PAL regions, but it was later ported to the PS2 in North America and Europe.

I would describe the game as an open world stealth game. There are motorbiking sections where you drive around from level to level, and upgrade your license, more on that later.

The story is set in mid 21st century, where there is a crime league where crime fighters capture and arrest criminals to climb up the ranks.

There also legal and black market organ harvesting in there somewhere as well, and the emphasis on saving organs to sell, and weapons that only shut their brains down without damaging any of the organs.

The game’s graphics look great for it’s time especially for the Dreamcast! They look like a game you would have seen in 2004 on the PS2, Gamecube and Xbox, but here we see them from 2001.

Both versions of the game look close, with the Dreamcast having the edge of better texture and shadow quality.

However, due to the Dreamcast’s relatively low RAM, it has to load almost every room you enter, and it gets annoying after a while. The PS2 version’s rooms are split the same way.

As for the gameplay, there are 2 sections of it, one, like I said, where you ride around what looks like Southern US on a motorbike, and the main game, which is where you run around levels, sneak up on people or just shoot them down.

The controls take some getting used to, you press Y to back yourself up to a wall, but you need to press it again to get off it, and the fact that the Dreamcast doesn’t have a second analog means that you need to aim and hold X to turn the camera. This takes getting used to.

Luckily, the game autoaims to your enemies by pressing x, so it isn’t a problem either way.

Not much else to say, you’ve probably played many action and stealth games that play just like this, so there’s not much to learn or get used to.


The driving section also take get some getting used to. One’s natural instinct is to push the R trigger all the way down, but that causes you to wheelie and crash into walls. You have to lightly push it to be able to ride around properly. I approve of this future, as it’s more realistic.

You can’t damage your vehicle, or even properly crash. You just stop. In fact, this entire section seems pointless, and is just there to look cool.

It does, so it did it’s job.

The game also has FMV news sections that are scatterted throughout the game. I’m a sucker for cheesy FMV sequences, so I loved these!


And also pre-rendered CGI scenes, which don’t look as nice.


They were compressed by what is called the 4x codec, and it looks terrible in some places. Particularly, with bright colours, it’s just a mess!

The game is very story focused and linear, which works for me. I’m not a fan of games that are too open.

Later in the game, you start to encounter bosses, and they won’t go easy on you. They’re mostly trial and error. For example, there was a boss where you had to leak gas pipes to damage them, but you could also shoot them, but doing that only takes like a pixel from their massive health bar, and the gas pipe thing isn’t very apparent, so I’m willing to say that some people probably just shot it to death, which would have taken *ages*.

Around the same point, I had to copy a pattern that was 10 foreign characters long, that circled around a knob, to another similar looking knob. I had to write it down, as there was no way I could have memorised it. I hated that.

The final boss was frustrating at first, but later, you get into a flow and I really enjoyed myself at this part!

Overall, the game felt very solid for the time, and was a very enjoyable game to go through. For those who own a Dreamcast or PS2, definitely pick this one up!