Review by Millers C
"Not as good as Resident Evil, yet still a satisfying and challenging title."
The transition from film to videogame has never hit the pinnacle of play station gaming. When The Lost World was released back in 1997, even though the film was a hunk of junk, much was expected. When the product was finally released, a monstrosity of a game lurked beneath a decent premise. Nobody has really made a decent game involving dinosaurs, but Capcom came up with the solution. Now, What do you get when you cross breed One of the most successful films of all time and Resident Evil? Dino Crisis, that’s what.
When you first heard of this game, you will think, scoffingly, ‘Resident Evil with Barney’. No, the whole game is entirely new and improved. The concept is still the same of course, but remember the golden rule: ‘If it aint broke don’t fix it’, and capcom have left it as it should be.
Dino Crisis opens with a decent enough Plot. Dr Edward Kirk, an ambitious young boffin has been practicing developing a new type of weapon for the military, called Third Energy. But somehow a mistake was made and somehow dinosaurs were transported onto a military facility one a remote island. Meanwhile, Kirk supposedly ‘died’ in an explosion in his lab 3 years ago. Naturally this was a decoy and naturally a government agency (Unknown) was hot on his heels. The undercover agent, Tom, who was sent in to investigate reports back saying Kirk is indeed alive. The breakthrough. You and your crack team of commandoes have been sent to retrieve Kirk and get the heck out of dodge. Little do they know what lies in wait. You play Regina, a feisty redhead who is tougher than she seems. Armed with a pistol it is your task to steer her to safety. As great as it is o have a female lead, Regina is a bit irritating. Her voice actor is terribly annoying and sometimes makes non-sensical quips. ‘He’s been eviscerated’ a man says. ‘That’s disgusting’ is her sarcastic reply.
The supporting cast is decent enough. You have Rick, the African American compurtor specialist (Not cast against type) and Gail, Your (Trust me) Male boss. This is a great cast of superb characters. One problem with this is, there are only a few other characters in the game, and you may feel a bit lonely from time to time. Whilst this may become a problem it simply adds up an element not yet seen in resident evil. Better interactivity.
At least 3 times in the game you are required to make decisions that lead to different endings and character fates. You choose between Gail and Rick. While Gail’s missions involve more dino blasting, Ricks are often a little more taixing and take a while to complete. Secondly, the whole puzzle system has been comopletely redone. Remember in Resident Evil when you used to ‘Press switch, open door, find key, open door’? this has all been changed. You have more decision making when solving a puzzle, so for example you type in passwords and even manipulate a large crane to move boxes. This of course may prove a wee bit too difficult for the casual gamer, however this is the sort of game that will require a lot of attention if you want to succeed.
When you first start up the game you will also notice that the game has received yet another graphical overhaul. Gone are the fixed Pre Rendered backgrounds and in their place are real time graphics. This means puzzles and objects look a little better. The change has been a good move from there. But you will notice that the graphics frankly look a lot worse even if the pulled the play station to its 32-bit capacity. Characters on the other hand look smoother than ever and maintain the silky movement of the Resident Evil characters. What is also better is the fact that you can move with your gun drawn. It looks very cool to see Regina Stalking a corridor with a Shotgun drawn. It also helps a lot. Another Brilliant new move is the 180-degree spin. You can actually dodge an incoming Dino and run in the opposite direction. Another way to help their extinction is the ability to power up electric fences and separate you from them, leaving them at your mercy as you blow them away from the safety of the other side. This type of interactivity can never harm a game. Music and dino grunts sound superb and even make you think that something HAS survived. The modeling of the dinosaurs is brilliant, however there is not much variety in the amount of dinosaurs you face, which is a shame. Another black spot is the weakness of the weapons you are allowed to use. Even the grenade launcher takes 4 hits to kill some of the most Bog standered Dinos. I couldn’t help but feel the odds were against me from the beginning.
Dino Crisis is a game with plenty of replay value. The game is very long, longer than Resident Evil 2 anyway. But there is no second scenario or other playable character that probably would have blended in well. Just to control Rick or Gail for a short period of time would have been great, but sadly that is not available. On the plus side, There is plenty to come back for, Secret Costumes, Secret Weapons and a mini game that is hard to acquire.
On a final note, Resident Evil is a game that should please survival horror fans and, well, Jurassic park followers. But it may be a bit too challenging and I seem to like shooting Zombies more. Still, this will be a worthy addition to your Playstation library.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/18/01, Updated 03/05/02
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