Review by lopp3
"You WILL save that patient."
There is certainly reason to be skeptical of a game about surgery. I can understand that, and if you're a skeptic, I understand. But do not shun what you are skeptical of. Some games of rather...questionable origin (such as Custom Robo, but that's for another time) have turned out to be fantastic. And this one joins their ranks. You play as a rookie surgeon, Dr. Derek Stiles, who is fresh out of medical school and ready to hit the OR. But with an outbreak of a mysterious viral plague known as GUILT which is killing people faster than you can say "Holy malaria, Batman!", Dr. Stiles needs to step it up in order to quite literally save the human race from extinction. So put on your gloves and your little mask thingy, because we've got some operating to do.
Starting off like the lowly surgeon that you are, you'll be doing such things as mending broken arms and removing tumors, which apparently is no big deal in the future, where this game is set. You have a plethora of trusty tools to work with: necessities like a scalpel or forceps, and slightly more...extravagant utilities, like antibacterial ointment, sutures, or a mystical serum which raises a patient's vitals (why they don't put this stuff in IV, I have no idea). Anyway, as you hone your surgical skills removing tumors and searing polyps, GUILT begins to infiltrate the world. GUILT comes in seven deadly strains (not sins...), each one of which is unique in its own right and requires a different procedure to remove. At first, the GUILT aren't too hard, but as the game progresses, you'll take on greater challenges. Aside from the obvious addition of GUILT killing faster and being more challenging to remove from the patient, you'll encounter more unique obstacles like facing multiple patients in a row, patients with GUILT in several areas of the body, or even patients with multiple strains infecting them at the same time. The challenge keeps on flowing. And if it's still not hard enough for you, why not take the difficulty level all the way up to hard? What? It's STILL too easy? Take on the X Missions that are available at the end of the game for some of the most intense five minute gaming sprees you'll ever experience.
While I must admit that the story is surprisingly interesting, it gets old quite quickly and once you get better at the game, the story sections seem to serve as little more than an impediment in your greatness. It's typical medical-drama style story: emo people are sick. All kinds of dramatic crap. It's really not my thing.
This game doesn't exactly have "graphics". Well, okay, it does have graphics. But they're very strange. The cutscenes aren't animated: they feature drawings of people with voice clips and text boxes. The game itself, the operating part, is rendered in a very strange way, with the organs nicely color-coded for the convenience of filing and/or archiving them, apparently. The GUILT themselves resemble tiny bugs crawling around inside a person's body. You've got such variations as a spider or an earthworm, yet some of them take on slightly different shapes (such as one which resembles very closely an angelfish). Despite this strange animation, the graphics are quite appealing.
There are only around 10 or 15 songs on the soundtrack, though they represent well their context. For normal GUILT fights, they play the kind of music you'd expect if you were doing a crossword puzzle on a time limit. For important missions, they play some dramatic vocal music. And for REALLY important missions, they break out the sweet guitar lixx. Nice.
While, based on the scores here, this game may seem only slightly above average, the gameplay is so incredibly fun and addicting that you simply will want to keep going. And if you manage to get an XS rank on every mission in the game, congratulations. There's very little chance you'll get fired with that kind of stunning record.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/11/07
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