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Capcom have finally realized the possibilities of their Resident Evil franchise and created a brand new genre for their Zombies from Racoon City.
Resident Evil Survivor is a first person shoot-em-up created in an arcade style similar to the Namco smash hit Time Crisis. Since most gamers don't, and possibly never will, own a light-gun peripheral it's worth mentioning early on that this title plays a dream with a standard, or analog joypad. So what better way can you think of spending a damp spring evening than lazing back in the old armchair and blasting the life... err... death out of a tribe of oncoming Zombies.
Resident Evil Survivor is basically the same nightmare, only a different Hell. You play a character involved in a helicopter accident over an isolated town who survives the wreckage but has temporarily lost his memory. Unsure of his identity and completely isolated, his next terrifying revelation is that the town is infested with zombies! With a gun as his only protection he must attempt an escape. During his nightmarish struggle clues are slowly revealed about the extent of the horror he is involved in and what his true identity may be...
So can you survive this frightening scenario? Are you brave enough to enter the world of the living dead once more? We dare you!
Sound and Vision:
What a brilliant idea to offer all the thrills and spills of the Resident Evil experience from an all-new perspective. Although the style of play is similar to other light-gun games the viewing angle is not pre-determined by a game director. This time you get total control over where you want the character to go just like other first person shooters such as Doom, Duke and Quake 2. But don't be fooled into thinking that this is a long drawn out multi-level adventure such as those mentioned above, because it's not. Resident Evil Survivor is exactly as the title suggests... it's a game of survival. It's one huge level and only a few lives to rely on. Run out of them and it's Game Over!
Survivor opens up with the now customary introduction movie explaining the story and unveiling the plot. It's far shorter than past Resi' intros and the silky smooth pre-rendered animations have now been replaced by those using the in-game engine. However, this doesn't ruin the build up, it actually makes you appreciate how good the in-game graphics really are.
Following a helicopter crash landing your unknown character seems to have a spot of amnesia. He doesn't know who he is, or how he came to be in Racoon City. He probably thinks that Umbrella is an unfolding contraption used to shelter from the rain... but we know better. The combination of occasional CG's, zoom in views and on-screen text are again successfully used to describe items and ask the puzzling questions that flow through your mind... "What is this?" 'An old clock is ticking. A winder seems to be attached to it.' ' This door is locked!' "You'll need a Rusty Key." ... with which Resident fans will already be familiar.
Just before taking control the player is again warned about the gore and violence contained within the game. It is also recommended that a set of stereo headphones be used when playing. If you get the chance then try to make full use of these instructions because the sound effects are awesome. Dog's can be heard howling in the distant far right. Groans and moans come from the left and roll over your head to the opposite side as you move around the set. Footsteps crunch over the crispy autumn leaves scattered on the ground below. All the while a swirling wind whistles around inside your head. Heard with the correct equipment the atmosphere this game generates is electric.
The graphics are extremely detailed and the use of 3D real time backgrounds means your character can move among most equipment and furniture. The scenery is very reminiscent of the last Resident adventure, although most locations don't seem to be as clustered with objects. This offers much more room to move around, while allowing multiple Zombie attacks in relatively confined areas. On the down side 90% of the scenery is not interactive making the puzzle element of the game almost completely void.
Enemies seem larger than life and I'm sure you'll be happy to know that all of your past favorites are there to be blasted. There's the acid spitting plants, dogs, moths, spiders, crows, the almost unstoppable big guy from Nemesis and a few new additions. If there's one visual complaint it would be that there are only a couple of Zombie variations and often two or three clones appear in the very same room. Neither can their limbs be blasted off. Okay, so a lot of blood spurts around on each direct hit, but wouldn't the occasional decapitation have gone down well?
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