While Capcom has already marked its territory in the world of consoles, its PC output, it is fair to say, isn't quite up to the same levels. Though most of it is more suited to Sony's machine and the like, when we do get the chance of seeing something moderately interesting, we then have to wait patiently until we can get our hands on a conversion. It happened with the Resident Evils and it's happening here with Dino Crisis. After a successful PlayStation release last Christmas, Capcom has decided to wring more profit out of the game by bringing it back out of early retirement for a bout on the PC.
A breakaway extension of the Resident E vil franchise, Dino Crisis features almost exactly the same formula, although the flesheating zombies are replaced with your common-or-garden variety of dinosaurs. After parachuting into a secret island research facility in search of a missing scientist, you, playing as Regina, have to find a way to get off again after discovering that the place has been overrun by horrible lizards. As far as plots go, it's hardly the most original and there's a strong stench of B-movie. If you anticipate the usual bad voice acting and feeble plot twists, you could almost write the game yourself.
The plot's mostly linear but, about two or three times during the game, diverges at different points letting you choose which path it's best to go down. Choosing which way to go doesn't make any drastic changes to the plot but it does at least add to the replay value, which the game would otherwise lack.
Stuck In The Stoneage
Like a bad omen, one of the first things to confront you when loading up the game is the astonishingly low, PlayStation resolution of the menu screen. You'd be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a title from the 486 days, rather than a part of today's cutting edge software, as you navigate your way around the blocky pixels. Into the game proper and a 3D card noticeably improves on the original's visuals, but you're still stuck with a maximum resolution of 640x480. And, even if we don't put the game down for this, we can't deny the sterile graphics that represent the base, as the bleak grey tone throughout has a habit of sapping some of the necessary atmosphere. The way the backgrounds sometimes move along fixed planes as you walk makes up a little in this department as it's quite a novel effect, but naturally, it wears off after the umpteenth time.
Aside from the slight 3D card touch up, the transfer from PS to PC has seen some other minor improvements in an effort to entertain an audience that might actually expect a bit more after the long wait. Are you ready for this? Well, instead of letting you discover the four different costumes hidden in the game, it has put them in for you at the start. They'll be queuing around the block for that, Capcom. It has also included a version of the PlayStations's hidden Operation WipeOut subgame in the start menu - a challenge to shoot as many dinosaurs as possible in as short a time as possible. It's nothing more than Regina wandering around the original map getting attacked in a frustrating way that plagues the main game. The fact that you can upload your score on to the Internet doesn't really seem like the sales-winner Capcom thought it was.
The loading door screens necessary on the PlayStation also make a comeback on the PC, probably more for the completeness factor than anything else. The good news is that they're obviously much faster, meaning walking from one location to another isn't quite the tedious chore it otherwise could have been.
Lock And Load
As for the game itself, going up against the various dinosaurs is rather a tricky business. The controls are frustrating to use in a difficult situation and feel clumsy when up against the speed and savagery of the enemy.
The inclusion of a 180 quick-k turn key is a blessing in cases when running away seems like a good A solution. However, when H actually trying to fight, I it's impossible to get a H few shots at anything from close up without them jumping up to W successfully attack you. Once this happens, your character spends a frustrating amount of time out of your direct control as she's knocked to the floor or bitten and you jab at the keys attempting to get her to safety. Most times you'll want to avoid the dinosaurs altogether by dodging past them and saving your ammo for the harder versions later on.
It does lack credibility, though, as you run past a Velociraptor several times as it prowls along the middle of a corridor, trying not to give him time to react. Which leads on to the illogical situation of you being perfectly safe from harm if you start reading a memo or something - even though there's a Raptor half an inch from Regina's neck when commencing. The controls don't do justice to the situation of avoidance either, often making you slide along walls like a drunken sailor on roller skates.
The actual adventuring aspect is rather poor as well. The majority of puzzles are made up of insultingly simple tasks, such as matching colours together or picking words out of codes. Dino Crisis brings back vaguely disturbing memories of the interactive movie genre, with its sledgehammer approach of inserting things like this into the plot in order to make an excuse to watch it. True, Resident Evil did the same thing, but somehow managed to pull it off with its pride intact. That's not to say it's as bad as something like The 7th Guest, but often the puzzles feel like a means to stop you from opening doors and nothing else.
The Horror, The Horror
Dino Crisis loses the tension of survival horror that RE2 has in spades. As was mentioned on its PlayStation release, dinosaurs just don't put the willies up people quite as much as skinless dogs do. There's a sense of apathy to be felt when playing through the game, since there's not quite the same level of fear as you walk along trying not to imagine what's waiting around the next corner.
Indeed, Dino Crisis never caused as much excitement on the PlayStation as the other survival horror games. The port to the PC does little to improve on the way the game looks and plays. We could initially overlook the problems at the start of the game, but, after continuous playing, the annoying combat became more apparent as the dinosaurs got harder. The puzzles, don't really go anywhere either. But, for all its faults, it does have a certain drive behind it that warrants some interest in finding out how the story progresses. Capcom can produce great games for consoles when it tries, so it's a shame they don't pay more attention to the PC market. Dino Crisis could have done with a makeover because, compared to titles like the Dreamcast's recently-released Code Veronica, it looks outdated and outdone.
Download Dino Crisis
Hot on the heels of Dino Crisis 2 for PlayStation, Capcom comes a callin' with a snappy Dreamcast port of the original game. Much like the unreleased (in America) DC versions of Biohazard 2 and the upcoming Biohazard 3, this is little more than a quick port of the PC code, with almost no extras. While the textures are merely smoothed-out versions of their PlayStation counterparts, the game still looks better than ever. It's still not nearly as pretty as something like Code: Veronica, but Dino Crisis, and its fully 3D backgrounds, benefit from the Dreamcast's accelerated hardware much more than the mostly prerendered Biohazard 2 did. Even though Capcom has stated that any Dreamcast titles released in Japan will almost certainly come out here, there is no U.S. release date yet for Dino Crisis. Cross your fingers!
Despite what you might think at first, this isn't just another Resident Evil clone. Sure, it has a lot in common with its stable-mate, but it has enough new stuff to make you feel like you really are somewhere other than Raccoon City. The most obvious new feature is the fully 3D environment, something that you'd expect to really open everything up. Unfortunately Dino Crisis still mimics RE in the way it has to sit and load for a while every time you walk through a door. Don't expect Tomb Raider either...the "3D-ness" is only limited in the way it allows the camera to shift. As far as spooks and horror go, I think it has to be said that dinosaurs aren't as scary as zombies -although they can make you jump when they smash through a window and eat your friends. The whole story line is extremely reminiscent of lurassic Park...so much so that one of the characters even comments that "this is just like that movie" at one point. While the RE games seem to be erring more on the side of combat as the new games come along, Dino Crisis emphasizes puzzle solving as its major gameplay dynamic. None of the puzzles are too taxing, but they're presented in an original way and range from simple codes to some bizarre spatial reasoning problems. It does have a tendency to repeat itself with the puzzles though.
Dinosaur fans, rejoice! Capcom has managed to take the survival horror genre, remove the zombies and insert an equally terrifying menace--prehistoric beasts with a taste for blood. Using real-time environments gives it a more cinematic feel, making it feel like anything could pop out to attack at any time. There's plenty of puzzles, though they could've been a tittle more difficult. If you're a fan of Resident Evil, you won't be disappointed by Dino Crisis.
After playing Dino Crisis, I've decided these supposedly extinct cold-blooded creatures suck. OK, so maybe they don't-I'm just mad because they 1) scared the hell out of me, and 2) killed me. The latter being a bigger problem of course. Seriously though, Dino Crisis is pretty solid in all aspects-game-play-wise, graphically, sound, etc. There isn't much to complain about. Heck, even the voiceacting is decent. Any fan of RE should take notice.
I don't know what John D. is talking about--I think the dinos in this game are just as nightmarish as Resident Evil's zombies. They're quick, persistent and incredibly tough. This game frequently had me on the run, and it even freaked me out a few times. Just as snazzy are the loads of puzzles. These ain't the simple take-item-from-point-A-to-B puzzles of the RE games. Dino Crisis also packs lots of secrets, making for some hefty replay time.
The prehistoric age is finally getting its due with the first decent dinosaur-action game for the PlayStation. Dino Crisis bears several inescapable similarities to Resident Evil, but don't be fooled--this is more than just dinosaurs subbing for zombies. Dino is an adventure-survival game with enough unique aspects to keep hardened action vets riveted to their controllers.
Dino's crisis takes place on an isolated, top-secret laboratory island. You assume the role of Regina, member of a special-forces unit sent there to track down a missing scientist. As soon as the team arrives, however, all hell breaks loose; dinosaurs are running amuck, and you must escape before becoming their next meal.
But it's a big island, so there's lots of ground to cover. You'll search for keys, collect weapons, solve puzzles, scamper though airshafts, and of course, battle dinosaurs to avoid extinction. One of Dino's big pluses is the nonlinear gameplay. You can choose different paths at certain points during the game, giving this Crisis replay value. There's one drawback to the massive laboratory, though: too much backtracking. You'll be sent repeatedly to the same rooms.
"This Is Just Like That Movie..."
Fortunately. Dino is an excellent mix of action and strategy. Blasting dinos to pieces is fun--but ammo is in short supply. Frequently, it's advantageous to avoid dinos by sneaking past them. But what happens if you're cornered and down to your last round? Make your own firepower! You can create your own tranquilizer darts out of various potencies. Some mixtures can put dinos to sleep; others put them out permanently--it all depends on dosage.
It's a good thing you're able to defend yourself during this Crisis, because Dino's dinos are imbued with an excellent A.I. that keeps the action fresh and exciting. Raptors, for example, will stalk and circle you while waiting for the ideal moment to strike. Pterodactyl will swoop down and grab you for a high-speed air ride into the nearest wall. Compys are totally harmless...one-on-one; in packs, they're almost as deadly as raptors. Some of these feisty prehistoric pests will even clamp onto a limb and thrash you around until you drop your weapon. As for the tyrannosaurus, who needs to be clever when you're the size of a battleship?!
Take Me Off The Campy List
Luckily, Dino's tight, responsive controls are easy to learn and keep you in firm command. You can run, walk, search, move while aiming, turn 180 degrees with the press of a single button, and even kick off attack ing dinos. The dual shock effects are a plus, too: You'll feel quick jolts during sudden onscreen attack, or subtle tremors that signal the approach of something big--like a T-Rex.
American History Rex
For the most part, the games graphics are striking, but not without a few hitches. The various characters are well animated with sharp details, but some dinos sport bulky, awkward polygons. Dino uses fixed camera angles similar to Resident Evil's, but the environments resemble those in Metal Gear Solid, which means dark hallways with low-res surface textures. The upside to this approach is that the transition between screens is seamless, and moveable onscreen objects are harder to spot. The biggest drawback to the fixed camera is the "l-can-hear-my-enemies-but-l-can't-see-them" syndrome where deadly predators lurk just out of camera range and can't be spotted until they attack.
On the other hand, excellent sound effects often cue you in on what you can't see. Audio clues, like the scrape of raptor claws and the flap of pterodactyl wings, are effectively conveyed. Plus, the poignant character voices help move the well-written scenario along. The music, though, is a mixed bag. Some eerie symphonies work perfectly with the onscreen action; but others sound like a jazz band gone berserk.
Despite its flaws, Dino Crisis is a solid offering with the right combination of action and strategy--and it avoids the doldrums of being another RE clone. Action fans will have a blast during this time of Crisis.
Dino Crisis looks awesome The characters are well animated, and the various surroundings are atmospheric. The only visual glitches consist of some bulky dino polygons and an occasional clumsy camera-angle.
All the voices and sound effects are excellent, especially the various dino noises and character voices. The music, though, is an uneven mix of effective suspense-building symphonies and distracting jazz.
The controls are easy to learn, quickly becoming second nature, while the dual shock rumbles add to the overall effect. Lack of a custom controller configuration, however, knocks a half-point off the score.
Dino Crisis keeps the action at a steady pace with nonlinear gameplay. perplexing puzzles, and challenging enemies. Although constant backtracking occasionally stalls the show, there's enough action and suspense to keep you coming back for more.
Dino Crisis is Capcom's variation on the action/horror game, Resident Evil. While researching new natural energy sources, a scientist on an island laboratory "accidentally" opens a time portal and transports several savage dinosaurs to the island. As part of a special-forces team, you're sent in to investigate the incident--but the mission quickly turns into a game of survival as you're besieged by cunning raptors, carnivorous compys, dive-bombing pterodactyl, and screen-filling tyrannosaurus!
Although Dino feels like a Resident Evil-style game (including identical character controls), it does have some unique aspects. For example, you can defend by kicking away an attacker or by creating your own chemical concoctions like poison and tranquilizing darts. The enemy A.I. is another key element These aren't dumb-ass dinos, they're relentless prehistoric predators. Not only will these critters pursue you through several rooms in succession, they'll also follow blood trails (if you're wounded) and will be more aggressive when attacking in packs.
From the creator of Resident Evil comes an all-new survival adventure-only this time you're shredding dinosaurs, not zombies. If Dino Crisis successfully duplicates that RE magic, it's destined to be one of the fail's biggest hits.
Crisis? What Crisis?
Set in the near future, Dino's plot will sound vaguely familiar to fans of Spielbergs Jurassic Park flicks. Shut down by the government, a star scientist, Dr. Kirk, has set up a lab on a remote island to continue his search for a cheap, clean source of energy.
You play as Regina, a member of a special forces squad sent to the island to capture Kirk and his research--but when you arrive, the place is crawling with dinos, including raptors and T. Rexes. Your job, at least at first, is to collect Kirk and find out whats up with all the oversized lizards.
When Dinos Attack!
Dino Crisis is produced by Shinji Mikami, the creator of the Resident Evil games, so gamers can expect that same style of captivating adventure gameplay laced with starding surprises and bloody battles. Fortunately, Capcoms promising "major advancements" over the RE games, including dinos that relendessly stalk the player, disarm them, and even play with them like a cat toying with a mouse. Also, the dinos will be large and detailed, and will pursue the player through sizable 3D environments.
Humans will also get some new graphical effects such as creeping when dangers around the comer or trailing blood when injured. Plus, the inventory system will allow players to combine weapons to create new. more effective firepower. Dino Crisis sounds like an awesome twist on the RE formula; assuming Capcom stays on track, the game should be one of this fells leading titles.
Let's not kid ourselves, Jurassic Park was no Night of The Living Dead. Unlike zombies, dinosaurs belong in a world of museums, picture books and blockbuster movies.
So when Capcom broke news that Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami would redefine survival horror with Dino Crisis, everybody wanted to know if a game about dinosaurs could maintain the same visceral impact found in his RE series. After spending time with this latest playable, we can confirm that Dino Crisis is indeed on target for survival horror greatness.
Once again, you're dropped into the plot of a B-movie and fighting to stay alive. You play as Regina, a member of the special-forces team assigned to locate and retrieve the brilliant but expatriated Dr. Kirk on Ibis Island. You need to infiltrate his science facility, learn about his secret project, and bring him home. Pretty straightforward, except Ibis Island is crawling with Velociraptors and somewhere out there is a really pissed-off Tyrannosaurus Rex.
While survival horror has always been associated with a sense of dwindling hope against insurmountable odds, it's also defined by puzzlesolving gameplay. With Dino Crisis, Capcom uses the strength of the game's 3D engine and the unfolding story line to create some of the most clever puzzles we've seen. Sure, a lot of the legwork still involves fetching Keycard A to open Door A, but the "milestone" puzzles scattered throughout the game are both intelligent and well-integrated.
The biggest distinction between Dino Crisis and Resident Evil are the 3D environments. If you think real-time backgrounds always come at the price of picture quality and detail--think again. Thanks to dynamic light sourcing and realistic textures, Dino Crisis is Capcom's best-looking survival horror game yet. Unlike Silent Hill or Metal Gear Solid, Capcom has decided to keep the camera mostly stationary to give Dino Crisis a familiar Resident Evil feel. This means that going from room to room or different parts of one big area will still i nduce slight loading times, but it's far more tolerable. The benefits of a full 3D environment really shine in Dino Crisis. Characters and dinosaurs no longer feel like 3D cutouts superimposed onto flat wallpapers-the overall effect is seamless and immersive. Backgrounds made of polygons also mean there's much more you can interact with. Your environment alters as events trigger: floors drop out from under you, dinosaurs bust through doors or tear through fences, entire rooms are demolished within seconds. The potential for drastic real-time changes to the world around you creates unbelievable tension and suspense.
The other important use of real time 3D in Dino Crisis is during the cutscenes (like in Metal Gear Solid). The game kicks off with some FMV but soon relegates the storytelling to the in-game engine. All dialogue in the game is voice-acted and from what we've heard, the difference in quality between this and the other Resident Evils is like night and day.
The first thing you'll learn while playing Dino Crisis is the ferocity of the dinos and how unpredictable they can be. Raptors are relentless, fast and tough as hell to take down. Once they spot you, it's either stand your ground or run for sweet life. In Resident Evil, running from a zombie was no problem; you simply weaved in and out, shook them off. or took their heads off with a well-placed buckshot. The Velociraptors in Dino Crisis are frighteningly realistic. They linger about the halls of the science facility, waiting and stalking. If you don't dispose of them on your first encounter, you can be sure they'll be there the second time around--sometimes hiding in an entirely new location. On several occasions you'll find yourself entering a room with napping raptors nestled in a corner. Walk lightly, keep your distance and you may get through the area unscathed. But when the raptors come charging down corridors and crashing through doors to clamp their jaws over your limbs, there's very little you can do except mash on the buttons and hope the damage isn't fatal.
To prepare the player for a faster and more savage threat, Capcom has implemented a 180* turnaround maneuver. By pressing the L2 shoulder button, you can now face the other way instead of waiting for Regina to slowly swivel in place. You can also walk with your gun drawn and ready, but it will slow you down to a cautious pace. Aiming vertically has been removed from combat but just point Regina in the direction of her enemies and she'll automatically track them with her arm. This deals with a lot of the aiming imprecision people had with previous games in the Resident Evil series. To top it off, Dino Crisis introduces bleeding wounds on top of limping character animation. To control the bleeding, you'll need to find special medical kits. Seeing Regina limp around with a trail of blood behind her is chilling, and suddenly the whole meaning of "survival horror" hits much closer to home.
Dino Crisis can be seen as a natural evolution in a genre that's has been continually refined with each new game. Capcom takes the best elements of Resident Evil, and addresses some of the genre's quirks to produce a thoroughly jarring experience. Hey, it's a winning formula, so why not?
- MANUFACTURER - Capcom
- THEME - Adventure
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1