Resident Evil Survivor
Sooner or later it had to happen--a bad Resident Evil game had to make it to market. Let's put aside the fact that the GunCon support, included in the Japanese and European versions, has been removed. Sure it was cool being able to move your guy around and shoot using the GunCon buttons, but in practice it made it a bitch to maneuver, and Survivor has enough control problems as is. What kind of problems? You can't strafe, can't look up or down, you turn way too slowly, and the game has a horrible habit of autoaiming and moving the screen around to where it thinks you should be looking. It makes trying to kill jumping or fast-moving enemies almost comical. You can't blow off specific parts of a target-like arms, or the head--and there's practically nothing you can shoot in the backgrounds. Monster Ai is pretty pathetic; I had a spider humping my leg for about a minute without biting, and the big tyrant enemies seem to enjoy walking in circles while you slowly blast away. And the graphics? Unforgivable--blocky and pixelated, they still chug along in virtual slo-mo, sometimes with as little as one enemy on screen! It's also a fairly short game: There are a few branching paths, but each run through the game barely lasts a couple hours. The story is practically the only reason to play--that and a couple surprise moments that'll make you jump. Otherwise it's just one big mistake.
I really enjoyed all the previous RE games, and I recognize Capcom's attempt to put a new twist on the series, but Survivor lacks the best defining traits of an RE game. The traditional feel is lost to a first-person perspective (with no strafe option), and while doing away with prerendered backgrounds for Code: Veronica worked on the DC, it only makes things sloppy on the PS. Unlimited handgun ammo also kills the resource management aspect, which made the previous REs more than just mindless plug-fests. The spatial audio placement is nice, but periodic techno beats disturb the game's eerie placidity. I'd like to see a sequel done right on the PS2.
The worst part about Resident Evil: Survivor is it could have actually been a good game. I mean, the idea is cool: a first-person shooter taking place in the Resident Evil universe. Sadly though, the game doesn't live up to its potential. First of all, it looks like crap. Really. The zombies are pulled right out of Resident Evil 2 and everything gets horrifically pixel-ly at times. Then there's the gameplay--you can't strafe, the bullets fire out way too slow, and turning your character takes forever. The low price ($29.99) is great, but it doesn't make up for the fact Survivor looks and plays like a first-generation PS title. RE fans will likely be disappointed.