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Resident Evil : Dead Aim (2003)

Resident Evil Dead Aim
Reviewed By LessonNo5

Three years ago, in the summer of 2000, Capcom decided to try to take its popular Resident Evil series in a new direction. Thus, Resident Evil: Gun Survivor was born. A first person shooter set after Resident Evil: Nemesis. To put it mildly, the game was ill received by critics and rejected by all but the most hardcore of horror gamers (like me). It was often called the "poor man's" Resident Evil, or "Resident Evil for dummies" because of the comparatively low-grade graphics and gameplay when compared to the insanely popular adventure series. Capcom also struck out with shooter games like Dino Stalker. Now, three years and three attempts later, Capcom releases Resident Evil: Dead Aim. I'd have to say, I'm glad they kept trying. Obviously, one cannot help but compare the game to it's predecessors in it's genre. In that regard, it's apparent that there's still a lot of work that needs to be done. Dead Aim is definitely a good start, though.

If you remember back to when Gun Survivor was first released, you must remember that the version of the game released in the U.S. was not light-gun compatible. Now that the media frenzy over video game violence has died down a bit, Capcom must feel more comfortable producing games that are Guncon ready. Usually, this doesn't matter much to me because it's only a matter of time before I become so frustrated trying to control a character with the Guncon2 that I inevitably switch to the Dual Shock 2 in a matter of minutes.

In the case of Resident Evil: Dead Aim, however, I played through with both. The majority of the game actually takes place in a third person perspective, and switches to first person only when you're ready to fire. In previous games, this makes controlling with the Guncon even more difficult. The controls, while cumbersome at first, quickly become second nature when played with either. Unfortunately, I found it virtually impossible to make a one-eighty without stopping using either method of play. This is an important point, as tucking tail and running seems to be the best tactic on the more difficult game settings.

As far as the graphics are concerned, Dead Aim is definitely not a "poor man's" Resident Evil. It's obvious this game wasn't just slapped together to keep the genre alive. The lighting effects alone are worth mentioning. Bruce, the main character is equipped with a shoulder lamp (think Silent Hill) that creates some very impressive shadows and reflections. The only problems with the graphics seem to be a bit of slowdown when the screen is busy, and little bit of clipping in certain areas.

But, forget all that technical stuff... Let's get down to brass tacks. What is it about, and is it scary? Well, for anyone lucky enough to get a copy of Resident Evil Gaiden, you'll recognize this bit: It starts out on a luxury cruise ship. Presumably, the ship is owned by the nefarious Umbrella Corporation and hosts a celebratory party in honor of their newest accomplishment, the G and T virus hybridization. This doesn't sit well with ex-Umbrella research scientist, the androgynous Morpheus. He/She concocts a plan to take over the ship using cronies, then infect everyone aboard with the T-Virus. After this, someone must've told him/her that the plan wasn't wicked enough, so he/she pulls a Dr. Evil and holds the world ransom with a couple of warheads aimed at major cities in China and the United Sates. Oh, and they're loaded with enough of the virus to convert the entire population into gibbering flesh-eaters. Enter our heroes. Bruce MacGavin and Fongling are agents from the different countries with the same goal in mind: Stop Morpheus at all costs. Then they begin an adventure that takes them all over the ship, and into an Umbrella facility on land.

In regards to the question of whether or not it lives up to the great Resident Evil name, aka. "Is it scary?", is a point of contention. It depends on what you loved about the adventure series. Let me put it this way, this game does not have the suspense build-up the other games did. Sometimes it seems you're playing for a long time with no action, and then suddenly you enter a room filled with twenty zombies. A lot of those "Holy crap!" scares more than the foreboding feeling and tension. The best parts really take place on the cruise ship, when you say things to yourself like, "Ok... There's a lady hanging from the ceiling... That's pretty messed up right there." Some if it is sort of reminiscent of the movie Ghost Ship. In other words, if you liked the shock-type of scare, then this will definitely do it for you.

Personally, I thought this game was nice and creepy. The new enemies introduced are quite challenging, too. Naturally, every Resident Evil seems to have a new variation on Hunters, and this one's no different. It's a good thing the game includes a wide arsenal of weapons to take care of them, especially the pesky new Glimmers. The puzzles, on the other hand, aren't exactly brain-busters. They're certainly challenging, but nothing that will have to staring at the screen for an hour wading through collected files and items trying to get it right.

All in all, I had no major complaints with this game at all. It's a nice solid zombie-killing game that offers something the other Resident Evil games don't. Namely, a chance to get up-close and personal with the undead bastards in an environment free of predetermined camera angles. This is a must-have for horror gamers and fans of the series.


(Out of 5)

Well, you've got a hot Chinese secret agent with a name that sounds A LOT like "Fondling".
Your standard Resident Evil rules apply, but this is a game with no predetermined camera angles. For the harder modes, use you ammo sparingly and remember that the weapons are tools. Use the right one for the job.

Playstation 2 - 06/17/03
August 30 2003
Walkthrough at
Capcom Entertainment
Capcom Entertainment
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Q1 2005 - PC/XB/PS2