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Resident Evil : Survivor

Resident Evil Survivor
Reviewed By LessonNo5

So our reviews finally take us to Resident Evil: Survivor, the final PSX release for the series. This time around Capcom tries to take the game to new horizons. Unfortunately, this step in a different direction heads towards a nosedive off a subway platform. I mean, for the most part this is a pretty good game. It’s fun to play, the story isn’t that horrible. The game has one major flaw though; it was released as a Resident Evil. The entire time you play this game you keep thinking the opposite, “This isn’t Resident Evil.” It’s got the zombies, the dogs, the T-Virus, but it doesn’t have the flair. It really is like “Resident Evil for dummies.” It’s an oversimplified game with no real challenge. On top of that, the sound effects and graphics are sub-par for a game in this series. It’s seems like they hoped the game would sell purely based on the fact that it’s a Resident Evil shooter. I think the biggest problem with that is that there was already a zombie shooter in the House of the Dead series.

This game begins with a sequence showing a man hanging from a helicopter. He’s struggling with a man on board. He falls off and you assume control. Though he didn’t die from the impact of the fall, he is suffering from amnesia. Now, with no recollection of who he is or what he’s doing in this place, he must survive and escape. His only hope is the gun in his hand. This game takes place after the destruction of Raccoon City, so it’s somewhere after Resident Evil: Nemesis.

The point of the game is basically to discover who Vincent is. During the game there’s some confusion as to whether the protagonist is Vincent or not, thanks to a few disturbing phone calls early on. Throughout the course of the game you occasionally come to crossroads where you must choose which area or building you’d like to go into. They all basically lead to the same place, so the incentive for replaying the game is really only to see the other areas. I admit the areas are pretty cool, but really only in theory. The graphics make everything seem like a cardboard cut out, so you’ll get psyched about entering the Arcade or the Casino or the Nightclub, and when you get there it’s basically just a wide-open area with a 2D drum set in the corner. There’s really no sense of foreboding in any of them, no scared feeling, just the occasional fear of being overtaken by a group of undead.

Which is another problem I mentioned above. There’s no real challenge. The enemies are usually pretty slow and make nice, big targets. Tyrant makes an appearance as the toughest to take down... But even he’s pretty simple. You can basically just run past him most of the time. An Umbrella clean-up team makes an appearance as sort of SWAT team Hunters. Really, the most difficult creatures in the game to hit are the dogs. They run around too fast to draw a bead on them. The weapons you use are pretty standard for Resident Evil. A handgun, shotgun, grenade launcher, you know the drill by now.

When Resident Evil: Survivor was released in Japan, it was out of the box Guncon compatible. Unfortunately, the United States was in the middle of an important battle over the effects of video game son the “impressionable minds” of latchkey kids. As a result, the U.S. version was released sans Guncon support. It doesn’t really make a difference in game play, since it’s hard to play with both, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that was a good decision or not. My personal take on it: I was a latchkey kid, and the only people I want to kill are the ones fucking with my video games and movies. Enough said.

If you look at all of that at a glance it seems like a bust. Like if you want a zombie shooter, you go with House of the Dead... Well, that is a great game. But Resident Evil: Survivor has one thing that HotD doesn't. It's not on a rail. I think that lends just a little bit more realism to it, and that's one of the things that makes it a little better. My advice for this game is simple. Pretend it's not supposed to be Resident Evil, take a deep breath, and smoke some zombies.


(Out of 5)

Stick to the corners. The camera view makes for a lot of blind spots, and the clumsy control system will probably keep you from reacting fast enough.
It has to be Tyrant, even though he's not especially tough. I think he's the best because he's a lot like your Aunt Ethel. He might as well be lumbering towards you, wearing too much make-up and clutching onto a Bloody Mary while groaning, "Giiiive yoouuur Auntiiie a huuuggg...." The biggest difference is that Aunt Ethel drops to the floor after a couple wine coolers and spills a purse full of quarters everywhere, where as Tyrant drops after a couple magnum shots and drops weapon pick ups.

Playstation - 08/31/00
December 15 2003
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Q1 2005 - PC/XB/PS2