Resident Evil: Dead Aim
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Resident Evil Dead Aim : Review
Dead Aim review by Namcodude. This review is based on the Japanese version of the game, Gun Survivor 4: Biohazard Heroes Never Die.
  Resident Evil Fan Review:

 
7.5

The Gun Survivor series has always been a low budget one, spawning games that painfully showed the low production values, and poor execution that resulted in unpleasant packages for the majority of gamers. Gun Survivor 4 is a radical change from the previous games in every single category, most importantly the game play. It doesn’t have the polish of games like Onimusha or the main BH/RE series but it’s still vastly improved and quite enjoyable.

The game takes place in two main areas, a hijacked Umbrella cruiser and an island later on. Bruce McGivern (a US government agent) is the main character of the game, but you’ll also play as Fong Lin (a Chinese government agent) in various parts. The story itself is decent enough and it’s actually part of the Biohazard storyline (the scenario is written by Noboru Sugimura), but takes place four years after the Raccoon city incident. Much like an orthodox BH/RE game, there are files that you find throughout the game that tell you small details regarding the story. The core game play is the same as the main series as well; find items, solve puzzles and move on.

The exploration is done in a third person perspective, and you’ll only go into a first person view when you start shooting. That’s not all though, the movement and shooting controls are different as well. On a Dual Shock 2, the digital pad and the left analog stick are used for the main movement, but you’ll only move if you press forward and you can steer left or right while moving. The character always runs when moving unless you press and hold X, O, or L1, that button also acts as a dodge button much like BH/RE3, but it’s literally a dodge which is more helpful. There are no shoulder butts this time around, just simple dodges that prove very helpful in conserving ammo and speeding up the action.

Pressing left or right as you’re standing still will only move the camera 360 degrees, a first in any BH/RE game, and it’s actually a very nice addition. Pressing R1 will put you in a first person perspective, and once you’re in that perspective, R1 acts as a trigger button. Pressing left or right on the left analog stick or the digital pad will help you aim. However, you can only aim up or down by moving the right analog stick; mind you the camera doesn’t pan when you do that (much like GS3). Pressing up or down on the digital pad or the left stick while you’re in first person, will put you back in the third person perspective, and it’s easy to do that mistake as you’re getting adjusted to the controls. The most radical change however, is in the shooting action itself: there are sensitive parts on enemies that enable one hit kills, or help take them down faster. A very nice change from the ordinary and it rewards accuracy; not to mention conserve lots of ammo. I should note though that this is still a GS game, so don’t expect the length of an average action/adventure game, it should take 3 hours to beat the first time around. The difficulty level is adjustable from the start as well, as there are three of them: “So Sweet” Easy, “Recommended” Normal, and “Extreme” Hard.

The weapons in the game are predictable but even so, there’s more variety. Three types of handguns, including one with a silencer.. because you don’t want to disturb one zombie while killing another one. Other than the typical, there is a particle gun that replaces the rocket launcher at the end of the game much like in CODE: Veronica. Some new enemies are introduced as well, including a radioactive frog, and a giant boss which I’d like to call Lard Man, and last but not least: a speaking female tyrant. It should also be noted that there are various types of zombies much like BH/RE3.

Gun Survivor 4 looks solid, and the overall package is very pleasing to the eye unlike the last GS. The character models (including enemies) look good and the animations are very well done, in fact, they’re some of the best ever in any BH/RE game. There are unique animations for each zombie type, and some have more than others to add to the overall realism. For example, some zombies will slightly twitch while standing still; others will trip as they walk etc. There is a unique animation for critical (one hit) kills; the zombies will be knocked back 3-5 feet on contact and at some angles, they’ll juggle and fall or hit a nearby wall. The backgrounds are detailed, and are vastly improved over CODE: Veronica, and the texture quality is very good as well… not the best I’ve seen, but they’re much better than I expected them to be. The particle effects used for the blood are very nice and the blood never looked so real, especially with critical hits. And much like games like MGS2, the blood actually stays there. The CG fire is also a step up from the previous GS and most BH games (excluding Zero), and some of the lighting effects like the one used for the new frog looks great.

Speaking of CG, the CGs in this game are great and are some the best Capcom has done, and they’re considerably better than any of the CGs in any of the BH games. And last but not least *drum roll*… no door opening sequences while going from one area to another. There are downsides in the graphics department though. The animations for the in-game cut scenes are horrible in comparison the main game’s; they’re very choppy. The light sourcing used for the flashlight that Bruce/Fong Ling carry on their front pockets is below average and often it’ll light up an area through a wall… and don’t expect any dynamic shadows like SH2. The game’s frame rate is unstable as well; it’ll often run at 60 fps but will go down in areas. And there is some severe slowdown in some over-crowded areas.. and a bit of slowdown while moving the camera in some areas regardless of what’s in the area. Hopefully, that’ll be fixed in time for the NA/EU releases of the game, it’s nothing major but it’s there.

The audio in the game is okay, but it’s nothing special. The sound effects are almost the same as other BH games as always, but the zombie moans are brand new, and so are the voices of other enemies. The voice acting though is as bad as always; Bruce’s voice actor in particular switches back and forth between a badly acted southern accent and a northern accent. The music, unlike any other GS or BH game is very minimal, and whatever’s there is reminiscent of the original Dino Crisis music… but there’s barely anything to listen to. It doesn’t affect the overall atmosphere though and personally, I think it’s very suitable.

This is a very good effort by Capcom, and it was well worth my time and money unlike the previous Gun Survivors. It looks solid, plays well, and has an interesting story that makes for an enjoyable game, although it lacks the polish that other Capcom games have. Even if you hated every single aspect of the previous games, you’ll like this one for sure, and if you’re still skeptical, rent it first.

Final Score: 7.5

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