Dino Crisis is set on the imaginary Ibis Island, in a military installation which is conducting experiments using “third energy”. You take on the role of Regina, a rookie to the “Secret Operation Raid Team (SORT) ” (basically S.T.A.R.S) and general dogsbody throughout the mission.
You are sent to Ibis Island to rescue your undercover comrade, who has infiltrated the military installation posing as a researcher/scientist. It is through his covert work you discover a missing scientist (Dr Kirk) is alive and well, and is leading the research into Third Energy.
The story is basically cut and paste from Resident Evil, “Special Forces team sent to investigate, something goes wrong, experiment runs amok”.
Not long before you arrive on the island, something terrible happens and it is not long before you realise (name of the game gives it away) that dinosaurs have over taken the installation. Unlike other games in the genre, your mission never really changes.
Dino Crisis is a survival horror, and plays EXACTLY like Resident Evil. It was released on 22nd September 1999 shortly before the release of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. As a result. you can see a lot of the ideas which were used in RE3, being developed. (Quick turn/branching story).
The puzzles in the game are a particular highlight, while i LOVE Resident Evil the puzzles were always “push crate a, over vent/pad b” so major bonus points here for trying something new. I seriously advise you have a pen and paper at hand to write down any numbers, information you are given.
On the whole in Resident Evil, if there is a number lock in a room, the code is in an adjacent room. In Dino Crisis, a code for one room, could be at the far end of the building, with no real clue, except some long rambling prose. Yeah, you need to read the files. I like this, Resident Evil files and memos were great back story, but you could ignore it. In Dino Crisis, if you do not study each letter in details, you are fucked. You will not know where to go, and you certainly won’t know what to do. READ THAT SHIT, WRITE THAT SHIT DOWN! Otherwise, you will get stuck (I got stuck a lot).
The password “hacking for example” requires you to find a code key and an entry key.
In the example we see here, you need to find the word, by eliminating the letters in the 2,5,6,7,9 column, while working left to right.
Each password you enter gets more and more complicated, with the code getting harder to crack. I literally had to spend 30 minutes writing down the final code and working it out.
While the code remains the same from game to game, you cannot access the terminal unless you have both cards. This prevents you skipping whole sections of the game on a second run through.
Dino Crisis allows you to make choices on how you wish to proceed. Periodically you will be asked by your team mates if you want to go gung-ho (Gail’s method) or be stealthy and cautious (Rick’s method), which will ultimately change the ending you get (3 alternate endings)
Unlike the Resident Evil series (2+), Dino Crisis builds its tension by restricting your ammo supply. If you waste your ammo, you’re screwed, and as a result you spend a lot of your timing running around flailing desperately trying to make it to a door.
This leads to a bastard of a feature… Dinosaurs follow you through FUCKING DOORS! Not always, but sometimes when your pulse has not quiet settled, after a chase from a raptor, you find yourself in the safety of the next room, for the bastard thing to open the door behind you and carry on chasing. Which in turns causes you to panic, and use your gun and waste ammo.
You are limited to three guns, (pistol/shotgun/grenade launcher), raptors (standard enemy/only real enemy) take around 12-15 standard pistol shots 4/5 shotgun blasts, and 2 grenade blasts. So you spend a lot of time running away in blind fear, as you don’t want to waste ammo. I think throughout my whole 4 hour play through I got less than 200 pistol bullets, 50 shotgun shells, and 15 grenade rounds)
You encounter the T-Rex 4-5 times, but each time, you stand in the corner (you’re conveniently knocked in to) fire a shotgun 3/4 times, and the T-Rex gets bored and walks off.
You might have guessed, that the final boss is the T-Rex, and you would be right. But, it is a let down. Have a look on YouTube, or play the game, but seriously… WORST BOSS FIGHT EVER
Having said that, Dino Crisis is a great game, a few niggles aside I enjoyed it and am going to have to play through and get the alternative endings.
Pros: Puzzles, Password, Strong female lead, Novel setting, Alternate endings, Alternate pathways/storylines, Frantic fighting
Cons: Lots of back tracking with very little difference in scenery, Limited arsenal, Can be a little obtuse at times (remember your pen and paper), Lack of boss fights, Lack of Enemy Types
The game is let down slightly by the constant back tracking and lack of enemy variety and boss fights. However this is a great game and you should definitely check it out, or revisit it if you get the chance.